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UK Down to Zero Procurement Compacts

About the Compacts

"I believe that Government has a key role to play in ensuring more effective supply chain engagement, and by signalling demand for low carbon innovation. This important initiative will help to drive investment in new and better goods and services."

The Rt Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Down To Zero Launch

The Corporate Leaders Group co-hosted with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills a very successful launch of three new Joint Public–Private Low Carbon Procurement Compacts at the Royal Society. 

The event launched the low carbon procurement Compacts in three different areas: transport, catering and biomethane. Each has major potential to drive real change in the market, with an increase in affordable and cutting-edge low to zero carbon solutions at a scale to drive down emissions in these areas. 

We were delighted to have Lord Sainsbury (Chancellor, University of Cambridge) chair a panel discussion with Rt Hon Vince Cable MP (Secretary of State, BIS), Neil Carson (CEO, Johnson Matthey), Peter Simpson (CEO, Anglian Water Services) and Martin Chown (Executive Director of Government Procurement Services). The launch was attended by over 100 people from key government departments, leading private sector companies, public bodies, potential suppliers, and the media. 

Photos of the event can be found on BIS’s flickr feed.


The UK Government and The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) are both committed to reducing carbon emissions and supporting a rapid transition to a low carbon economy, but this requires a dramatic increase in the supply of affordable low carbon goods and services.

These goods and services are not currently reaching the market at the pace, in the quantities and at the price needed, leaving customers with few options. However, a visible, credible and committed customer demand could give suppliers a key incentive to invest in developing the low carbon products of the future.

Procurement Compacts

The CLG and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have therefore joined forces to address this problem by bringing together major public and private sector customers in Procurement Compacts for new, 'low to zero carbon' goods and services.

These Compacts demonstrate to potential suppliers that there is a substantial and organised market demand for cost-effective, low carbon transport and catering, and for heat and power from renewable biomethane.

By sending a clear direction of travel message to suppliers and by demonstrating real demand, this joint public–private sector initiative aims to create market opportunities for innovating companies and help to generate growth and jobs in the low carbon economy.


Read an introduction to the project by the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Vince Cable MP and Neil Carson, CEO, Johnson Matthey.

Download Down to Zero, the full prospectus detailing the Procurement Compacts.

Press Release 16 May 2012: New public–private initiative paves the way for low carbon procurement worth over £1bn.

Media Interest

Download the media coverage of the Down to Zero Compacts.