Social Responsibility and Sustainability


Our goal is to procure goods, services and works in ways that maximise efficiency and effectiveness while minimising environmental and other risks and generating social benefit. We are assessed externally on our capability.

Our approach to delivering ‘superior’ procurement capability to meet the University strategic plan, is to:

  • Focus our specialist support on managing the procurement of goods and services that are either high value, high volume or high risk including supporting the University Estates Strategy (works)
  • Give priority to social responsibility and sustainability and whole life costs when selecting suppliers and awarding contracts or appointing suppliers to be part of framework agreements.
  • Ensure that all collaborative buying arrangements we enter into meet our own high standards.
  • Provide guidance and training to support people across the University with responsibility for purchasing all other goods and services, and we currently influence over 80% of non-pay spend.

Our objectives

  • Enhance the skills and knowledge of all staff with purchasing authority or responsibility.
  • Support businesses which employ over 50% disabled people by engaging with our suppliers and awarding contracts to such ‘reserved businesses’.
  • Assess the carbon emissions associated with the goods and services we buy.
  • Share services, training, skills with others e.g Scottish Government, APUC, Queen Margaret University and Borders Council.

Responsibilities & committees

Nigel Paul, Director of Corporate Services, Sustainable Procurement Champion

Karen Bowman, Director of Procurement

Sustainability and Environment Advisory Group (Operations), Convenor: Nigel Paul, Director of Corporate Services

Sustainability and Environment Advisory Group (SEAG), Convenor: Prof Mary Bownes, Vice Principal External Engagement

Fairtrade Steering Group (reports to SEAG), Convenor: Karen Bowman, Director of Procurement

Find out more

Fair Trade Policy

The Suppliers’ Charter

The University is externally assessed for Procurement Capability Assessment.