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University scores top marks for sustainable procurement

21 Jul 2017

We are first university in the country to have its self-assessment independently verified

The University of Manchester

The University has achieved Level 5 – the highest possible rating – in the Government’s flexible framework for sustainable procurement.

We are the first in the country to have its self-assessment independently verified, with Manchester’s practices checked by peer experts in their field from both procurement and an international sustainability background.

The rating is recognition of practices, documentation, supply chain engagement, environmental impact as well as supporting large and small business at the University. This work has been widely emulated across the HE sector, with the Procurement Team regularly asked for their advice and input by other organisations.

The flexible framework was put into place around ten years ago by the Government, initially designed for local authorities. It has since been taken as a benchmark of quality for many other public and private sector organisations, but we are the first university to have its practices independently audited to the highest level.

One example of the socially responsible nature of the work at Manchester includes evidence-based supplier engagement and the signing up of 1,000 suppliers to a supplier engagement tool to create bespoke action plans for their businesses.

With an annual spend of around £410m on goods and services, these changes to our procurement practices have made a considerable difference and are supporting our ambitious social responsibility agenda.

Kevin Casey, Head of Procurement, said: “The University is committed to being socially responsible in everything we do and the way we buy goods and services has a big role to play in this. We have pledged to be transparent, share our experiences and display real leadership in this area. It pleasing is that our work in the sector is being recognised, looked at by other organisations and that we are helping to improve practices across a number of sectors.”