6. Ethical Procurement and Fairtrade
Any changes in 2013?
No. People & Planet is committed to researching and including criteria for other procurement areas (such as ICT & construction) as part of an ongoing review of all Green League criteria for 2014 onwards.
Why measure this?
Whilst other criteria (1 & 3) assess an institution’s commitment to sustainable procurement in terms of environmental impacts, the People & Planet Green League also looks at the social and ethical impacts of sustainable procurement, in keeping with Defra’s definition of sustainable procurement in ‘Procuring the Future’.
A sustainable university will consider its impacts in the UK and beyond, particularly through its purchasing policies. Buying and promoting Fairtrade goods is a recognised way of raising living standards for farmers and primary producers in developing countries. Fairtrade University certification is an objective standard, accredited by the Fairtrade Foundation, which demonstrates that an institution is, at least in part, considering its wider social and economic impacts.
People & Planet believes it is important for institutions to demonstrate commitment to the social and ethical impacts of their whole supply chains (across the broad range of products and services they procure) by taking concrete and credible steps beyond Fairtrade’s focus on helping primary producers. Therefore points are awarded to universities that have steering groups which address these impacts across product areas not covered by Fairtrade.
The garment industry is widely recognised as one in which serious human, gender and labour rights abuses are commonplace. Whilst garments are not the largest area of spend for universities it is an area in which the university sector can drive significant positive change and reduce the sustainability risk in its purchasing decisions. For this reason, the People & Planet Green League measures whether or not a university (or their purchasing consortium) is affiliated to the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) which requires all garment suppliers to disclose the location of factories and permit inspections. The WRC works with institutions to develop a Code of Conduct for their garment suppliers and helps institutions or purchasing consortia to work collectively to impact on human, gender and labour rights abuses. For further details contact us.
How are points allocated?
Total: 2 points
Institution is an accredited Fairtrade University with the Fairtrade Foundation. 1 Point
Institution has a joint staff/student steering group with the remit of increasing the sustainability - including environmental, social and economic standards - of all procurement categories. 0.5 Points
Institution is affiliated to the Worker Rights Consortium, in order to monitor the suppliers and parts of its garment supply chains that are not covered by Fairtrade certification. 0.5 Points
How is this criteria assessed?
6a) Fairtrade University status
Information for this criteria is provided directly by the Fairtrade Foundation and points will be awarded to all institutions awarded Fairtrade University status by 1 April 2013.
6b) Does your institution have a joint staff/student steering group with the remit of increasing the sustainability, including environmental, social and economic standards, of all procurement categories?
No points unless separate steering group exists (or working groups within an existing Fairtrade steering group) with specific remit which includes one or more of the following:
- Expanding procurement of Fairtrade products beyond existing categories.
- Reducing violations of labour rights in international supply chains.
- Introducing recommendations of EAUC Promoting Poverty Aware Procurement on campus, See the EAUC project Promoting Poverty Aware Procurement on Campus information sheets for procurement categories steering group should cover.
No points unless the steering group includes at least one senior procurement manager and student representative.
- Upload terms of reference of steering group or minutes from relevant steering group clearly highlighting its remit.
- Statement from responsible party confirming remit and make-up of joint student and staff steering group/working group including contact details for responsible party.
6c) Is your university affiliated to the Worker Rights Consortium, in order to monitor the suppliers and parts of its supply chains that are not covered by Fairtrade certification?
- No points if evidence not provided
- Points can be awarded if the university is part of a purchasing consortium which is affiliated to the Worker Rights Consortium
- No points awarded if the institution is still only discussing or working towards affiliation.
- Certificate of affiliation or minutes of the meeting at which affiliation was approved at senior level.
- Statement from responsible party confirming affiliation to the Worker Rights Consortium, including date of affiliation and contact details for the responsible party.