Sustainable Procurement Workshop Round-up

Events, News – Thursday, May 12th, 2016


On the morning of the 12 May we welcomed 30 businesses from around the borough to discuss the topic of Sustainable Procurement. Or as Paul Grey (one of our wonderfully engaging speakers) coined it… Pandorra’s box.

We opened the event with an introduction from Victoria Howse (ISEP) and Chris Havers (CCCA) on what sustainable procurement really is. Aiming to try and set the basics we linked scope 3 emissions with the much talked about ‘triple bottom line’, and how they feature in the wide spectrum of sustainable procurement. We also dipped our toes into factors beyond carbon emissions. These include social factors and wider environmental issues which are considerations when an organisation seeks to implement a sustainable procurement process.

Paul Grey – Assessing the Supply Chain

Fuelled with some basic knowledge, we were treated to an engaging discussion from Paul Grey, Head of Facilities at Friend’s House. Paul walked us through how his organisation has grappled with setting a sustainable procurement strategy.

Starting with a thorough assessment of their scope 3 emissions, and organisational spend, Paul explained how the assessment helped them prioritise specific areas of their supply chain. From here Paul displayed a snapshot of their action plan in each spend category. While giving us an appreciation for both environmental and social factors that they consider for each category in their purchasing policy.

The Wesley Team – Supplier selection

The Wesley hotel procurement manager then guided us through their procurement processes. This was a great way to Display a key action that is required when tackling a sustainable supply chain – training your team internally. After all, they will need to carry out the company policy on daily basis. We saw the Wesley’s supplier selection criteria which not only helps to reduce the scope 3 footprint of the Wesley, but also improves quality of product, drive social change, and improve generates local business improvement.


Victoria Howse led a workshop which saw our attendees discuss as pairs their top three company spends, along with potential environmental risks to those spends. Then coming together, we shared those in order to find similarities and discuss the relevance from one organisation to another. The aim was to help them begin the process of assessment and find common ground.

Wrap – Up

Chris Havers then wrapped up the event by summarising the morning, and outlining the process that an organisation should go through if they are to embark on a sustainable procurement strategy. The key foundations are to assess and identify your priorities, develop an action and implement an action plan that involves training those internally, engaging with suppliers based on your principles through a  range of methods, and collaborating with them and others in order achieve your sustainability goals. Then of course evaluate the impact of your new system so that you can improve them.

Thank you to all those who joined, and to our speakers. It was great to see the interest, demand and enthusiasm in the room. If you have any questions please ask, also see our member’s library which has a detailed guide to sustainable procurement.