In related news, London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC), the non-profit organisation in higher education procurement, has completed its initial assessment against the new international standard for sustainable procurement. It achieved a score of 3.71 out of 5 in an evaluation conducted by Action Sustainability in what’s believed to be the first such assessment in the UK public sector and in the global education sector.
Speaking at the Conference on University Purchasing at Swansea University, LUPC Director Andy Davies said “our Members want to buy their goods and services responsibly. We consider it vital that our procurement practices reflect those values. We’ve made a great start, but we won’t rest on our laurels. Now we must work hard to improve our score before the assessors return later in the year.”
James Cadman, Action Sustainability’s Lead Consultant said: “LUPC has clearly and unambiguously adopted ‘responsible procurement’ as its methodology for procuring the goods and services its Members may require. LUPC’s culture and approach, not least in relation to social issues and matters around modern slavery and the like, are forward thinking and fully embrace best practice and set a good example for many organisations to emulate.”
The leading sustainability consultancy’s report praised LUPC’s policies and strategies, identifying a ‘golden thread’ flowing from and through its policies and procedures to its individual category strategies, tender documents and agreements. “There is strong leadership, good governance and excellent engagement with stakeholders, including noteworthy collaboration with external organisations who support sustainable procurement. All the foregoing are factored into actual framework agreements and there is good evidence to this effect,” says the report.
LUPC became the first consortium of its type to publish a Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement in December 2015, to satisfy the requirements of Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Last year, LUPC also submitted written evidence, including five recommendations for tackling human trafficking and rights violations in public sector supply chains, to the Joint Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into Human Rights and Business, chaired by Harriet Harman MP.
LUPC is also a founding member of Electronics Watch, a monitoring organisation aiming to improve labour conditions across the global electronics industry. In May this year, LUPC published a guidance document, Protecting Human Rights in the Supply Chain, with partners CIPS, Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges and the Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group at the University of Greenwich.