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Procurement & Business Services


How does Sustainable Procurement affect You!


All suppliers and contractors should be committed to assisting the university and supporting our Sustainability Policy and Sustainable Procurement Policy.

These policies affect suppliers and contractors in numerous ways. Key implications affecting businesses include:

  • demand for sustainable supplies and services;
  • importance of environmental management systems;
  • whole life costing.

Sustainable supplies and services

The University of Greenwich, fellow HEIs and the wider public sector all have environmental policies and targets. Procurement plays a big part within this and as a result, organisations are increasingly requiring more sustainable supplies and services.

At the University of Greenwich, we are working to embed the ‘Government Buying Standards’ into our specifications. The Standards have been developed by Defra and while they are mandatory for central Government bodies they are considered best practice for the wider public sector too. The specifications cover a large range of supplies including electronics, IT and building and construction materials. By supplying products that meet these standards, businesses will place themselves in a good position to continue supplying the public sector in the future.Gov-Buying-Standards

Other specifications to be aware of include:

Environmental management

An environmental management system (EMS) allows businesses to measure improve and their environmental impacts. At the University of Greenwich, we are asking suppliers and prospective suppliers to provide us with information about any EMS they have as this confirms that they are committed to continual sustainability improvement.

The two most common environmental management system certification programmes are:

SMEs: If you work for a small or medium sized business (SME) in the London area, free support is available from Global Action Plan, a climate change charity helping companies and individuals to make environmental and financial savings. This support can assist smaller businesses in measuring their environmental impact and identify areas for cost savings. Reductions are also available on their EMS training.  

The University of Greenwich currently holds EcoCampus Silver certification and we are working towards Gold. EcoCampus is closely aligned with ISO14001 and is designed for the higher education (HE) sector.

Whole life costing

Whole life costing involves consideration of the full cost of supplies, services and works to an organisation over their lifetime. As well as acquisition costs this includes energy costs, disposal costs. Procurement & Business Services at the University of Greenwich are currently embedding this approach within our tender process. National and regional purchasing consortia are also adopting this approach when undertaking large tenders. It is thus important for businesses to be supplying energy efficient, sustainable options.

The life cycle impacts of supplies extend far beyond just their cost to the university however. The university’s purchasing power has an effect not just on the product use stage, but also throughout the entirety of the product life cycle. On key commodity groups, we will be working with suppliers and contractors to encourage lower life cycle impacts. Environmental management systems and supply chain management are important here.