Minimising Risk in our Supply Chains
We purchase a wide range of goods and services from suppliers including:
- IT equipment and services
- Professional services
- Residential services
- Estates and facilities management goods and services
- Food and catering supplies
- Books and printing
- Laboratory supplies
- Furniture and stationery
- Waste and recycling services
Procuring goods and services from suppliers linked to supply chains across the world presents risks of slavery and human trafficking. We believe that this risk is minimised due to the checks that we carry out on our suppliers.
Our Procurement Protocol sets out the approach that we take when procuring goods and services. The purpose of this Protocol is to ensure that all staff approach procurement in a way that is legally compliant and which minimises the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains.
We procure goods and services of the qualifying value through the APUC (Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges) Ltd Framework of which UWS is a member. APUC requires all suppliers to adopt their Supply Chain Code of Conduct, which confirms that it does not use forced, involuntary or underage labour, provides suitable working conditions and treats employees fairly.
Scottish Government Sustainable Public Procurement Prioritisation Tool
We use the Sustainable Public Procurement Prioritisation Tool which supports organisations to consider the social, environmental and economic of future purchases.
Our Catering and Events Team are committed to sustainable procurement and working with ethical suppliers. To help to achieve this aim, the Team conduct their procurement through TUCO (The University Caterers Organisation) Ltd. Through the TUCO framework, the University has recently introduced new suppliers, who align with our values, into the catering outlets on our campuses.
All coffee sold in UWS’ catering outlets is fair trade and purchased through Coffee Conscience who source ethical produce and support community initiatives globally.
Modern Slavery Compliance Statement
The Procurement Team previously issued a Modern Slavery Certificate to potential suppliers as part of the tender process. Suppliers were required to sign this Certificate, confirming that they would take steps to ensure that there was no modern slavery in their organisation. It was however identified by the Procurement Team that one-off payments and lower spends (below £25k for goods and services/below £100k for works) were not captured in this process.
From 31 September 2021, the Procurement Team have rolled out a new Modern Slavery Compliance Statement to all new suppliers. This Statement was created in conjunction with Legal Services. The Statement is included in all invitations to tender, new supplier forms and non-competitive actions. This amended process ensures that all new suppliers are required to demonstrate their commitment to eradicating modern slavery, regardless of level or frequency of spend.
To ensure that existing suppliers meet their commitments in relation to the Modern Slavery Act, the Procurement Team have implemented a new review process for 2021/22. This involves identifying a percentage of suppliers (through the Spikes Cavell Annual Spend Report) each year and reviewing their Modern Slavery Statements against the ‘Modern Slavery Checker’ created by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. This Checker helps organisation to ensure that their suppliers are taking the necessary steps to make their supply chain more transparent. The Procurement Team may request further evidence of compliance from the supplier as required.
We are a member of Electronics Watch, an organisation that works to ensure good working conditions in factories producing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) goods bought by public sector members across Europe.
The University’s investments are guided by the parameters set down in our Ethical Investment Statement. Under this Statement, we commit to investing in companies who mirror our ethical values and aims. We also specifically avoid direct investment in specific industries such as tobacco, arms and the extraction of oil and gas.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
The University is committed to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals including Goal 8 ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ and Goal 10 ‘Reduced Inequalities.’ The UWS Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Craig Mahoney and Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Vice Principal Research and Engagement have both signed the UN Sustainable Development Goals Accord in 2021. . The UWS Strategy 2025 sets ambitious sustainability goals to ‘reduce our emissions and become net zero by 2040’ and to become a ‘stand-out university committed to tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals.’