ARCHIVE: Better commissioning practices and procedures
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The UK Government Sustainable Procurement Action Plan (SPAP) highlighted that Government wants to move towards government supply-chains and public services that are increasingly low carbon, low waste and water efficient, which respect biodiversity and deliver our wider sustainable development goals. Defra has publicly committed to be an exemplar on sustainable procurement by performing at Level 5 of the Sustainable Procurement Task Force Flexible Framework. In delivering our ambition, and recognising our suppliers’ importance in this, Defra has set up and now coordinates a supplier engagement programme (with awards) which consists of various events, such as workshops, conferences, meetings and fora, and brings together suppliers with Defra policy makers and procurers. This has been welcomed and embraced by our suppliers and has received a lot of attention from other parts of Government
The events aim to raise awareness of sustainability issues within the supply chain and highlight how they can help us deliver on our sustainability commitments. Following the 2nd annual conference, Defra held a more in-depth set of sustainable procurement workshops – interactive sessions that reinforced messages around the Flexible Framework, the prioritisation methodology, timber procurement policy, resource efficiency, carbon emissions and energy use, and emerging social Issues (included equality and diversity and third sector).
The event comprised six differently themed workshops which took place six times during the day so that all of the suppliers had the opportunity to attend each one. One of these sessions, focused on social issues and in particular, promoting diverse supply chains. It opened with presentations on the third sector and diversity, inviting suppliers’ views on the wider innovative, social and environmental benefits they might capture through engagement with third sector organisations . Suppliers were encouraged to align themselves with Defra’s diversity policies and sustainability issues and to be able to demonstrate they had proactive diversity policies and plans which were monitored to support their approach.
Suppliers were positive in their response on increasing diversity in the supply chain. There was widespread support amongst participants for joint Defra/supplier action plans on further information and how to incorporate these issues into contracting/tendering processes.
Page last modified: 3 November 2008
Page published: 3 November 2008