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Collaboration

Working with others is at the centre of what we do, whether that is integrating our activities with those of colleagues, sharing our experience, learning from others, or collaborating with partners through purchasing consortia - we benefit from joined-up working.

We recognise that we can’t do everything and that there is little point in constantly re-inventing the wheel. As a result we share and adopt best procurement practice as a member of various organisations and make use of external standards to provide assurance around various aspects of supplier and supply chain practice.

External standards

StandardDetails
Flexible Framework We developed our responsible procurement approach around the UK Governments standard for sustainable procurement: the Flexible Framework. We were externally validated as operating at the highest level (Level 5) in 2016.
ISO 20400 Since the launch of the ISO20400 guidance, which aims to support organisations to embed sustainability into procurement practice, we have been considering how we might adopt and embed the principles in what we do. This is a work in progress and we will build on the initial review carried out on this.
Fairtrade  We have maintained Fairtrade status since 2005. We sell a wide range of Fairtrade products which make a huge difference to the lives of producers and their families by guaranteeing them a fair price for what they produce. 
UN Sustainable Development Goals  We have been recognised as the leading European University having mapped our activities against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a corporate level. To be fully effective we recognise that this has to be aligned at a more granular level and we have started work to map our documents and processes against the SDGs.

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Working with others

Standard Details 
NetPositive We have worked with NETpositive Futures since 2015, using the Flexible Framework and helping to develop a supplier engagement tool which helps suppliers create sustainability action plans for free.
Transparency in the Supply Chain We joined Transparency in the Supply Chain (TISC) in 2017 as part of our commitment to transparency. TISC is the largest open data repository of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statements in the world. We became a public partner in 2018.
Living Wage Foundation We were officially accredited with the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) in March 2019 becoming the 5,000 organisation to do so. We have long paid our own staff more than the minimum hourly rate recommended by the LWF and we now use this national forum to promote and encourage practices that help people in work to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives.
Electronics Watch  We affiliated with Electronics Watch (EW) as a member of our regional purchasing consortium (NWUPC) in 2019. EW assist public sector organisations to monitor rights of workers in the electronics industry. Most of our expenditure on IT equipment is through bespoke sector frameworks let by the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) which was a founder member of EW.

Slave Free Alliance

We became the first HEI to become a member of Slave Free Alliance, part of Hope for Justice, in 2019. Our membership reinforces our desire to work towards removing slavery from our supply chains and aligns well with our institutional goals and regional commitments. 
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority  The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) is the UK Government's investigative agency for labour exploitation in the country. We were the first HEI to sign up to the GLAA Construction Protocol in 2019.
Social Value Portal  We became the first HEI to join the Social Value Portal (SVP) in 2020. The SVP allows us to measure and report on the social value that we create – job opportunities, environmental benefits, community well-being etc. – from our spending. It fits with our role as a Greater Manchester Anchor Institution and aligns our civic, social and economic contribution with that of our regional strategic partners within the Greater Manchester conurbation.
Worker Rights Consortium We affiliated with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) between 2015 and 2019 when WRC stopped working in the UK HE Sector. Membership encouraged greater transparency around working conditions within the garment industry. Our commitment to ensure good supply chain practice in this category continues through reliance on other external standards such as the LWF, the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) Base Code and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards.

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A Greater Manchester anchor institution

The University is a Greater Manchester anchor institution; we are proud to be based in the city. We are a large employer with a large non-pay spend and we make a significant contribution to the local economy. More information on anchor institutions and the role they play can be found on the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) website.

We are committed to work together with similar public and private organisations that share our commitment to our city and wider region. These include Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester City Council and the other nine councils within the wider conurbation, Manchester Foundation Trust, the Co-Op and the two football clubs in the city. The University has numerous academic, cultural and operational connections within our city and region for example through the Oxford Road corridor initiative.

One of our partners is the GC Business Growth Hub, who we work with to help support local SMEs and to facilitate ways of doing business with the University. In September 2019, we held at joint event at the University, which provided help and guidance for SMEs. This included advice on funding opportunities, and also information on how the University is supporting small businesses to grow sustainably, provide employment and improve efficiency. If you'd like to find out more, you can watch a short video of the event, produced by the Business Growth Hub.

We are an integral part of the Greater Manchester Modern Slavery Business Network, working with the Co-operative Group, Programme Challenger, STOP THE TRAFFIK, the GM Chamber of Commerce and other anchor institutions and businesses to ensure that Greater Manchester as a region is committed to end modern slavery and human trafficking.