This section looks at how the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) incorporates its sustainable development policies into its procurement activities. It is designed to give suppliers an idea of how these policies influence the contract letting and contract management processes of the DWP.
As part of the contract letting and management process, DWP's commercial representatives will ask current and potential suppliers about sustainability in the delivery of contracts, including their supply chain. The Department wants to be confident that equality and diversity, equal opportunity, fair pay and good employment practice exist throughout the supply line. This is because the activities of any organisation, however large or small, can contribute to meeting our Greening Government Commitments and objectives.
Contact the Sustainable Procurement Team
The DWP has a dedicated Sustainable Procurement Team, providing advice in all aspects of sustainable procurement in the department. Feedback and suggestions are welcomed from current and prospective suppliers of both goods and services.
Contact the Sustainable Procurement Team, Susan Carr and Dave Blackburn, via the team email.
It is the DWP vision to deliver best practice Sustainable Procurement (SP), help deliver the required government outcomes, ensure DWP contracts provide best value for money and that DWP can demonstrate continuous improvement against government sustainable targets.
DWP supports the most vulnerable in society, working to reduce child and pensioner poverty, helping those who can work to do so, and ensuring people with disabilities can play their full part. To support its aims the Department seeks to promote economic growth, tackle poverty and social exclusion, and minimise its own environmental impact. These objectives align with and fully support the UK Strategy for Sustainable Development - Securing the future.
The DWP Sustainable Procurement Strategy is a key driver to ensuring that we specify sustainable goods and services wherever possible, and encourage best sustainable practice throughout our supply chains. If DWP is to fully meet its responsibilities and match the Government’s commitment and targets for sustainable development then we need to deliver, and we are looking to our suppliers to help us achieve more.
Sustainable Procurement Risk Assessment Methodology
DWP uses the Sustainable Procurement Risk Assessment Methodology (SPRAM), a tool developed in-house for ensuring that the Department's sustainable procurement targets and objectives are factored in to contract programs. All suppliers can expect to be subject to a SPRAM assessment.
Government Buying Standards
The Government Buying Standards (GBS) are a set of sustainable specifications for a range of commonly purchased products. These include:
- IT equipment,
- white goods, and
The GBS are frequently updated to ensure they represent best value for money for the taxpayer while helping deliver the departments' Greening Government Commitment.
Central Government departments and their arms length bodies must comply with the GBS.
The GBS are comprised of both:
- a set of mandatory minimum standards (set at the market average level), and
- best practice specifications.
The best practice specifications are more stretching than the mandatory minimum. They are voluntary for those Departments that wish to purchase the “best in class” products in certain areas. The best practice specifications are likely to become the minimum standard in the future. DWP aims to meet the best practice specifications wherever possible.
Government recognises GBS as an important tool in
- delivering sustainable procurement, and
- progressing towards the Greening Government Commitment targets.
DWP will publish data as to how our suppliers are progressing against the GBS as and when it comes available.
- Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services (24KB) updated 18 July 2011
- Assessment of current DWP catering service – November 2011 (51KB)
DWP achieves Carbon Trust Standard re-certification
The Carbon Trust Standard is a mark of excellence awarded to organisations for measuring, managing and reducing their carbon emissions – and DWP has been awarded re-certification.
DWP is the largest public sector organisation to achieve this award, sharing this accolade alongside household names such as Lloyds, Asda and M&S. Achieving the Standard is verifiable proof that DWP is a leading example to both public and private sectors in delivering carbon reductions of 33% in the past 4 years, essential in the fight against climate change as well as reducing costs.
Collaborative initiatives have enabled DWP to continue to reduced its emissions, supporting re-certification.
Achieving re-certification was the culmination of long-planned energy reduction schemes in conjunction many of DWP suppliers such as installing the Combined Heat and Power plant in Quarry House in Leeds, implementation of new technology and estate rationalisation, combined with new, stringent, housekeeping arrangements. The new task to deliver a 25% carbon reduction by 2015, therefore, becomes more challenging every year as scope diminishes and we need to continue to work collaboratively to reduce emissions.
You may be one of the many suppliers who already contributes to the carbon reduction agenda via DWP’s sustainable procurement programme. We would like to thank you for any contributions to date and request your continued support – it is vital if we are to achieve these new challenging targets. I urge you to continue to discuss with your departmental category or supplier relationship manager about how we can continue to collaboratively work successfully to reduce DWP’s emissions.