Sustainable Procurement and Responsible Investment

Sustainable Procurement

The University’s Sustainable Procurement Policy and Strategy ensures that all staff involved in the procurement of goods and services routinely consider how we can enhance and protect our shared environment, contribute to the health and well-being of society and build a sustainable economy through our procurement decisions. It sets out six priorities, which are to:

  1. Optimise the use of natural resources
  2. Manage waste in the supply chain effectively
  3. Manage the delivery of goods and services effectively
  4. Support the management of our carbon impact
  5. Work with suppliers and departments to raise awareness of sustainability
  6. Ensure that ethical considerations and a living wage are considered

The Environmental Sustainability team works closely with the Finance Division’s Purchasing team to implement the Sustainable Procurement Strategy.

Further information on sustainable purchasing at Oxford can be found here.

Introduction to Purchasing training includes a section on sustainability and can be viewed by staff and students here

Sustainable procurement impacts and opportunities

The University is committed to ensuring that the environmental, social and economic impacts of its purchases are understood and managed.

For further guidance when purchasing view the assessment categories which break down sustainable considerations for different types of purchase.  

  • Sustainable Food
  • University Food Policy
  • Purchasing Food/Catering Services
  • Community Food
  • Energy Purchasing
  • Living Wage

Sustainable food

Food Policy

The University’s Food Policy will steer and coordinate all the sustainable food initiatives occurring across the University.

Purchasing food/catering

Detailed guidance on the negative impacts and opportunities is provided in here

The University’s three preferred suppliers can provide information on their accreditations and certificates, such as the Marine Stewardship Council which certifies sustainable seafood, as well as the events they run, for example Fair Trade Week.

Community food

In partnership with the Oxford University Student Union an ‘Incredible Edible’ trial vegetable and herb plot has been created outside Earth Sciences. This is maintained by staff and students and grown for sharing; if successful, it will be repeated at other sites.

To be a part of this or other similar initiatives students should contact OUSU. University staff can contact OUSU or the Environmental Sustainability team.

Energy purchasing

The collegiate University purchases gas and electricity via a flexible purchasing contract designed to achieve the best possible price and avoid market spikes.

We are committed to purchasing and investing in sustainable energy: since 2010 we have purchased electricity generated from large scale hydroelectric sources for 99% of our electricity demand.

Living Wage

Oxford is accredited as a living wage employer. The bottom points of the pay scale are therefore reviewed annually in line with the increase in the living wage. More details are available here

You can find the University of Oxford on the Living Wage website.

Responsible Investment

The Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee (SRIRC) was established by the University’s Council to carry out the objectives of the University Policy on Socially Responsible Investment. For further information on responsible investment, including fossil fuel divestment, visit the SRIRC’s web page.