London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) sees collaboration with like-minded organisations as key to tackling challenges such as due diligence in supply chains.
The LUPC is working on a due diligence tool to assess its suppliers and enable the organisation to work with them to increase sustainability initiatives.
The tool will include a set of questions for suppliers and the LUPC will then assess them based on responses.
Don Bowman, director at the LUPC, told SM: “We can work with suppliers to develop an action plan for increasing their sustainability initiatives and point out areas that we think they can improve. It's about working with our suppliers to up their game.”
Bowman said the LUPC will begin assessing suppliers in the next three months and once the tool as been trialled, it can then be rolled out to the organisation’s members.
It has been collaborating on the project with buying consortium Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) in Scotland, which has a similar ethos with regards to responsible procurement.
Bowman explained: “Rather than do these things in isolation, you get a lot more bang for your buck if you're collaborating with like-minded organisations.”
Darran Whatley, senior contract manager and head of responsible procurement at the LUPC, added when the organisation was first assessed against guidance on sustainability in the procurement process (ISO20400) in 2017, the organisation was presented with some challenging areas to improve on.
“Some areas like due diligence, content management and risk assessment are quite big areas to deal with so we found those quite a challenge as a small organisation,” he said.
“We were very honest with the external assessors. They worked with us and gave us a number of improvements that we could implement and because of that, we've shown a really good improvement year-on-year.”
As a result, the organisation was able to increase its score on its approach to sustainable procurement to 4.33 out of 5, from 3.72 in 2017, according to external assessors Action Sustainability.
Whatley said part of this success can be attributed to collaboration with other organisations.
“What we've tried to do, and it’s something we think we do best, and that's collaborating with other organisations. We've tried to collaborate on these areas with organisations that have similar ideals and objectives to us to try and achieve those things,” he said.
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