Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Sustainable procurement

In 2016, the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015) came into force, which requires commercial organisations with a turnover of over £36 million to publish a statement detailing what actions they are taking to combat any risks of modern slavery in their own operations and in their supply chains.

UN SDGs: Industry, innovation & infrastucture, Responsible consumption & production, Peace justice & strong institutions

Modern slavery

Modern slavery risks are considered in relation to people working on campuses, our supply chains, fundraising and investments, overseas employment and international partnerships.

Our second statement (published in December 2017) provides an update on work related to modern slavery in the 2016/17 university year and also includes an action plan for the current year, and Key Performance Indicators, to provide measures of progress. Progress outlined in this statement includes preparing standard contract terms and conditions, research to further understand modern slavery risks in University supply chains, engagement with suppliers, and further awareness-raising.

The statement sets out our commitment to protect and respect human rights and have a zero tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking in all its forms. This builds on our long standing commitment to fair trade. 

Modern slavery

Fair trade

Supply chains

2013/14: £94.5m (57%), 2014/15: £100m (61%), 2015/16: £99.9m (53%), 2016/17: £115.3m (45%)
Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) procurement spend £m and % (2013-17)

Assessments of social responsibility and sustainability issues across a number of procurement spend categories have been undertaken to identify risks and to raise awareness of the range of issues that arise when buying goods and services. The Sustainable Public Procurement Prioritisation tool has been used to review high-risk categories including estates, food and catering, information and communication technology, laboratories and travel.

The University has in the last year increased its total amount of procurement spending with small and medium sized enterprises by over £15 million. The signficant estates development plan has contributed to an overall  increase in procurement spend. 

Sustainable Public Procurement Prioritisation tool briefs

Related links

Sustainable Development Goals Index