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Responsible procurement

Responsible buying is at the heart of UCL's strategy and of our Commercial & Procurement practices.

There is no single definition of responsible procurement, but it is generally considered to be a procurement process that takes account of social, environmental and economic impacts to support sustainable development. We define it as:

The process whereby environmental, social and financial impacts of all of UCL's procurement processes are taken into account, making sure to reduce negative impacts and enhance positive impacts.

Responsible procurement at UCL is a collaboration between the Sustainable UCL and Commercial and Procurement Services teams. Guided by our founding principles, our vision and values, and Sustainability Policy and Strategy, we want to make it easier for staff to make the right purchasing decision, and ensure all suppliers are supporting our sustainability ambition.

For an overview of our latest work and activities, check our Sustainability Annual Report and Modern Day Slavery statement.

Guidance for suppliers

Third party spend represents 50% of our expenditure. Our supply chain is crucial to enable delivery against our goals. 

We ask our suppliers to consider and share the social, economic, and environmental initiatives they have in place generally and specifically as these relate to UCL.  

  • What is your target date to achieve Net Zero? What is your target date to reduce your carbon emissions and by what percentage? 
  • Are you ISO400:1 accredited? What environmental management system do you use? 
  • Have you considered signing up to UCL's LEAF – Green Lab?
  • Have you signed up to any of the sustainability tools/ charters eg. Ecovardis/ Anthesis? 
  • For smaller companies – are you able to share your environmental, social governance policy and any annual reports with us to improve the transparency of our supply chain?
  • Have you completed an action plan in NETPositive (HE Industry standard sustainability supplier engagement tool) 
  • Do you have commitments to reduce your carbon footprint and how do you measure this and monitor progress? 

Find out more below about guiding initiatives and standards.

Guidance for UCL community

Information for staff

Find out about sustainable opportunities for staff at UCL, including for example, LEAF resources to make your lab sustainable, and sustainable travel resources.

Information for students

Find out about sustainable opportunities for students at UCL.