Labour would force firms to fight climate crisis or lose contracts

(The Guardian, 31 May 2019) Exclusive: Companies bidding for public sector contracts must ‘put people and planet before profit’.

Companies bidding for public sector contracts will be forced to take radical steps to tackle the climate crisis under new regulations being proposed by the Labour party, addressing energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste.

If elected, the party would force suppliers to “put people and planet before profit”, with the threat of losing contracts if they do not, in a stark redrawing of priorities for contract bidders.

The government buys goods and services worth about £284bn from the private sector every year, making it one of the biggest single customers for many private sector companies. The proposed changes would force companies to take a much greater role in combating the climate emergency, and have a knock-on effect across the business sector as they would be more likely to replicate those standards in other non-public sector work.

If it was elected, Labour would also ensure the public sector bodies that deliver goods and services, including the NHS, would have to adhere to higher green standards. Shadow ministers have already pledged to “insource” more goods and services to the public sector, rather than favouring private companies.

Standards on trade union recognition, late payments and tax compliance would also be updated and enforced.

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The Guardian, 31 May 2019: Labour would force firms to fight climate crisis or lose contracts