Environmental Management tender questions as well as Carbon Reduction and Sustainability are all hot topics that public sector buyers are looking for answers to. We understand that often businesses tendering for public sector contracts don’t have dedicated Environmental Management departments to answer these questions; therefore replying to these types of questions isn’t always simple – even if your business is doing plenty in these areas.
But, this topic isn’t going to go away and no matter what industry you are in it remains a growing concern. The Government is directing pressure onto businesses to look at ways they can reduce the impact their operations have on the wider environment. Therefore public sector buyers have to assess potential suppliers on their environmental credentials.
How to answer Environmental Management Questions; What is Environmental Management?
In asking you environmental management tender questions, the Public Sector buyers are expecting you, as the supplier, to have a clear understanding of the impact your business operations have on the environment and what you are trying to do to mitigate that impact.
You are more than likely to be asked to provide a copy of your environmental management policy and copies of any accreditation you hold such as ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
Read more about ISO 14001 here.
Don’t have an Environmental Management policy?
Our advice to you before the next ITT lands on your desk, with environmental management questions, is to discuss at management level the importance of having an Environmental Management policy that is entrenched in the everyday business operations that all staff and suppliers are aware of.
If budget allows we would recommend you take advice from a reputable consultancy about becoming certified to ISO 14001 – they will most likely recommend you pull together a team of Environmental Champions from across the organisation who can work to get the business ready to be ISO 14001 certified.
ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised standard for Environmental Management, operating to this standard is an easy way for public sector buyers to know that you are serious about the environment. However we do understand that budgets can be limiting so we recommend looking into an affordable alternative such as the Green Accord – a symbol of green business operations that is recognised by buyers across the UK.
If money doesn’t allow or your organisation doesn’t want to be ISO 14001 certified we would still recommend that you follow the standard as a guide and begin to look at the impact your business has on the environment and what you can do to mitigate that impact with the aim of having some great documented evidence of the work you are doing in this area to really strengthen your tender response.
Key environmental issues you may want to consider looking at monitoring and improving include:
- The fuel and mileage of your fleet
- Fleet fuel types e.g. diesel ad-blue, electric, hybrid
- Carbon footprint reduction. Read more about the UKs Net Zero plan
- Minimising waste
- Consumption of electricity and other resources
- Ensure that as well as considering your own direct environmental impact that you look to monitor the environmental credentials of your supply chain too.
Start benchmarking how you are performing in the above areas and set some goals for improvements. What this allows you to do is show the buyer you understand the impact your company is having on the wider environment and that you are accurately recording your performance and improvement. Benchmarking in this way also allows you the opportunity to create case studies after improvements have been achieved.
If you do already have an Environmental Management System we understand these questions can still be difficult to answer so we recommend to you as well to look at what improvements you have been making across the company and turn these results into easy to understand case studies. Look again at your policy, does it need a refresh and some renewed enthusiasm from the employees? Internal communications to keep these management systems going is as important as the actual systems themselves!