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Leadership and innovation

We have demonstrated our willingness to innovate and challenge ourselves through our progress towards a more responsible procurement approach. We will continue to change what we do and how we do it in pursuit of procurement best practice.

We are working in several areas to make positive changes:

• responding to the climate emergency;
• developing and embedding social value through procurement;
• Flexible Framework and ISO 20400.

Responding to the climate emergency

Integrating climate emergency considerations into the procurement process and our supplier engagement activities is a priority.  We have undertaken an initial review of how our local Greater Manchester suppliers are contributing and this stream of activity will be continually developed. This will support the University's approach in this area. 

Developing and embedding social value through procurement

We have a number of interrelated activities underway to look at how we can recognise the value we deliver from our purchasing activity.

One of our apprentices is working on her final project as part of the apprenticeship programme focussing on social value and how we should best integrate it within our processes and contracts.

We worked with partners including the police, local authorities, purchasing consortia and NETpositive Futures to explore how social value is embedded and measured within procurement activity and what common lessons can be shared from this. We produced an overview of the project and an article in ECOnnect, an NWUPC newsletter.

You can now read the final report which further evidences how the Procurement Team's work aligns with the University's social responsibility.

We have recently signed up to the Social Value Portal and will work with them and our colleagues in Estates to recognise, improve and report on the impacts that we create from our construction activity. We expect that our learning will allow us to use a similar approach across other categories of our spend.

Flexible framework and ISO20400

Best practice on responsible procurement is always developing, we have already produced a comparison of two approaches; the Flexible Framework and new ISO20400. The guidance we produced showed the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches and suggested a way forward for higher education institutions. We will build on this further to highlight what best practice in sustainable procurement looks like and how this might be achieved.