Sustainable procurement

The globalisation of sourcing and consumption patterns, coupled with the pace of change are both causing and resulting in more complex supply chains, where the economic, social and environmental implications need to be better understood.

The role of procurement has traditionally been to balance the cost, quality, delivery and service of purchasing goods and services. However, we recognise that the decisions made by the procurement function can have a significant impact on securing sustainable materials, minimising environmental and social impacts and reducing operational risk, in addition to reducing costs.

Procurement can directly influence the sustainability of the materials, products, and services, for example, undertaking a demand review; understanding the whole life costs and sustainability; contributing to the design of products for material substitution, disassembly, recycling and reuse by engaging design teams and suppliers early in the procurement process; working with suppliers to improve the sustainability of their operation and determining how waste is handled at the end-of-life.

Increasingly, organisations are realising that sustainability can be of a very high value, delivering corporate objectives like growth and product innovation, and sustainability objectives like zero waste to landfill. Organisations are rethinking their procurement strategies and processes: from questioning the need; assessing options; specifying requirements; engaging the market and supplier selection; tender evaluation and award, to contract management and supplier development.

LRS is a preferred supplier to government for the National Sustainable Public Procurement Programme (NSPPP), which seeks to make it clear to government employees that sustainable procurement is simply good procurement practice.

Our team has first-hand experience of procurement gained from within the private and public sectors and includes individuals who have worked for organisations that have pioneered sustainable procurement. We have helped clients develop procurement policies and strategies, supported procurers in developing practical, role based sustainable practices, created both generic and category specific guidance and training courses, and worked with the supply chain to improve the sustainability of their operations.

LRS ran the Mayor of London's Green Procurement Code, from 2001-13, undertakes the audits for the CIPS Sustainable Procurement Review, and provides the newest thinking in the sector with our own independent Responsible Procurement Code - assessing responsible procurement performance with Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze certification. Our approach to working closely with clients to help them to integrate sustainability into existing procurement strategies and processes helps ensure that it becomes 'business as usual'.

Our main areas of focus include:

To find out more, or to discuss a project with us, please call Andy Marsh on 020 7936 9761 or