Tapping into external expertise to deliver Net Zero

With the UK public sector under pressure to deliver fast and impactful digital services while working towards Net Zero targets, government departments can benefit from tapping into the expertise and knowledge of external partners in the private sector. 

This could help bridge the current expertise gap in government, according to the new Greener Government report, which found a general lack of tools and insight across the board and a skills shortage in low-carbon expertise is preventing progress on climate targets. 

The private sector certainly has much expertise and experience that can be called on to support low-carbon strategies. But as it stands just 24% of DDaT leaders are leveraging third-party support as part of their Net Zero strategy. 

Building a business case

Part of the challenge in using external partners is the fact that departments must first build a business case to use them. However, without first having internal experts to champion these often expensive partnerships, it can be difficult to get buy-in.

As Natalie Jones, Director of Digital Identity for the Government Digital Service, said: “Expertise exists [externally], but its cost is a hard sell. Sure, we can grow capability internally, but it requires those sorts of roles and training to be prioritised.

"Within the Civil Service, you get a certain amount of learning days a year which employees could ‘spend’ on sustainability. But those courses don’t exist.”

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