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The Sustainable Procurement Action Plan (SPAP) published in March 2007 contained a commitment to consult on the need for a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Procurement. Consultations took place in 2007 and the final report - recommending a centre be established within OGC, was published earlier this year.
In parallel this year's 6th Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) report from the SDC made clear that there was a need for government to take action to accelerate the pace of delivery by departments against government commitments on sustainable operations and procurement.
Budget 2008 announced the establishment of a Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement (CESP) within OGC. This announcement was further developed in the Government's response to the SDC's 6th annual SDiG report. (PDF, 947KB).
The CESP will focus initially on the environmental aspects of sustainability. The response provided an outline of the CESP’s responsibilities, to be overseen by the newly created role of Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), which are in summary:
The Sustainable Procurement and Operations on the Government Estate Delivery Plan (PDF, 1,179KB) published in August 2008, brought together for the first time a set of milestones and trajectories from across central Government departments for the achievement of the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) and Sustainable Procurement Action Plan (SPAP) targets. A commitment to provide a six monthly update on the Government’s delivery of sustainability initiatives was also made in the plan.
The Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement (CESP) published the first Delivery Plan Update (PDF, 9MB) on 18th December 2008. The Update reports on progress against the Delivery Plan, including performance across the major sustainable operations and sustainable procurement targets. The update also highlights the key actions the government will take over the next six months to ensure central government performance is further improved.