Sustainable Procurement is “Purchasing that takes into account social, environmental and economic issues in order to establish best value.”  The University’s Sustainable Procurement Policy has been adopted by senior management and outlines our high level objectives in this area.

Sustainability is embedded in Procurement Services operations, and in conjunction with groups such as Transition Heriot-Watt, SUSTRANS and EAUC (Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges) we support a number of initiatives such as sustainable transport and re-cycling.  One main target is to achieve Level 3 on the Flexible Framework programme within the term of this strategy.To this end we employ an Environmental Prioritisation Methodology based on the DEFRA model to appraise our supply chain for environmental impact, and where applicable incorporate Government Buying Standards when specifying requirements for works, goods and services and Procurement Services actively encourage all staff involved in the procurement of goods and services to consider sustainability issues at an early stage in the procurement process.

When evaluating tenders, due consideration is given to life-cycle costing including utilities consumption; and construction projects generally aim for BREEAM Excellence rating (e.g. Student Residences developments).  Non-pay spend data is used to measure and report on our performance against Scope 3 Carbon Emissions targets.  These actions are important and should result in improved rankings in league tables such as the People and Planet Green League.

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

The University Executive has recently approved the University’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the year ending 31 July 2017.  The Statement explains the University’s commitment and response to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, detailing the steps the University has taken over the last financial year, to safeguard its supply chain from modern slavery and human trafficking activities.