Sustainable Procurement

APUC aims to be a leader, on behalf of its client institutions, in driving forward the sustainable procurement agenda, delivering best value for institutions whilst being committed to embedding and effecting advanced sustainable procurement. APUC shall, with the help of its client institutions' collaborative buying power, strive to bring about positive impacts on supply chain sustainability, reaching as far into its supply chain as reasonably possible.

APUC is committed to working sustainably and to support the sustainable procurement duty brought into force by the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. To meet these obligations and to demonstrate APUC's commitment to achieving economic, social and environmental benefits in its procurement activity, APUC has developed policies and tools and launched a web portal to assess its supply chain. APUC encourages SMEs, third sector businesses and supported businesses to bid for contracts. More information on this can be found in the Supplier section of the website.

Quick links

Strategy Tools
Life Cycle Impact Assessment and Sustainability Test (Members only)

A Guide Protecting Human Rights in the Supply Chain

ITT Tools
Supply Chain Code of Conduct

Contract Management Tools

Supply Chain Sustainability Policy

Supply Chain Code of Conduct

APUC Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
Strategy Tools
Risks and opportunities in Ethical,
Social and Environmental areas should be considered at the beginning of the tender process.
APUC staff and its members can access some useful tools from the Quick Links section.
ITT Tools
APUC and its member institutions embed the Supply Chain Code of Conduct in its tender processes.
If applicable, suppliers are then assessed against this post-award.
Consider also how to address the risks and opportunities identified at the Strategy stage - minimum standards, specification, criteria, clauses, SLA/KPIs etc.
Contract Management Tools
Post contract award, suppliers can be assessed through 'Sustain'.
Suppliers/Contracts should be prioritised in order for resource to focus on key areas (See 'Sustainability Test' tool earlier).

APUC has developed an interactive web portal called Sustain which allows its supply base to be assessed against the 3 areas of its Code of Conduct:

  • Social Compliance
  • Ethical and Economic Compliance and
  • Environmental Compliance

The portal allows suppliers across our sector to complete and store sustainability compliance data. It is free to use for suppliers and supplier responses will be verified by SA 8000 advanced auditors and further investigations carried out where required. A summary of results is available to view on the website as and when completed. Suppliers only require to complete the questionnaire once every 3 years for all their respective contracts in the HE and FE sector, regardless of how many contracts or institutions that they are linked to (although the system allows a 'continual improvement' approach to be recognised also).

Carbon and Sustainability Category Guides
Carbon and Sustainability Category Guides are being developed in the sector to target carbon reduction and sustainability in the supply chain. These guides aim to help fully explore the possibilities as part of the strategy development, tendering and contract management stages of the procurement cycle.