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8 Pages
English

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The Panel received a presentation from David Pointon, Head of Procurement on "Sustainability in Procurement". Mr Pointon explained that the City Council has taken a lead from the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and as a result, there has been a major change to procurement as a result of the introduction of the Gateway ...

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POLICY & REVIEW TOPIC PANEL C
MINUTES OF A MEETING of Policy & Review Topic Panel C held on Thursday 28 July 2005 at 4.30pm in Conference Room B in the Civic Offices, Portsmouth. Present
Councillors Steven Wylie (Chair) Michael Andrewes Lee Mason
OfficersDave Pointon Karl Golder  Iain Morrison Chris Greed Richard de Araujo Abdelkrim Marchani
Apologies for Absence (AI 1)
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Fazackarley and Councillor Tomes.
Declarations of Interest (AI 2)
No declarations of interest were received.
Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 July (AI 3)
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Policy & Review Topic Panel C meeting held on 12 July 2005 be confirmed as a correct record.
Community Sustainability (AI 4)
The following documents were circulated: Acronyms in Planning. Environment and Transport Best Value Review Exit Document. Environment and Transport Best Value Review Improvement Plan. Common Values Partnership. Report from the Head of Procurement on Strategy for sustainability "quick wins" in accordance with National Procurement Strategy. Procurement Gateway Process. Sustainability in Construction and Property. BREEAM Schools 2005 Assessment Prediction Checklist. EU international sustainable objectives. Energy Savings Trust – Charles Dickens Estate. Schedule of potential sources of funding and support for sustainability schemes. Energy Efficiency Certificate for Civic Offices 2003/2004.
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The Panel received a presentation from David Pointon, Head of Procurement on "Sustainability in Procurement". Mr Pointon explained that the City Council has taken a lead from the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and as a result, there has been a major change to procurement as a result of the introduction of the Gateway Process in April 2005. In all contracts which are £50,000 or over, there are specific steps to follow with regard to Gateway 3 Procurement Strategy which identifies strategy which will be used to procure outline specification, sustainability, equality, freedom of Information, innovation and variation issues, collaborative purchasing, procurement method, skills required, how bids and providers will be evaluated, what risks need to be considered and the procurement programme. As part of internal audit review, Procurement will be asked to show what has actually been done with regard to sustainability and this is not just a "tick box" exercise. Mr Pointon's view was that much cultural change would be required so that sustainability issues become ingrained as an every day part of how things are done. The Panel were advised that of the £160m per year total procurement spend, less than £10m is spent on goods and the rest goes to provide services and it is in the latter area that it is hoped a significant impact can be made.
The Panel heard that a new Partnership Initiative, the Procurement Gateway Process as outlined on the handout, has been introduced to encourage those businesses with which the City Council deals to adopt a voluntary star rating system in relation to their putting into practice the principles of a sustainable environment contained within the Local Agenda 21 Initiative. Companies, which participate, award themselves a star rating and this is checked by the Council by means of a site visit. The Panel heard that it is hoped that this initiative will promote common values relating to sustainability to be spread wider. The Panel heard that the complete Gateway cycle will take about a year to be fully effective.
Mr Pointon advised the Panel that there are seven specific examples of where the City Council has clear sustainable objectives and methods for achieving them, which will be introduced next year. The Panel was advised that these are:
Toner Cartridges- It is intended to withdraw many of the printers, which are currently in use in the City Council and this will result in reduced usage. In addition it is intended to use recycled toner cartridges.
Paper– a new printing/reprographic contract is being negotiated where only recycled paper will be used and which will have to comply with an approved list of conditions. It is hoped to go from the current position of having no controls on paper specification to total control.
Miscellaneous Stationery- Currently stationery supplies are not consistent. In future, environmentally friendly items will be highlighted and if they are as cheap or cheaper, then it will become mandatory to choose the environmentally friendly option.
Timber Supplies– It is intended that a tender specification is introduced to ensure that timber is procured in accordance with the UK government timber procurement policy which will ensure the use of sustainable materials.
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Mobile Phones- A new mobile phone recycle contract is being introduced.
Energy– Currently there are two contracts, which are "green" street lighting and traffic lights. It is intended to request tenderers to include prices for electricity from green or renewable sources and where there is not a major difference in cost, the contract will be awarded to the green provider.
Computers/Electrical Equipment – Currently, there is no requirement for suppliers to take back goods for recycling. It is intended that in future a clear procedure will be introduced to return electrical goods to the supplier.
The Panel heard that all the above initiatives could be audited.
In response to questions the Panel was advised that although green initiatives had been available for a long time, there were other matters, which had been given higher priority in the Council, which is the reason for the delay in their introduction. Now that there were clear objectives for several initiatives, it was expected that matters would progress much more quickly from now on. The Panel heard that a major cultural change was necessary to consider sustainability issues but as from October 2005 every contract over £50,000 has to produce evidence of these having been considered or it will not be accepted. It was hoped that as a result, sustainability issues would become an integral part of the procedure especially as it was much easier to consider these issues at the beginning of a project than it was to try to slot them in afterwards.
The Panel was advised that more education about this topic is needed as some services are not as aware of sustainability issues as others.
The Panel was then given a presentation onSustainability in Construction and Propertyby Chris Greed, Architect, Asset Management Service and Karl Golder, Business Manager, Asset Management Service.
Mr Greed explained that in the last ten years, industry and the City Council has not had a very good record as regards sustainable building design and construction:
Sustainability has been driven by legislation such as compliance with building regulations. Buildings sometimes looked "green" but in fact the designer's focus was on perception rather than performance. Emphasis was placed on high profile technologies e.g. photovoltaic panels rather than low-tech solutions offering better value for money.
Mr Greed explained that the following key points should be considered for future building and construction strategy: Promotion of low energy design – minimising costs and environmental impact. Designing out complex systems to achieve lower maintenance. Maintaining human focus so that the building has comfortable and controllable internal environments.
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Developing a holistic approach – whole life costing and prioritising elements that offer most value. Sustainability to be an integral part of the brief and not an optional "add-on" so that clients receive long-term benefits.
The Panel heard that Portsmouth was among seventeen authorities that won funding for projects such as the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) "Teaching Environments of the Future" (TEF) initiative. The City of Portsmouth Girls School TEF Building, due for completion in 2006, was used by Mr Greed as an example of current good practice. Stringent but realistic targets were set for the building, which were a quarter of the energy consumption and carbon emissions of a typical school. The Panel heard that this was being achieved largely:
By the configuration of the building - ensuring North facing windows for day lighting and classrooms positioned on North side of building, By a "Green" roof which is covered in plants and which protects the roof membrane and reduces maintenance, By very high performance windows. By maximising daylight so that artificial lighting kept to a minimum By lights linked to presence detectors so automatically switch off if no movement By mixed mode ventilation and a highly efficient local air handling plant which extracts stale air and supplies fresh air By using heavy concrete block work to absorb heat during the day By using large roof overhangs to prevent direct sunlight from entering the building.
In response to its questions, the Panel heard that the plants on the green roof were sedums, which have a high tolerance to both wet and dry conditions and which slow down water run-off and prevent excessive heat transference.
Mr Greed explained that conclusions so far were that: The TEF building was neither the cheapest nor the most expensive in terms of new build costs for school buildings. Classrooms with high intensity IT use can be provided without the need for expensive cooling or air conditioning whilst exceeding the current DfES guidance for internal temperature and air quality. Energy use is predicted as less than 60% of a typical new school building, which is designed to meet the current regulations.
Mr Greed explained that once the building was fully complete, there will be a full assessment and future energy bills will be regularly checked. The Panel heard that the building would be used as a learning tool and experience.
In response to a question from the Panel about possibly introducing more economic lighting similar to that used in the TEF building in for example the Civic Offices, Mr Greed explained that the Civic Offices Building was not designed to take the technology that is now available. The lights in the Civic Offices are automatically turned off at a particular time in the evening but this can be manually overridden so where this happens employees have to remember to turn the lights off again. It was suggested that if the
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directorates were individually charged for electricity then this would probably result in a marked improvement in energy saving, as departments would have a vested interest in ensuring that they did as much as possible to save energy. The Panel was advised that graphs were produced to show energy usage in the Civic Offices but lack of resources prevents anything being done about the results of these graphs. The Panel heard that there were two solutions for saving energy in the Civic Offices; one being to educate staff and the other through technology. The Panel was also advised that details have been requested by Mr Greed to show the energy savings which could be made by changing all computer screens to flat screens in the Civic Offices and this data will be available by the end of August. The Panel requested more details of the Civic Offices' energy costs to be provided.
Mr Golder continued the presentation and next explained to the Panel that the City Council should have in place an Energy Management Policy, which accords with the sustainability issues engendered in the Government's Agenda 21 initiative. Mr Golder explained that he had given a presentation to the City Council's Strategic Directors in February 2005 it was agreed that further refinements of the report were necessary which will be reconsidered by the Strategic Directors. A copy of the report is therefore not available to this Panel at this time. Mr Golder felt that at present there is an ad hoc approach to energy saving schemes with no consolidated overall action plan, which should be addressed. The Panel heard that it was increasingly necessary to manage energy for the following reasons:
Legislative A list of current EU directives, Acts of Parliament and Bills, which have to be complied with, were shown in the slide presentation (see handout). There is a requirement to certificate properties (see handout of the copy certificate relating to the Civic Offices 2003/04) and this has resourcing implications. The Energy Bill is progressing through Parliament and this will require a reduction in carbon emissions of 60%, which is a very steep target. This will have to be achieved by using carbon neutral products such as solar panels. Also using more energy efficient equipment and reducing the volume of such equipment would make some contribution to this objective.
Economic The Panel was advised that: Demand for energy is increasing. Supply is expected to decrease in the medium term. Sources of energy are changing. Reserves are being used to manage prices - for example the market supply of energy fluctuates – Arab States can reduce the amount of available oil supplies thus increasing prices. Estimates of decline in production and reserves are between 2 and 14 years – it is not known how the effects of this will be managed. The City Council is part of an energy-buying consortium, which achieves lower prices because of its negotiation strength. With regard to procurement strategy spend to save schemes to reduce demand for energy are beneficial. Many successful authorities
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plough the savings made from one initiative back into another. There were many instances of wasted resources – for example the City Council has an ageing property portfolio with outdated energy control systems and boilers which are old and inefficient and waste £45,000 per year but which cannot be replaced owing to lack of resources.
Environmental The Panel heard that environmental issues to be considered included: Fossil fuel reserves and production – will have to rely on imported energy in the future. Carbon emissions. Source of energy. Sustainable development. Planning design guidelines.
Political The Panel was advised that: Officers and members need to be proactive in advocating sustainability as a core value. As part of the Environment and Transport Best Value Review Exit Document it was recognised that strong consistent leadership is needed with environmental quality and sustainability championed in the Executive and Corporate Management Team and the City Council leading other organisations in Portsmouth by example.
Administrative The Panel was advised that administrative support would be necessary to validate bills relating to energy consumption.
The Panel then heard from Mr Golder about the Carbon Trust piloted project, which comprised a group of sixteen authorities. Price Waterhouse Coopers advised the City Council on policy and strategy advice and Halcrow undertook Energy Audits in Portsmouth for four operational buildings. The primary aim of the Carbon Trust is to help businesses implement programmes that reduce carbon emissions through:
Free energy saving advice tailored to businesses, through publications issued by the Trust, through the Helpline and expert energy surveys Financial support – interest free loans for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Access to Enhanced Capital Allowances for energy saving investments. The Carbon Management programme considering wider carbon related issues such as emissions trading, renewable energy and non-energy emissions.
The Panel heard that Audits were carried out on the following four buildings: Civic Offices, Harry Sotnick House, D-Day Museum and Springfield School, estimates the savings, which can be made in terms of energy costs are between 5-10%, which translates into £230,000 - £460,000 per annum. Also
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the Carbon Trust's action plan has 29 priorities, which it is estimated could, if implemented, result in carbon savings of 561 tonnes per annum.
he Panel then heard from Mr Golder about the Octopus Benchmarking roup which comprises of eight authorities; Portsmouth, Southampton, Nottingham, Stoke, Coventry, Leicester, Gateshead and Derby, plus the outh East Association of Chief Estates Officers and Hampshire Estates fficers. Within this group there are three subgroups; strategic group, perational group (Energy – led by Portsmouth City Council and Building Maintenance – led by Gateshead County Council) and Energy Group. The Panel heard that the purpose of the Energy group division is to:
Compare the cost and consumption performance of members of the group (for example by comparing generic types of building for carbon dioxide emissions). Compare process and policy across members of the group. Identify and share good practice. Review current issues.
s a result of comparisons with other members of the group, Portsmouth City ouncil's electricity consumption is approximately 22% higher than is typical nd its fossil fuel consumption is approximately 109% higher.
Mr Golder then explained to the Panel that Woking Borough Council was an excellent example of an authority, which was using good practice to achieve major savings in energy. The Panel heard that Woking Borough Council:
Achieved 20% savings in 4 years since 1990. Uses Energy Efficiency Recycling Fund. Made an initial investment of £250,000 in 1990, which led to a £2.5m investment over 10 years. Produced savings of £4.7m over 10 years, which is equivalent to savings of £750,000 per annum.
The Panel was interested in making a visit to Woking Borough Council to improve their understanding of how these savings were achieved and to see whether a similar initiative could work for Portsmouth.
Other examples of good practice include:
Southampton City Council – Geothermal and CHP Scheme. Nottingham City Council – procure 50% green energy. Coventry City Council – 20 years of data analysis with awareness programme. Stoke City Council – Rainwater recovery. Gateshead City Council – using STARK energy management package. Derby City Council – Carbon Trust Surveys.
Mr Golder advised the Panel that there were various sources of funding which might be utilised for sustainability projects including the Capital Programme, Revenue Budgets, Private Finance Initiatives, External Funding (handout) and by means of Prudential Borrowing.
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The Panel also heard that a member of the Council's Asset Management Services is represented on the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Environment Faculty Board. This body aimed to promote the benefits of sustainability in the wider community, promote RICS as the primary professional institution worldwide for environmental aspects of land and property and to give consideration to the City Council's property portfolio in the context of the legislative framework.
As regards the future, the Panel heard from Mr Golder that the Moving Towards Excellence initiative will mean that: There will need to be "buy in" to sustainability issues by officers and members. Strategy and policy will need to be addressed. The financial framework will have to be addressed. An Action Plan needs to be implemented. The performance management framework has to be linked in with the corporate plan. A structured audit plan is needed.
In response to questions, the Panel heard that slide 17 of the presentation handout shows a dramatic increase in water and sewerage costs for the City Council. Mr Golder agreed to contact the Finance Department to find out the reason for this increase, as there was no price increase so presumably it could only be accounted for through increased consumption. The Panel heard that slides 43 and 44 of the handout should not be taken as being totally accurate as sometimes payments were made on estimated readings which could be corrected in different quarters and financial years – they should be regarded as illustrative. In Mr Golder's view, this is one reason why intelligent metering should be promoted.
In response to questions, the Panel heard that members could be kept informed of sustainability issues and the City Council's response to these challenges by being shown the structure programme for Asset Management Services issues on a regular basis. Mr Golder also felt that it was essential to appoint an Energy Manager and that it would be useful to have an officer champion - perhaps Mr Martin Evans - and a member champion – perhaps the Executive Member for Environment and Transport. It might also be useful to raise awareness of sustainability issues by involving the Media Unit and perhaps by running a competition for City Council staff to come up with energy saving initiatives.
Date of Next Meeting (AI 5)
The Panel agreed that the next meetings would be at 4.30pm on 31 August and 15 September.
The meeting closed at 7.20pm.
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