Sustainable procurement tools

The University has adopted Scottish Government tools to embed environmental, economic and social sustainability into our public procurement activity.

These robust measures help the University to meet its sustainability commitments and fulfill the Sustainable Procurement Duty by analyzing each spend area and linking practical guidance for each procurement stage. For further information, please see the Scottish Government website

Prioritisation Tool

The Sustainable Public Procurement Prioritisation tool (SPPt) brings a standard approach to sustainability assessment across different spend categories. The Social Responsibility and Sustainability Department and Procurement team work together to prioritise high risk categories, which to date include:

  • Information and communication technology
  • Laboratories
  • Estates/works
  • Food and catering
  • Travel

Each category contains several sub-categories.  The Estates version of the tool, for instance, includes sub-categories like building materials, furniture, waste, and roofing, among others. 

For each sub-category, leads from Procurement and SRS complete the scoring of risks and opportunities, as well as impact and scope for change, for multiple sustainability aspects (e.g., labour issues, climate change, fair trade and impact on equality and communities).  Workshops are then held with key stakeholders to gain their input into the assessment process and to raise awareness of the range of SRS issues that arise when buying goods and services.  The tool also sets out the University policies and strategies potentially affected or supported by each area. 

The SPPt methodology used at the University is set out in this document, and an introduction to the work being done at the University to incorporate SRS considerations into procurement are set out in this overview.

The completed SPPt outputs are available below to procurement professionals to utilise in operational procurement, as well as summarised briefings for each category:

SPPt Category    
ICT and Small Equipment SPPt Output
Labs Consumables SPPt Output
Food SPPt Output
Estates SPPT Output (Estates Brief not yet available)
Travel SPPt Output
Case Studies    
Food QMU Catering Services


Sustainability Test Tool

The Sustainability Test Tool is utilised for regulated procurements or frameworks to link high priority sustainability areas (identified through the prioritisation tool and/or consultation) with practical guidance produced by the Scottish Government to address them at each procurement stage.   The University has adapted the Test Tool, which is available for Procurement Office use below:

UoE Sustainablity Test Tool          

Instructions for Test Tool 

This version will automatically pull through information from a completed SPPt above (Test Tool and SPPt file must be open simultaneously), and also automatically link to embedded guidance, including the University's Community Benefits and Fair Working Practice procedures [EASE Protected]. 

Please contact Peter Hayakawa (51 4380) with any questions or comments