A Long Standing Commitment
Since 1994, the University has seen sustainable procurement as an important component of its sustainability strategy, as it influences investment, operations, management, capital build and institutional development. Our Procurement & Contracts Manager, responsible for sustainability, provides training to support purchasing across the campuses. The progressive adoption of sustainable procurement has resulted in resource and financial savings – but also in learning opportunities for staff to better understand what is meant by sustainability and how it affects their professional practice.
Our Sustainable Procurement Strategy
The University interprets sustainable procurement as the incorporation of sustainability principles into procurement decisions. This requires taking into account the impact of purchasing services, products and buildings whilst still obtaining value for money (VFM). To formalise our commitments in this area we have developed The University Sustainable Procurement Strategy that seeks to:
This Strategy is part of the University’s Financial Regulations and is accompanied by:
(i) University Sustainable Procurement Guidelines
(ii) Staff Training Opportunities
Improving ourselves - The Flexible Framework
The University monitors itself against the Sustainable Procurement Flexible Framework. This framework was developed by the Government's Sustainable Procurement Task Force - it is a matrix, in which organisations can assess their performance from Level 1 (foundation) to Level 5 (lead) across five process/behavioural change programmes. The Task Force set the targets for Central and Local Government at Level 1 by April 2007 and Level 3 with at least one Level 5 by April 2009.
Currently, the University has mapped its performance on the Flexible Framework as follows:
- People: Level 4/5
- Policy, Strategy and Communications: Level 4/5
- Procurement Process: Level 3
- Engaging Suppliers: Level 3
- Measurements and Results: Level 3
Previously the University was an observer in the DFID funded ‘Promoting poverty aware procurement on campus’project, facilitated by the EAUC, which completed in March 2010.
Our Sustainable Procurement Approach
We adopt an innovative approach to developing our sustainable procurement process – one which enhances opportunities for staff from across departments to engage with sustainable development issues. We avoid a checklist approach.
This has meant that teams have been able to take time to explore what implementing sustainability means to them in their professional practice and more specifically in terms of choices associated with procuring services and material. Supply chain management for sustainability which combines environmental performance and social responsibility has provided interesting learning opportunities.
Full detail about all aspects of Procurement at the University can be found here. Alternatively contact the Procurement & Contracts Manager .