With annual purchasing expenditure around £140 million, we can have a significant positive impact via the choices we make around purchasing at the University. We work closely with our purchasing team to identify opportunities and manage key impacts. We ensure that sustainability is included in the assessment of all University contracts and when there is high risk or potential opportunity the service works with contract managers to find ways to incorporate sustainability into the ITT and specification.

Of course, when dealing with large companies, framework contracts, or specialised equipment there can be severe limitation of what we can achieve by ourselves. As a result we actively work with colleagues in our local purchasing consortia and seek to develop partnerships that can help with our key challenges. Our recent sign up to Electronics Watch is an example of how we are working in partnership with EU buyers and Electronics Watch with the aim of having a positive influence on labour issues associated with the electronics industry.

We are a Fair Trade University and seek to continuously identify new opportunities to increase ethical purchasing. We are in the process of providing Fair Wear accredited Fairtrade Uniforms for all staff and we would love to hear any more ideas you might have.

Over the next 5 months we will be working in collaboration with our purchasing team to achieve level 4 of the Flexible Framework  with the aim of standardising our systems and truly embedding sustainability into our purchasing.

Our Sustainable Procurement Standard explains our key requirements, objectives and action plan for embedding sustainability into purchasing at the University.