Sustainable procurement tool

From Wikipreneurship
Jump to navigationJump to search

The Sustainable Procurement Tool reviews demand, procurement actions & whole life costs to improve social & environmental performance. The tool starts by prioritising the best sustainability opportunities. The Demand Review challenges each requirement to reduce or eliminate demand. The key to success is to gain early supplier engagement and specifically to encouraging local SMEs and social enterprises.

Consider the potential to:

  • Use local lots to break down larger contracts – this makes it easier for both social enterprises and local SMEs to bid for contracts.
  • Ring-fence a pilot contract for local or social enterprise supply
  • Encourage collaboration between local SMEs and social enterprises
  • Hold supplier briefings prior to ITT to ensure that specifications are deliverable by smaller firms

Typical social enterprise opportunities at local level include: health and social care, new build and refurbishment projects, small construction works, domestic cleaning, maintenance and repair, grounds & gardens, security, window cleaning and catering specifications. This is because buyers have enormous freedom on specifications and can use specifications to establish minimum acceptable performance. They can also 'specify out' undesirable features and 'specify in' positive aspects. There were some lessons for writers of ITTs:

  • always market test your specifications before issuing ITT
  • the specifications must be challenging but deliverable and affordable
  • take care to maintain competition.

The toolkit is based on two years of research and pilots undertaken with the health service and local government in the East Midlands as part of the BEST Procurement EQUAL project:

  • The report Buying A Better World explains the importance of incorporating sustainability thinking into buying decisions, and includes case studies and action planning tips for busy procurement officers.
  • The Sustainable Procurement Toolkit has been designed to help them identify and prioritise the best opportunities for improving the sustainability on any contract or supply area. It gives guidance on how to select appropriate suppliers, develop specifications, award contracts and work with suppliers thereafter.