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The University of Southampton

Sustainable Purchasing

Choosing To Source Responsibly 

Embedding sustainable and responsible Procurement into our spending and contracting activities provides environmental, social and economic improvement and supports the transition to a more resource efficient, lower carbon economy as reflected in the University's Sustainability Strategy.

The Procurement team is using a Flexible Framework tool to help us focus on how to practically embed sustainability within procurement processes. The Flexible Framework has a number of themes that is considered as part of our Procurement process: People, Policy, Procurement Process, Engaging Suppliers and Measurement & Results. This helps to support progress with the University’s Sustainability Strategy.

The Procurement team is fully committed to playing its part in engaging with our suppliers to ensure they recognise and understand their role in supporting the University's goals.  We will do this through engagement programs and promoting continued sustainability improvement.


In practice
Higher Education Institutions and their supply chains have the ability to make positive changes.  You do too, by being open to considering sustainability and social value choices for the purchases you make, such as:

- Consider whether the items you purchase are necessary to you, every purchase has a carbon footprint

- Buying locally to reduce the miles that your items have travelled

- Choose to shop second-hand

- Donate any unwanted items to charity

- Research the environmental and ethical policies of retailers to help you to make informed decisions on where to shop

- Reduce your plastic waste by remembering to take reusable mugs, water bottles and shopping bags when you go out


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