WINNER – GO Procurement Project of the Year (sub-£20m value) – GO Awards Scotland 2018/19
WINNER – GO Procurement Project of the Year (sub-£20m value) – UK National GO Awards 2019/20
Renfrewshire Council was recognised in both the GO Awards Scotland and the National GO Awards for their innovative Street Lighting Replacement Programme, which delivered sustainability and carbon reduction along with cashable savings and a creative approach to the procurement itself. Bridget Lambert, Strategic Commercial & Procurement Manager at Renfrewshire Council, explains the shape of the project, and how it was able to achieve the success it did.
This procurement project aimed to deliver the objectives of the Street Lighting Improvement Strategy, which was agreed by the Council in 2015. The programme sought the conversion of 30,756 sodium streetlights to new energy-efficient LED lanterns, aiming to improve the quality of light and reduce both energy consumption and maintenance costs, with the whole programme to be completed within an ambitious 18-month timeline.
The greatest challenge associated with this project was the very tight timescales. The original estimate of time required was three years, but this was shortened to 18 months. To accommodate the ambitious project timescales, procurement adopted an innovative strategic approach to procure each requirement. Over 30,700 lanterns were required at an estimated cost of £9 million. To maintain the flow of the right products at the right time, we opted to conduct a series of mini competitions under Scotland Excel’s Street Lighting Materials framework, promoting a more agile approach to procurement, rather than bulk buying and holding stock. Nineteen individual mini competitions were carried out, and separate contracts were let for each phase of the installation. Procurement worked closely with each contractor to ensure the rapid delivery of LED lanterns, keeping the project moving and enabling it to deliver on time and on budget.
This approach saved the Council an estimated £120 per LED, with an overall savings on the supply element of circa £1.1 million.
Social value and sustainability are very much at the heart of all that we do in Renfrewshire Council. We do not just consider the sustainability impact of our procurement but also how our procurements can actively improve social, economic and environmental wellbeing in our communities.
Sustainability and cost were of equal importance in this project. The project set out very clear aims and the relationship between cost, quality and sustainability was at the heart of our specification and approach. The project had to achieve cost savings, but it also had to achieve reductions in energy consumption and reduce our carbon footprint whilst also ensuring our streets remained well-lit and safe. The project successfully delivered on all of these goals.
The project was challenged with reducing cost, energy consumption and carbon consumption. In each case this project exceeded the original targets set, reducing energy consumption by 64%, electricity costs by over £1 million per annum and contributing to the overall reduction in the council’s carbon consumption by 8%.
The LED Replacement programme has been widely celebrated by the Council, both for the success of the project itself and the project team. Learning from this project has been shared across the Council and more widely with other councils across Scotland. I believe that this project provides a very good example of all that is great about procurement, the value we can add and how well we can work with our partner services to deliver all of the project objectives.
The GO Awards Experience
I would strongly encourage everyone in public sector procurement to enter the GO Awards. It only takes a little bit of time to complete the entry and to achieve finalist stage is such a fantastic recognition of all the hard work we put in. To be a winner on the night is a success not just for procurement but for the whole organisation.
Winning a GO Award is the highest accolade we can win as public sector procurement professionals. Recognition from peers across our sector means a great deal – it is a very great honour to win. Our team are a fantastic, hard-working and committed team, and this win means so much to them and to the wider organisation. It is the highpoint of our year so far.