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The University of Gloucestershire has united its Finance, Sustainability and Estates teams to embed responsible purchasing fully into strategy, decision-making, staff responsibilities and reporting tracks. This mature approach, based on a new, comprehensive risk and impact assessment, is now routine policy and practice across our devolved purchasing process. We have actively engaged 100% of the lead buyers in our priority spend categories, creating bespoke training and usable guidance tools.
Interventions based on our revised principles led to over £950K savings in 16-17, showing how sustainable procurement is simply good business practice. We also share the approach with our partners, staff and students, showing them how principles of conscious consumption can be used by everyone, to make savings, reduce waste, influence business practice and improve supply chains. This tangible impact strengthens the case for sustainability despite the small size of our organisation and the tight constraints on our institutional purse.
Top 3 learnings:
1. Apply principles of user led design - actively involve staff who need to use your tools to guide their work and put in the time up front.
2. Work collaboratively across teams, sideways, upwards and outwards, to secure the organisational momentum for strategic change.
3. Often people have already made great decisions and taken innovative actions – ask around to uncover what is already happening on the ground.
The number one resource
for sustainability in post-16 education