All public sector procurement in the UK is required to achieve value for money and is governed by the public procurement rules to ensure that it is fair and open. In order to achieve value for money we must consider environmental, social and economic impacts within our procurement processes and utilising the Contract post award.
The Flexible Framework, the Sustainable Procurement Programme for the Public Sector, is a widely used self-assessment mechanism developed by the business-led Sustainable Procurement Taskforce, which allows organisations to measure and monitor their progress on sustainable procurement over time. Procurement are actively working towards Level 3 of the Flexible Framework, to find out more about the Flexible Framework please review the Guidance document; the matrix explains the requirements at each level that needs to be embedded in our processes to attain the required level.
For more information on how the University procures responsibly, please see the Sustainable Procurement Strategy Policy and Overview
The University is committed to its obligations under the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 and strongly believes that embedding social value in our procurement process ensures value for money.
Social Value is defined by The Sustainable Procurement Task Force as “a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment”.
We consider social value right throughout the procurement process; from the inception of the project, development of the specification, award criteria, right through to contract management.
In relation to award criteria we are specifically interested in Contractor’s impacts on the environmental, economic and social well-being of the West Midlands, as well as their proposals (and previous experience) to actively contribute to related social value improvements. We will often place importance on relevant student and graduate benefits here.
As part of our commitment to social value, the University is championing The City of Wolverhampton Charter which establishes 5 core principles which underpin the commissioning and procurement activities of key partners in the city, including Wolverhampton City Council and Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.
The core principles are:
- develop and grow a skilled workforce
- encourage healthy lifestyles and independence
- support more people to be active within their communities
- support business to develop and grow
- support the reduction to the carbon footprint and eliminate unnecessary waste
During the tender process we may ask our Contractors to sign up to the principles of the Charter and also request information concerning their inputs to the environments they already operate in, and the activities of their organisation.