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Sustainable procurement at Kingston University

Supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Kingston University's practices tie in with the United Nations SDGs, which aim to transform our world and promote prosperity for all while protecting our planet. The University's policy on procurement supports:

Kingston University has around 5,000 suppliers and spends approximately £60m every year on goods and services. It also provides a shared procurement service to St George's University of London (SGUL), bringing the total spend to almost £90m. Kingston University is committed to ensuring sustainability is considered as part of the procurement process, from specification through to disposal. The University believes it is imperative that such purchasing power supports institutional strategic goals – achieving best value for money and tangible benefits for the University, its student body as well as the environment, society and the economy at large.

Since 2014, the Procurement Team have put sustainability at the heart of the University's institutional Procurement Policy and Strategy. The Team is committed to ensuring a balanced consideration of social, ethical, environmental and economic impacts throughout all stages of the procurement process.

Sustainable procurement in action

As a result of our sustainable procurement processes, since 2015/16 the University has done the following:

  • Let a removals and relocations contract specifically targeted on re-use. This ensures all furniture fittings and equipment no longer required by the University are first sent to re-use rather than recycling, in line with the principles of the waste hierarchy.
  • Let a new water coolers contract to replace, where possible, the existing plastic-bottle-fed water coolers with mains-fed water, and replacing plastic disposable cups with reusable cups.
  • Let a stationery contract to a supplier, which offered 223 sustainable features (the highest of all bidders) across the top 100 purchased products and a ‘sustainable basket of goods'. This encourages staff to purchase items with a sustainability feature and gives buyers the option to convert their order to sustainable alternatives on checkout if not already chosen.
  • Asked companies tendering for new contracts to show how they can add value and enhance student experience in various ways such as providing work experience and, learning materials, running workshops and providing opportunities for students to visit state of the art facilities.
  • Introduced and rolled out a supplier sustainability tool which will help us understand and monitor how our suppliers are managing their full supply chains. This helps us identify sustainable and ethical improvements, enabling us to work with suppliers to address opportunities and comply with the Modern Slavery Act.
  • Commissioned a study which found that in 2014/15, Kingston University generated £921.1 million gross value added (GVA) and supported 12,500 jobs throughout the UK.
  • Procured a travel contract to more accurately measure the Institution's carbon footprint.
  • Become affiliate members of Electronics Watch and built their specific terms and conditions into our IT contracts.

Find out more about sustainable procurement

Contact us

Estates and Sustainability
Services Building
Penrhyn Road Campus
Kingston Upon Thames
KT1 2EE
United Kingdom
Tel: +44(0)20 8417 6520 
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