Helping local communities deliver a green recovery

“The upcoming local elections are of vital importance to Scottish communities. As we collectively strive to build a just and sustainable nation, there will always be issues that need to be addressed at the local level.

The election results will also continue the evolution of Scotland Excel’s Joint Committee – our key governance group which helps support public procurement for local authorities in Scotland.

The 40-member committee not only has a governance role but, with at least one elected member from each Scottish council sitting at the table, it also forges a strong and democratic link between Scottish communities and public procurement.

As the Scottish center of procurement expertise for the local government sector, we take our role of delivering national solutions that deliver local benefits seriously.

How do we do this? Well, take Scotland’s ambitions to be net zero carbon by 2045 as an example. Scotland Excel offers national frameworks that help councils on their journey to net zero. Our recently awarded cadre of energy efficiency entrepreneurs offers our members a simple route to market to modernize their housing stock, reduce carbon emissions and tackle energy poverty.

But this framework offers other advantages at the local level. Our commitment to supporting local economies is reflected in the fact that 37 of the 46 frame suppliers are Scottish companies. Skills development is built into the framework to support jobs and apprenticeships resulting from new energy efficiency technologies.

Other examples of frameworks that directly support the march to net zero include our new residential building framework which enables the development of carbon neutral homes, and our future electric vehicle charging infrastructure framework which will increase the availability of points charging stations across Scotland.

In fact, helping boards achieve net zero is considered part of all of our frameworks. As well as encouraging suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations and logistics, we are working with investment and innovation partners to identify opportunities to incorporate carbon neutral products made in Scotland into our frames. We also support the desire to include more local products in our food frameworks.

And it’s not just the environmental benefits that are built into our frameworks. Other examples of our work to support Scottish communities include encouraging real living wage payments, community benefits that support apprenticeships, jobs and work experience, and creating supply chain opportunities. for the third sector.

We strongly believe that a national approach to procurement can be compatible with local economic interests. We recently completed a pilot program with the Scottish Government to help councils develop and implement community wealth building strategies for their areas. The program brings together stakeholders from across the organization to agree on priorities and uses local supply chain data to find the optimal balance between local and national sourcing.

Finally, there is another important area where a national approach can support the local delivery of essential services. Scotland Excel is the only organization in the UK to provide national commissioning solutions for social care services that have the flexibility to respond to individual outcomes at local level. While much is set to change over the next five years with the introduction of the National Care Service, we remain committed to working with the Scottish Government and local commissioners to share our expertise.

Scotland Excel plays a unique and valuable role in helping councils translate national policy into local solutions. Scottish communities must work together to meet the challenges of a post-Covid world, which is why we are developing a new five-year strategy which will have key national and local themes such as net zero, resilient economies and work at its heart. fair. We look forward to working with the new members of the Joint Committee and involving them in our future goals. »

This article is sponsored by Scotland Excel.