Thread in Bower Ashton studio

Purchasing and procurement

2020 strategy target: customer trust in a transparent sustainable UWE Bristol supply chain.

Our aim by 2020 is to have achieved a 30 per cent absolute reduction in the carbon footprint of our supply chain (excluding construction).

Building on the solid foundations of past work, we are making great strides in sustainable and ethical procurement.

What UWE Bristol is doing to improve sustainable purchasing

  • We are working with our suppliers to improve performance overall.
  • For all significant procurement decisions, we are completing and considering lifecycle analyses, i.e. taking into account disposal/end of life costs as well as initial purchase costs.
  • Year on year we are increasing the quantity of local, SME and Fairtrade goods and services purchased, with a 25 per cent overall increase by 2020 in view. 
  • We are working to deliver our ambitious Sustainable Food Policy.
  • We continue to look for opportunities to switch to sustainable products.

Sustainable purchasing for all

We are encouraging key suppliers of goods and services to participate in the CIPS (Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Sustainability) index, which enables organisations to measure their environmental, economic and social sustainability performance. Whilst helping suppliers to promote and enhance their own sustainable practices, it also helps us to meet our own sustainability obligations as an organisation. This CIPS index was developed by UWE Bristol in partnership with the CIPS.

Giving local businesses a chance

We are a member of Partners In Procurement, a group of public bodies based in the West of England. We run annual events to encourage local businesses to supply the public sector by enabling them to identify business opportunities and understand what is required from potential suppliers.

We also use these events to educate suppliers on sustainability issues so that they understand their responsibilities.

Sustainable purchasing successes

  • We ensure our main building contractors include sustainability as part of their project KPIs. They report on waste to landfill, energy consumption, and carbon emissions.
  • By being part of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium we seek to ensure that all supply chains are slave free.
  • Our high risk suppliers are being reviewed in relation to compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
  • The Purchasing consortium is a member of Electronics Watch.
  • We purchase energy efficient IT equipment.

What you can do

If you are involved in purchasing and are looking to make a purchase, first consider whether you can hire it or obtain it through WARPit – our online Freecycle scheme.

If you find that you still need to make a purchase, please use the list of contract suppliers on the GEM online store for Higher Education.

When making your purchase, please also consider the following:

  • energy rating, carbon footprint, and lifecycle.
  • sustainability credentials – e.g. Fairtrade and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

Student study projects and support

We are keen for students to use UWE Bristol as a living learning laboratory. We can support you by providing information and giving interviews on current policy and practice. If you have any questions, please email our purchasing team purchasing@uwe.ac.uk  who will be very happy to help.

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