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Sustainable Procurement

It's our policy to always look for the most eco-friendly suppliers of whatever it is we need to buy. We do this because we're not only interested in hitting our own environmental targets - we want to promote green ideas across the rest of the world as well.


What do we mean by "Sustainable Procurement"?

Sustainable procurement or "sustainable buying" as some call it, is the act of considering all relevant factors, when making a purchase. These include:

Environment

We try to minimise the environmental impact of making, using and disposing of products, and of the supply chain.

Society

We try to purchase in a way that benefits the local community and economy.

Money

We try to ensure that we buy the best suited products and solutions in a way that delivers best value for money.

We have to take all of these things into account when we make our buying decisions.


How we're improving our procurement practices

  • We're monitoring the impact we have on the environment through what we buy (this is called "Scope 3 emissions"), and developing strategies to continuously improve in this area.
  • We're working with our suppliers to help them reduce their impact on the environment. This is built in to how we choose who we work with, and the way that we work with them once they're chosen.
  • We're improving the principles that we base our designs on by adding in requirements that reduce our impact on the environment both while we’re putting the plans in to place, and when we're using whatever we've created.
  • We've already achieved level 2 (of 5) of the Sustainable Procurement Flexible Framework, a year ahead of target. This is evidence of our commitment to ensuring goods and services are procured in the most sustainable way possible. We are now working towards Levels 3 and 4.
  • We've been particularly successful in appointing local contractors to conduct work at the University. During the last year, 88% of projects and maintenance contracts were conducted by local contractors.

Sustainable Procurement in the Office

  • Travelling to a meeting? Ask yourself if the travelling is really needed. Consider taking the train or car sharing instead of flying. Or even discuss whether the meeting can be held online with services such as Skype or Zoom.
  • Only order what you really need – can items be reused? Do you have a stationary re-use point or scrap paper collection between colleagues?
  • Use the electronic procurement system OPeRA when ordering items. Using this electronic version replaces the need to use paper based requests.
  • Consolidate your orders and have fewer deliveries to reduce the emissions associated with transport.
  • When ordering new items for the office, ask your supplier whether they can take back and dispose of the old items for you.
  • Look for packaging that can be re-used or recycled. Some suppliers will re-use the same boxes to pack your next order into.
  • Select suppliers with environmental accreditation such as ISO 14001.
  • Select items, such as paper and pencils, with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation.
  • Request paper with the highest percentage of recycled content as possible or made with pulp from sustainable sources.
  • Select paper that is either unbleached or has been processed without chlorine.
  • With printing orders, request that vegetable based inks are used; these have much lower amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOC).
  • Where possible, use items that can be refilled such as refillable pens and pencils.
  • If items require batteries, use rechargeable batteries as opposed to those with single use.
  • If your department wishes to purchase sustainable equipment or a product that will help reach our sustainability targets, then please get in touch as perhaps we will be able to help financially. Email us at sustainability at warwick dot ac dot uk