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Environment and Energy

 

Overarching aim

To positively influence the sustainability performance of suppliers and the sustainability credentials of the goods and services that we purchase.

Target

  • That central University procurement frameworks are more attractive financially, more environmentally friendly and faster than other routes, and therefore, more institutions use them.

  • To achieve at least level 4 ‘Enhance’ across all themes of the Sustainable Procurement Flexible Framework by December 2015.

  • For institutions to consider sustainability criteria within their procurement activity.


The University's Procurement Services is working closely with the Environment and Energy team to ensure that the University:

  • Complies with all relevant legislation and regulatory requirements
  • Promotes sustainable awareness and assessment amongst suppliers and contractors
  • Procures sustainable products and services
  • Reduces the environmental sustainability impacts of construction and refurbishment projects.
  • Includes environmental, economic and social aspects when specifying specific good or services.
  • Includes sustainable criteria when evaluating offers from potential suppliers
  • Promotes awareness of sustainable issues and considerations within the user community
  • Develops measures of our sustainable practice using sector standards
  • Uses the measures developed to monitor our sustainable practice with a view to seek continual improvement
  • Uses the results of the monitored practice to benchmark our performance against similar organisations
  • Analyses the benchmarked performance to identify areas of practice for improvement

For more information, visit the Procurement Services pages.

Sustainability Considerations in Purchasing

'Sustainable procurement' is considering both environmental and social factors when making a purchasing decision. The aim is to minimise your purchases' environmental and social impacts. Traditionally, only the upfront cost mattered when choosing what to buy but this initial outlay may not be the largest expense. Whole life costs include this initial outlay, but also consider the operational and disposal costs of the product.

For more information and guidance, visit the Sustainability Considerations section of the Procurement Services pages, which includes a series of Sustainability guides as well as a Whole Life Costing Model. For more everyday common items that you might be purchasing, check out our practical help for buying common items.

What's the greenest item?

The most environmentally sustainable option is to avoid unnecessary purchases. Can you find an alternative elsewhere in the University? WARPit is the University's free, online tool open to all University of Cambridge members. Upload and find equipment, furniture and other items that are unwanted by their current owners, and take them to your own department. Avoid procurement costs or the cost of a skip, as well as negative environmental impact from waste. For more tips on reducing and re-using resources, visit our recycling pages.

Modern Slavery

The University has published an Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking statement and  policy, in accordance with Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.