Sustainable Procurement

'The Procurement team works with colleagues and suppliers alike to drive value and reduce risk across supply chains that serve the University.  As a sign of the University’s commitment to sustainability, Procurement has earned the CIPS Ethical mark and appears on its Ethical Register. Procurement's Policies and Procedures with embedded sustainability considerations are developing in line with the Flexible Framework. 

Social Value

The University of Bristol has produced a new Social Value Statement (PDF, 152kB). This statement describes its approach and commitment to delivering Social Value as a Global Civic University, through working with suppliers and supply chains. For further information on the Social Value statement contact

Fair Trade‌

At the University we are committed to purchasing in a way that benefits the communities and economies of producers, and so have a number of initiatives to help us achieve this. We have been awarded the Fairtrade 1 star status which marks our achievements in making positive changes at the University of Bristol to support fair trade. Find out more on our Fair Trade web page

Sustainable Sourcing Tools

The University is developing guidance and tools to aid sustainable sourcing decisions. For more information on the guidance or to request workshops contact

Circular Economy 

The university is adopting a Circular Economy‌ approach to managing its resources. This will redefine how our institution manages its resources, away from a linear model of ‘make, purchase, consume and dispose’.

Sustainability Impact Assessments

Sustainability impact assessment, is a support tool to aid decisions in relation to policies, programmes, projects, strategies and action plans. This approach explores a combination of economic, environmental and social impacts and can help with strategic planning and risk management. The University has developed guidance Sustainability Impact Assessment and Whole Life Costing (PDF, 500kB) to assist with this planning. The guidance should be viewed from a life cycle perspective

Whole Life Costing Guidance 

This is simply a way of making the best possible decisions on behalf of The University. It offers an approach that supports critical thinking before a final decision is reached using practical examples. It is intended to help staff feel supported when making decisions. 

These pages offer an outline of the ethos and approach in addition to tools and techniques that can be used to help improve decision making. We accept that no decision will be perfect but we are keen to employ a consistent approach to allow us to improve.

 Flexible Framework 

 The Flexible Framework is a widely used self assessment tool developed the Sustainable Procurement Task Force. The tool and associated guidance helps  organisations to measure and monitor their progress on sustainable procurement.

For large scale and very complex procurement exercises it can be helpful to prioritise where to focus resources. DEFRA's Prioritisation Tool can assist with this. 

Did you know?

University wins three Fair Trade awards

In March 2019, the University of Bristol won three silver South West Fair Trade Business Awards! The awards recognised our achievements in the categories of Best Fair Trade University or College, Best Fair Trade Café or Restaurant, and Best Fair Trade Accommodation or Conference Centre. Read the full news story here!

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