Sustainable Procurement

Procurement supports University staff to purchase goods and services in ways that ensure 'value for money'.

Birmingham spends over £300 million each year on a variety of construction projects, goods and services which result in significant environmental, social and economic impacts. Sustainable procurement is central to our approach which means we aim to minimise any negative impacts associated with these goods and services, as well as taking opportunities to enhance our contribution to society and the economy. We outline the approach we take in our Procurement Strategy, including how we link to regionally important agendas such as inclusive growth, sustainable transport and skills development.

Minimising our negative impacts might mean purchasing organic or Fairtrade products, seeking to avoid sweatshops and child labour in the supply chain, or choosing to purchase from suppliers who are working hard to reduce their own carbon footprint. We can enhance our contribution to society through our spending by working with companies who support apprentices, provide training and treat their workers fairly. 

Flexible Framework

The Flexible Framework is a self-assessment mechanism that allows organisations to measure and monitor their progress in relation to sustainable procurement over time.  We demonstrated achievement at Level 4 in 2017 and have opted to be peer assessed during 2018 to determine we can evidence Level 5 performance (the highest possible).

This activity is scrutinised internally by members of the Procurement Strategy Forum

Sustainable Procurement and our Suppliers

Procurement is working to embed sustainability into the policies, processes and practice of the central team. They approve suppliers only once social, environmental and economic considerations have been explored and manage contracts to ensure these are delivered effectively.

Working with suppliers is crucial to helping us achieve global benefit.

How do our suppliers contribute to our Responsible Procurement activity?

We have suppliers providing goods and services to the University and they can help us achieve our Sustainable Procurement ambitions by:

  • Demonstrating how they are working to reduce their own negative impacts
  • Demonstrating how they are working to increase their positive impact
  • Working with us to demonstrate value for money helps us to do more

To ensure Sustainable Procurement has the impact we want to see it is important that as much of our spending power as possible reflect our values

What support can we offer our suppliers?

We want our suppliers to understand our ambitions in this area. We also want to support and develop our suppliers to minimise risk in our supply chain at the same time as demonstrating the positive contributions they can help us to make.

We therefore offer all University suppliers access to an online tool that helps us to understand our suppliers at the same time as encouraging their own sustainable practices. If you are a supplier and have not yet completed the NETpositive Supplier Engagement tool, please contact us for access.
Tel: 01723 850535

The tool enables all our suppliers to create a sustainability action plan for their own business. As they do so we can demonstrate the collective activity of all our suppliers and support and celebrate progress.