The Environment Agency fully appreciates the contribution that our suppliers and our people make to delivering our corporate strategy. Our approach exceeds current government commitments and delivers sustainable outcomes. We estimate that 70 per cent of our environmental impact comes from the goods and services we buy from our suppliers. More than half of our one billion pounds annual operating cost is spent with our suppliers. By working closely with our suppliers and encouraging innovation, we have a great opportunity to reduce the negative impacts and enhance the positive impacts of our procurement activity.
What is sustainable procurement?
In the past 20 years, there has been a growing realisation that the current model of development is unsustainable. In other words, we are living beyond our means. We are consuming too many resources, generating too much waste, and causing irreversible damage to the environment and the climate. The increasing burden we are placing on the planet cannot go on forever.
Procurement has an important part to play in delivering a sustainable future. By thinking carefully about the goods, services, works and utilities we buy, how we buy them, and who we buy them from, purchasing decisions can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals such as wise use of natural resources, reduced energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, waste minimisation, fair and ethical trade, social progress, equality and economic stability.
What are the benefits?
Sustainable procurement is often thought of as an add-on or an approach that costs more. In truth, sustainable solutions can often cost less over the whole life of the purchase.
Some key benefits include:
- value for money
- protection and enhancement of the environment
- more efficient use of resources
- greater social inclusion
- fair and ethical trade
- support for innovation
- better risk management
- lower whole-life costs
- improved supplier relationships
- a diverse and flexible supply chain
- a competitive edge in your industry
Procurement contacts for suppliers
We have specialist procurement teams throughout England and Wales. If you have any questions or would like to find out who to contact, please use the following document to find the product or service your query relates to and the procurement team who can help.
We also advertise our contracts on the Contracts Finder website. For further information please see our main procurement
Environment Agency sustainable procurement tools
We are happy to share our tools with other organisations. The toolkit includes but is not limited to;
- Procurement policy
- Sustainable procurement guide
- Sustainability risk assessments (goods, services and construction)
- Managing actions template
If you would like a copy of the toolkit, please contact Sally Taylor (Sustainable Procurement Advisor)
The following document, written in 2003, can act as a reference for procurement staff when completing sustainability risk assessments for contracts.