Ensuring carbon reduction in facilities management contracting may not seem like the most straight forward of tasks but, following an industry consultation process and with the publication of the X29 Secondary Option Clause, NEC have taken the plunge. The X29 provisions, designed for inclusion into NEC4 contracts, are intended to foster more sustainable and climate-friendly practices within the construction and infrastructure sectors.

We recently discussed the application of the X29 provisions in the context of construction contracts and here we focus on the impact of its key provisions on facilities management ('FM') contracts and sub-contracts.

X29's Key Provisions

Climate Change Requirements

X29 allows the procurer of FM services to specify certain Climate Change Requirements which the contractor and, in turn, the sub-contractor will be obliged to comply with. This could include targets relating to recycling, reliance on renewable power or the use of electrical vehicles and may be of particular interest in energy hungry facilities management contracting. Where such targets are included, contracting parties will need to ensure that any targets are achievable and are not unduly onerous.

Climate Change Plan

X29 also encourages the adoption of a Climate Change Plan which establishes the contractor and sub-contractor's strategy to achieve the Climate Change Requirements. The plan may detail such matters including stakeholders in the project, key milestones or the role of key personnel in enabling the contractor or sub-contractor to meet the Climate Change Requirements. The plan may also have to be adjusted throughout the life of the project.

Early Warnings

In addition to the Climate Change Plan, X29 also sets out an early warning system ensuring that events which could disrupt the contractor or sub-contractor's compliance with the Climate Change Requirements are the subject of early warnings.


X29 seeks to cement good industry practice in respect of reporting on green credentials by enabling parties to disclose and publicise information relating to the Climate Change Requirements.

Contractor's Proposals

Finally, X29 allows the contractor and sub-contractor to propose amendments to the scope of their respective contracts, with a view to reducing the impact of the operation and maintenance of the facility on the climate, such proposed amendments being subject to mutual agreement between the parties.

NEC have published Guidance Notes setting out in greater detail how NEC envisages the provisions will work with the facilities management contracts. Ultimately, the X29 Secondary Option could be a great tool for contracting parties to ensure that their respective carbon reduction and sustainability targets can be 'baked in' to their facilities management contracts.

If you require guidance on the inclusion of bespoke aspects of this clause into your facilities management contracts and sub-contracts, please get in touch with our experienced facilities management team.


Hayley Burns

Trainee Solicitor