Sustainable UCL


How to Buy Stuff

Understand how to buy and procure at UCL in a sustainable manner.

Our Suppliers

UCL ensures that social, environmental and economic sustainability requirements are developed and required when tendering for approved suppliers on the eMarketplace and Contracted Supplier List. This ensures staff are buying from suppliers that are supporting UCL’s sustainability ethos. Other benefits of these suppliers include:

  • Dedicated account managers to discuss requirements and orders.
  • Purchases can be made seamlessly with the MyFinance system.
  • Usually UCL has negotiated improved terms and warranties for buyers.
  • Suppliers will know the UCL Estate and buildings.
  • UCL manages the contracts to ensure suppliers meet UCL requirements.


The eMarketplace is where staff can buy everyday consumables such as paper, stationery and cleaning products, lab items and more. Visit our resources page for sustainable buying guides (Link tbc) to assist in finding sustainable items.

Contracted suppliers

UCL Procurement services have a list of UCL contracted suppliers for a range of good and services. These suppliers have been vetted through an internal tender exercise and/or from a Consortia National Framework, including on their sustainability credentials. Staff must firstly see if these suppliers can meet your needs.

Buying Tips

  • Consolidate orders - Each order has to be processed internally, sent to a supplier, who then sends a delivery vehicle out to UCL buildings. This costs UCL and has environmental impacts too. So, consider whether you could consolidate orders with other staff/teams or bulk buy.
  • Can’t find the item you want - Request different items on the eMarkeplace by completing this form.
  • Excess packaging – Tell us if suppliers used excessive packaging by completing this form.

When should I get quotes or do tender?

When obtaining goods, services, or equipment, there are spending thresholds to determine when to get quotations or conduct tenders. See the thresholds and required processes here.

Advice for purchasing during COVID-19 lockdown

UCL Finance have created guidance for staff purchasing during Covid-19 lockdown, which all staff must follow. This is to manage resources effectively during the period:

  • Please exercise maximum restraint over all non-pay expenditure, making purchases only where absolutely essential.
  • Where spend is essential, you should use existing agreements with UCL’s preferred suppliers for common goods such as IT hardware and software, laboratory and workshop consumables and office supplies, as well as professional services including consultancy, advertising and media buying. By using our preferred suppliers, rather than making one-off purchases, you will be helping UCL achieve better value for money. More information about making purchases for UCL business is available on the Procurement Services website.
  • Please also delay where possible any large expenditures until after the pandemic has passed.  This is particularly important where these purchases won’t lead to material benefits to UCL in the short term.
  • Where items are of low value and need to be delivered to a home location, please continue to follow UCL’s expenses guidance.
  • If you are required to travel for essential reasons please use Key Travel to make the booking. Using Key Travel allows UCL to contact you quickly and bring you back to the UK safely in case of emergency.  As a consequence, UCL will no longer accept expense claims for any international travel bookings.

For more information about purchasing, visit the FBA webpage and UCL Corona Virus webpage.