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Durham University

Procurement Service

Responsible Procurement

The University acknowledges that its purchasing decisions have major socio-economic and environmental implications, both locally and globally and therefore expects that relevant ethical and sustainability standards are applied to business transactions.

The Procurement Service will guide customers through sourcing exercises to ensure that ethical, social and environmental considerations are built in where relevant and that procurement decisions are based on a balance between economic, social and environmental factors. To achieve this the Procurement Service will:

  • Work with suppliers and customers to ensure that appropriate consideration is given to the local economy and our impact upon it, where appropriate buying local products and encouraging our national/global suppliers to buy or employ locally if possible
  • Be compliant with all relevant legislation including the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
  • Ensure that where possible, sustainability criteria are included in the award contracts
  • Consider Whole-Life Cost (WLC) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) when making procurement decisions
  • Ensure that the procurement of goods, such as IT equipment sustainability and energy efficiency are key procurement factors, along with the health and safety requirements
  • Stimulate innovation and ongoing research and development activities in the supply chain to drive value for money and positive, viable, sustainable options for goods, works and services in the future
  • Utilise tools such as NetPositive Futures through contract management to support and encourage suppliers to enhance the positive social, economic and environmental impacts of their business through the creation of action plans
  • Work proactively with Purchasing Consortia, and engagement with other universities to share best practice
  • Consider products that are 'fairly traded'
  • Work with relevant staff and departments to promote the use of WARPit for re-use of goods rather than procuring new and reducing consumption and the impact of goods, services and works through waste minimisation including packaging waste
  • Where appropriate, consider local suppliers, SMEs, Black and Ethnic Minority Businesses, Social Enterprises, the Voluntary Sector to do business with the University
  • Work with Professional Support Service colleagues and with Greenspace to continually look to improve social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and the sustainability of the University and its resources
  • Develop more sustainable approaches to food provision which consider the impact on the community, the environment and the local/regional economy in the way food is produced, processed and distributed, and reduce food waste
  • Reduce the impact of purchasing and supply activities by reducing paper flow through the procurement process, avoiding replication and minimising the administrative burden on suppliers