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Govt faces sustainable procurement call

The public sector takes little or no account of energy efficiency when letting construction contracts, the Environmental Industries Commission has warned.
The EIC - representing 40 companies in the sector - raised its concerns with Defra minister Elliot Morley this week.

It wants the Government to review current major building projects and move towards more sustainable procurement after one EIC member found that just two out of 70 public sector projects bid for earlier this year had specific energy efficiency requirements in tender documentation.

Merlin Hyman, the EIC's director, said: 'Whatever statements are being made at the top level, commitment towards energy efficiency is being lost down the chain with subcontractors and suppliers. Public sector clients are not bothering with energy efficiency and price is coming first.'

The EIC also cited a Construction News survey of 50 local authorities published in April, which found that nine out of ten contracts worth less than £3 million were let on lowest price, with two-thirds of deals worth more than £3 million also going to the cheapest bidder.

By Russ Lynch