Thinking of putting your next project out for tender but not sure how to ensure the procurement process follows Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles? Below is a step-by-step guide outlining ways to include sustainability as a consideration in your procurement.
Step One: Plan the procurement
Less is more
The first step to including sustainability principles in your procurement process is identifying the need for the goods and services. Consider using demand management strategies which can be as simple as asking the question ‘is this really needed?’
- A solution-focused demand management strategy may look like this:
- Identifying areas where alternatives to buying are available, such as reusing, hiring, or sharing goods/services
Considering which actions will help to minimise the amount of goods or services purchased, such as combining behaviour change and technology
Identify sustainability outcomes
After confirming which goods and services are needed, ensure you review the list to determine and prioritise potential sustainability outcomes of the procurement; this will allow you to plan your approach to achieve these outcomes.
Undertake market research and engagement
Step Two: Approach to market
Specify sustainability requirements
- Physical or descriptive requirements: specifies the characteristics of the goods or services required
- Functional requirements: specifies proposed functions of goods and services
- Performance requirements: Defines performance standards that are to be met
Developing KPIs will allow you to measure the performance or success of individual sustainability requirements.
To ensure your KPIs are relevant and can be measured, it's a good idea to form them around the SMART guideline. (Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely)
Develop evaluation criteria
Another critical step in developing ATM documentation is to include a comprehensive evaluation criterion that can be used to assess the sustainability requirements. The following types of measures are recommended to evaluate a potential supplier’s response to the sustainability requirements:
- Qualifying: used to set minimum standards for sustainable procurement
- Rated: weighted criteria which are scored and ranked in order of merit
- Quantifiable: criteria applied to prices allowing for comparison between responses
- Fit for purpose: used to establish the functionality of goods or services and evaluate their performance.
Step Three: Evaluate and engage
Assess tender responses
If you want to know more, read our blog about how to assess the best value for money and what this means. Lifecycle costs to assist in measuring value for money.
Step Four: Report and manage
Disposal of goods
Proper management includes the assurance that goods can be disposed of in a way that aligns with CSR principles at the end of their life. Goods or materials can be recycled or recovered through commercial kerbside recycling collection services, with help from a specialist recycler or whether they can be taken back/returned to the supplier through a product stewardship scheme.
Step Five: Review and learn
Share your experience
This can be done through a variety of channels such as releasing newsletters, creating a sustainable procurement portal or discussing your experience verbally at departmental meetings.
If you're interested in learning more about sustainable procurement and ways in which you can help combat climate change then check out our blog: Sustainable Procurement. What is it and how can it help you?