Previous sustainable procurement activities

The University of Edinburgh has a long-standing involvement in sustainable procurement activities.


  • The University of Edinburgh has won the Outstanding Procurement Team Award at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2013.
  • Embedded Methodology of Marrakech Approach into tendering and contract management.
  • The University's own Printing Services became the first department to win Gold in Edinburgh Sustainability Awards (ESA), as judged by our student assessors, for three years in a row.
  • Printed winning ‘fair trade schools’ local information booklets at University Printing Services.
  • The University of Edinburgh has endorsed the use of two Supported Business frameworks. REDROCK for document scanning and the Sign Factory for printed sign-age.
  • APUC Supply Chain Sustainability Policy: The University Director of Procurement, EUSA VP Services and people&planet are part of APUC (the centre of procurement expertise for universities and colleges) consultation group. This policy is being implemented for APUC contracted suppliers initially and is commended as best practice in sustainable procurement.
  • Fair Trade co-ordinator Liz Cooper appointed and Fair Trade academic network developing.
  • Fair Trade comms now include Facebook and Twitter and academic network blog/lectures.
  • University of Edinburgh Fairtrade Status Renewal Approval 2012-14.
  • Fairtrade Foundation, Best Steps for Fairtrade, Award 2012 used to create publicity material.
  • Working with Edinburgh College on fair trade in Edinburgh Fairtrade City group.
  • Student internships to promote fair trade opportunities, research related teaching and research activity.
  • Increased Fair trade teas/coffees used in Accommodation Services in the University by 25%.
  • Increased the use of Malawian Rice used in Accommodation Services from 120 kilos to 3,158 kilos which is fairly traded and sponsors senior school education for 35 children.


  • Developed implementation of Marrakech approach to sustainable procurement
  • Workers Rights Consortium - following procurement team investigations in 2012, the University joined WRC an independent, non-political labour rights monitoring organisation, which makes efforts to collaborate with workers, non-governmental organisations, and other universities and colleges, to improve the conditions of workers in the garment industry.Our staff/student Fair Trade Steering Group will keep this under review.
  • Printing Services Gold Winners for 2nd year running in the Edinburgh Sustainability Awards for the second year running.
  • Procurement Capability Assessment: The procurement office achieved full marks in the sustainability criteria.
  • Attained Investors in People standard in 2011/12
  • The Director of Procurement, Karen Bowman, was awarded the Principal’s Medal 2011/12 for outstanding service in developing procurement services e.g. on whole life value for money and sustainability.
  • Short-listed for the third year running as an Outstanding Procurement Team Finalist in the ‘Times Higher Education, Leadership and Management Awards 2012 for embedding sustainable procurement risk management and were the Winners of the ‘Government Opportunities’ GO Scotland Team Award 2011 and GO UK National Team Award 2012.
  • Increased use of eProcurement – 24% increase in the number and a 31% increase in the value, of orders being placed via eProcurement. This equates to useful efficiencies in staff time and accuracy


  • Developed awareness raising and a training plan for sustainable procurement
  • Co-lead the Scottish Universities’ Sustainable Procurement Topic Support Network
  • Developing a tool to assess the carbon footprint of suppliers in collaboration with Business School, ENDS Carbon and SpikesCavell


  • Developed and delivered a Sustainable Procurement Action Plan
  • Appointed Nigel Paul, Director of Corporate Services, as our Sustainable Procurement Champion
  • Established teams to focus on a range of sustainability issues in procurement
  • Developed our system for considering risks related to procurement to include: equality, environment, disposal, social issues, reputation and health and safety
  • Assisted small businesses that supply the University, through the use of eProcurement and support to those awarded contracts