Procurement at Defra
Details of Defra purchasing arrangements and information for those looking to become a supplier or contractor.
Tendering for contracts
We are keen to offer under-represented businesses such as SMEs and voluntary and community services organisations the same opportunities to compete for our contracts as other qualified suppliers. We widely publicise our procurements on the following websites:
- Defra’s e-tendering site – you can browse tendering opportunities and manage your tender activity (registration is required)
- CompeteFor – a free online marketplace, offering contract opportunities from Defra and other major public and private sector buying organisations
- Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) – publishes adverts and notices for tenders and contracts
Defra is committed to procuring sustainably: defining the need, evaluating options, design and specifying, supplier selection, tender evaluation, post-contract management and supplier development:
- Defra’s sustainable procurement policy statement
- Defra’s ethical procurement policy statement
- Greening government commitments
Supporting small businesses
We encourage large organisations that have won contracts with us to publicise related business opportunities to SMEs and voluntary and community services organisations, as a means of helping to increase the range and diversity of their supply chains.
An online course - Winning the Contract - is available to help suppliers identify opportunities to supply the public sector with hints and tips on the bidding process.
Government sustainability requirements
Suppliers should consider social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability with reference to the standards listed below.
The government’s commitments for 2010 to 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste, reduce water usage and procure more sustainably are set out in Greening Government Commitments: Operations and Procurement (PDF 450 KB)
The minimum level government buying standards are mandatory in central government. There are also voluntary, higher level best practice and class leader standards:
Defra is working to align the government buying standards with the EU’s Green Public Procurement (GPP) standards so that they are at least as good, if not better.
These budgets set the course for achieving the government’s 2050 target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050
This scheme operates a ‘cap and trade’ mechanism, providing a financial incentive to reduce energy use in large organisations by putting a price on carbon emissions. In CRC, organisations buy allowances equal to their annual emissions:
The EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires energy certificates for buildings on construction, sale and lease and large public sector buildings to display energy certificates to the public.
The Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) measures best practice in environmental design and management. Public sector bodies must achieve a rating of ‘excellent’ in new builds and at least ‘very good’ in major refurbishments.
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