Awarded to 3 SIDED CUBE

Start date: Monday 27 June 2022
Value: £500,000
Company size: SME
Environment Agency

For Planet Climate Change App

12 Incomplete applications

12 SME, 0 large

30 Completed applications

28 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Friday 7 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 14 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 21 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
We want to create a mobile phone app which will allow individuals to share information and encourage small lifestyle changes within their homes and communities, positively impacting carbon footprint and contributing towards the UK net zero target.
Latest start date
Thursday 1 April 2021
Expected contract length
2 years
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Environment Agency
Budget range
Initial budget in the region of £150,000 - £250,000, with an overall maximum contract value of £500,000.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The UK government has committed to be carbon neutral by 2050. The UK population will need to adopt a collective approach in order to reduce the amount of carbon emissions to meet the 2050 goal.

The EA needs to action and demonstrate ownership in this area and lead/encourage behavioural change across the nation. The EA2025 plan makes a clear commitment towards ‘developing a nation resilient to climate change’.

In collaboration with youth MPs, a project was initiated to deliver a digital solution that would help motivate people to make behaviour changes that have a positive impact on the climate. We now want to create a mobile phone app which will allow individuals to share information and encourage small lifestyle changes within their homes and communities, positively impacting carbon footprint and contributing towards the UK net zero target. This project will raise the profile of the EA, particularly with young people, and promote EA as a potential career choice for our inspiring young climate champions.

Please read the draft Statement of Works document for further information:

This contract is open to use by other Defra Group bodies listed at
Problem to be solved
At an individual level, people think their small actions don’t make a difference and they don’t have enough knowledge on climate change to raise their voice; this perception needs to change.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a person concerned about climate change, I need to encourage others to be concerned about climate change so that we can take collective action to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute towards net zero carbon by 2050.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The youth MPs led a Discovery Phase (Early 2020). The Discovery included the ‘For Planet Climate Change App’ objectives, the purpose and the audience. The youth MPs worked alongside a creative/design consultancy to produce a brief, this included user stories and wireframes.

An existing contractor took the brief and built an Alpha App. This Alpha version needs to be reviewed and assessed against the core objectives and original user stories. The features provide us with an example for initial discussion, but we want a supplier with high-level expertise to progress towards a private beta with the ambition for public use.
Existing team
The supplier will work with the Strategy and Investment Programme department of the Environment Agency. Primary engagement will be with the Project Manager, who will liaise with the youth MPs (our test user base). There will also be an initial part time Project Manager.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Working arrangements
All work will be carried out remotely. The supplier will need to work closely with EA in an agile manner to ensure progress is monitored through methods such as ‘show and tell’ and daily stand ups.
Security clearance
Not applicable

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The awarded supplier must comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Demonstrable experience (within 3 years) of user-centred design, agile delivery approaches and development of mobile design systems with multiple products across iOS and Android
  • Demonstrable experience (within 3 years) developing and applying mobile design system framework and capability to deliver an accessible service that meets WCAG 2.1 accessibility standard and other applicable standards
  • Demonstrable experience of developing application software that influences positive behavioural / lifestyle changes
  • Demonstrable experience of building an application that is easy to use but appealing to young people
  • Demonstrable experience of innovations, products, trends and standards in the mobile user experience domain
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience developing application software for government departments
  • Experience promoting successful app take-up and use
  • Experience or understanding of the potential for mobile to play its part in the global response to climate change

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Please describe your approach to mobile app design and how you will successfully deliver the requirement outlined in the Statement of Work
  • Please evidence the skills and experience of the team you propose to deliver the contract
  • What risks and dependencies do you see in this work and what would be your approaches to managing them?
  • Please evidence that you are either a carbon neutral organisation or have a published roadmap to achieve carbon neutral status
Cultural fit criteria
  • A sound approach to skills transfer and knowledge share to enable transition and handover to long term support
  • Collaborative style of working with a culture of openness and transparency
  • Organisation that considers its climate impact and makes changes to positively contribute to protecting the environment for future generations
  • Work within the constraints of public sector organisations including budgets, timescales and change
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please could you confirm if you are they looking for a responsive web application accessed through a web browser on a mobile device or an Android / iOS native app downloaded via the respective app stores
Android / iOS native app
2. Is the engagement to extend the existing Alpha app or to build a new app?
Build a new app
3. What technologies were used to develop the Alpha app
We are expecting the supplier to propose the technologies needed to develop a native Android / iOS app. We are building a new app not extending the Alpha app.
4. Was an external party used during the alpha phase? If so who was it?
Yes. Information on who delivered the Alpha phase will be provided to the winning bidder.
5. Please can you confirm that this opportunity is in BETA phase, and what suppliers have been engaged in earlier phases of the project?
The opportunity is now in Beta phase. We worked with an existing contractor to build an Alpha, more details on this process will be provided to the winning bidder.
6. When completing the application it states start date as 1 Apr 21 – assuming this means 1 Apr 22; in case any bids are auto rejected with wrong date ?
Yes intended start date is 1st April 2022
7. Just a quick note, the application form says the start date is 1st April 2021, should that be 1st April 2022?
Yes the date referenced is an error. Date should be 1st April 2022.
8. We have been developing an app that exactly meets this requirement for the past year and a half. Would DEFRA be interested in other models of delivering this requirement other than a fresh custom development, such as white label, licencing or partnering?
We would be willing to investigate this further and are not opposed to partnering if the company were a good cultural fit.
9. Will the assessment of the Alpha form part of this work, or will that have been done prior to commencement of beta?
Yes we do want the supplier to review the Alpha work but there is not an expected deliverable of using it, hence no mention in the Statement of Works.
10. Will the project be assessed against the GDS Service Standard at alpha and beta?
11. Beyond the initial budget, what is the rest of the budget earmarked for?
There is no guarantee of spend above the initial contract value. However a contingency value has been applied to account for potential future work such as product development and increasing our user base.
12. Is the overall budget a guide for total over the two years?
13. Can you describe the maturity of the designs of the application developed so far?
Whilst the Alpha application was developed as a minimum viable product and made available as a mobile application, it fell short of the outlined scope and target audience
14. There is a budget of between £150-£500k; can you provide an explanation for this?
The initial budget for the work is in the region of £150,000 - £250,000. There is no guarantee of spend above the initial contract value. However, a contingency value has been applied to account for potential future work such as product development and increasing our user base.
15. Based on the description, can we assume that 0 development has occurred so far?
Other than the Alpha app, no development has occurred.
16. Would the supplier be working within blended teams with engineering/design or other roles from Dept of Environment and Rural Affairs?
The successful supplier would provide all of the application development resources. The only planned Defra roles would be a Project Manager, Product Manager and BA. The Defra roles would provide the interface to the ultimate end users so would need to work closely with the supplier development team.
17. Would there be a possibility that we could see the alpha app?
Information will be provided to the winning bidder.
18. Is there a preferred mechanic within the app for calculating the carbon footprint and if so please can you share what it is?
No. For the Alpha app the Defra Sustainability team provided the data. Part of the review would be to determine the appropriate source of the carbon footprint data.
19. If this is up to the supplier to source, would you be happy to licence external IP to do so?
If the supplier shows this is the appropriate approach to take, then we would be OK to licence external IP to source the carbon data.
20. Please can you provide an estimate of the anticipated number of users and if they would be anonymous or they would need to authenticate?
For the app to help effect change then we anticipate that we would need hundreds of thousands of users. If users can be anonymous that would be our preference but if there are good technical reasons for them to authenticate then the supplier should explain the reasoning.
21. Are EA intending to launch the app and then offload it to a 3rd party to maintain and manage the app?
At present we would envisage the app being maintained / managed by a 3rd party.
22. What is the age of the target market e.g do you consider all gen Z as ‘youth’?
Children in the range 12-15 as we think this age group can engage their Parents/Guardians/Carers in taking Climate Change action.
23. Would the supplier work with EA to make the application public?
24. Is the intention for the app to be 100% not for profit?