Departmental Corporate and Social Responsibility Policy in Procurement
CSR is defined as the integration of business operations and values, whereby the interests of all stakeholders including investors, customers, employees, the community and the environment are reflected in the company's policies and actions.
We are committed to:
- Continuous improvement in our Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) programme;
- Encouraging our business partners to strive for matching performance;
- Acting in a socially responsible way;
- Continually improving our performance and meeting all relevant legislation;
- Encouraging our staff to be mindful of the effect of their actions on any natural resource.
Purpose and Aims
- The purpose of the policy is to make clear to all stakeholders what we mean by CSR and how we propose to work towards achieving it. The CSR policy applies throughout all of Procurement Service and governs our approach to all our activities.
In implementing this policy we aim to:
- To be responsible;
- To be an exemplar of good practice.
Standards of business conduct
- We recognise that good CSR embraces all aspects of sustainable development and the way we affect people through our business operations;
- We will assess which social issues are of most relevance to the contract and decide at what stage in the procurement lifecycle this social policy could most effectively and legally be included;
- We shall operate in a way that safeguards against unfair business practices;
- We believe that a responsible approach to developing relationships between companies and the communities they serve, global or local, is a vital part of delivering business success;
- When carrying out a procurement exercise, in consultation with our customers, we will determine the environmental, social and economic issues;
- Our contracts will clearly set out the agreed terms, conditions and the basis for our relationship;
- We will continually review our policies and business practices to encourage engagement with small and medium enterprises and to promote the development of the regional supply chain.
- We will share and declare information on personal and corporate conflicts of interest and seek guidance from higher authority before acting;
- We are committed to ensuring that our business is conducted in all respects according to rigorous ethical, professional and legal standards;
- All the laws that regulate and apply will be complied with;
- We endeavour to ensure that stakeholders have confidence in the decision-making and management processes of the Procurement Service, by the conduct and professionalism of all staff. We do this by continually training and developing our staff;
- All groups and individuals with whom we have a business relationship will be treated in a fair, open and respectful manner;
- Competition will be reasonable and based upon the quality, value and integrity of the products and services being supplied;
- Feedback on performance will be actively sought, and we will continually review all activities to ensure best practice is observed at all times;
- We will allow our customers and vendors to give feedback on our performance through balanced scorecards and ensure that all customer comments are analysed, responded to and where appropriate, acted upon;
- We will review our own performance through balanced scorecards to ensure a 360o review is undertaken;
- An Action Plan will be developed to ensure continuous improvement is achieved.
- Our objective is to endeavour to reduce our impact on the environment through a commitment to continual improvement;
- We will continue to work with our vendors to reduce their impact on the environment and we will encourage them to achieve environmental credentials such as environmental management systems for ISO14001 or EMAS;
- We do assess production, use and disposal associated with the main goods we use;
- Our customers will be informed of the key issues involved in procurement so they can make informed purchases to reduce their impact on the environment;
- We will ensure that paper products used come from forests independently certified as well-managed according to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), or from recycled materials. All virgin paper products have been banned throughout the University, environmental alternatives are used.
- We aim to support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights;
- Vendors are actively encouraged to observe international human rights norms within their work;
- We will promote the Fairtrade movement and encourage the purchase of Fairtrade products within the University and in line with the University's Fairtrade Policy. This policy can be viewed at www.dur.ac.uk/greenspace/policies/fairtradepolicy/
Equality and Diversity
- We aim to eliminate discrimination on any grounds and promote equality of opportunity in the supply chain;
- We will advertise tenders over £20,000 to promote equality of opportunity for ethnic minority businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises and other potential suppliers;
- We will undertake supplier engagement events to ensure suppliers have the necessary support and assistance for them to complete our tender documents;
- We will ensure that our customers and vendors are able to work together in confidence and be treated with respect by each party;
- Our range of contracts will take account of the needs of a diverse customer base.
- A Sustainable Procurement Policy will be maintained that will set out the principles, policies and procedures on which sustainable procurement activity within Durham University will be based. The policy can be viewed at www.dur.ac.uk/procurement/suppliers/sustprocpolicy/
- The policy will act as a prompt to staff to consider sustainability as a factor in all purchasing decisions;
- We seek to minimise the adverse environmental effects of people travelling to and from our offices.
Impact on Society
- We will take steps to understand how we can most effectively support the needs of the local community and implement initiatives accordingly;
- Our impact on the local and wider community will be understood and nurtured;
- Dialogue with local communities shall be encouraged for mutual benefit.
Ethics and Ethical Trading
- We will ensure clear visibility through our supply chains, so we know where all our products are made using recognised labelling schemes such as FSC, MSC or EU Eco labelling where appropriate;
- Training will be provided to relevant people on environmental and social issues affecting our supply chains;
- We will ensure that vendors uphold the workplace standards and behaviours consistent with the University's requirements.
- We actively encourage the use of sustainable practices in the maintenance of University grounds and premises.
- We will work with vendors to help us achieve our policy aspirations in the delivery of our products and services;
- We shall encourage vendors to adopt responsible business policies and practices for mutual benefit;
- Vendors are regarded as partners and we will work with them to help us achieve our policy aspirations in the delivery of our products and services;
- A documented environmental and social assessment will be undertaken for every new contracted vendor;
- We are committed to ensuring that the welfare of workers and labour conditions within our supply chain meet or exceed recognised standards;
- Where necessary, we will exert procurement pressure to ensure that all of our vendors behave in a socially responsible way. This includes environmentally-friendly products and making sure that workers are treated properly;
- Where appropriate, our tender specifications include questions to reflect our desire for sustainable procurement;
- We hold regular meetings with vendors to support these ideas;
- We will continue to work with vendors to:
o Promote more environmentally friendly products and promote these to our customers;
o Reduce the amount of packaging and transit where possible;
o Implement schemes to take-back, recover, re-use and recycle products at the end of their use/life.
Approved by Greenspace Advisory Group 13 May 2011.
Date of next review June 2013.