Integrating sustainability and social value into our procurement processes

  • 07/05/2024
  • Written by NOE CPC

As the NHS continues its journey to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045, the environment has taken centre stage, meaning sustainability and social value (SSV) have emerged as an indispensable consideration for NHS organisations within both daily operations and procurement. At NOE CPC (North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative) we have been championing initiatives to embed effective SSV practices throughout our procurement lifecycles. Our approach not only anticipates and aligns with national mandates but also prioritises knowledge sharing and best practices with both members and suppliers to support procurement projects.

We embarked on our SSV journey in 2021 where we started to integrate sustainability and social value into our framework procurement processes before NHS England’s formal requirements were applied. Through proactively engaging with suppliers on SSV considerations, we seek to demystify national requirements, elicit better tendering commitments, and ultimately deliver enhanced value to the end users continuously.

Central to our approach is the integration of SSV considerations at every stage of the procurement lifecycle. We have developed robust supplier guidance, which not only aligns with national policies such as the NHS Net Zero Supplier Roadmap but also serves as a gateway for fostering collaborative relationships with suppliers. By prioritising ongoing engagement with suppliers post-tender stage and throughout contract management, we ensure that SSV remains a continuous focus rather than a one-time compliance exercise.

We have also invested time and commitment to share best practices and support procurement projects through capacity building and knowledge dissemination. Our extensive experience in SSV means we can integrate these considerations as strategic imperatives in framework designs and bespoke procurement activities. This proactive approach not only enhances stakeholder awareness, but also empowers procurement teams to make informed decisions aligned with relevant sustainability objectives.

Our efforts to support customers and suppliers through initiatives such as bespoke training sessions and webinars are invaluable. They allow customers and suppliers to gain a greater understanding of sustainability requirements and integrate them seamlessly into their procurement processes. By simplifying complex policies and providing ongoing support, we ensure that customers and suppliers are equipped to meet sustainability expectations.

Our holistic approach which combines proactive engagement with suppliers, strategic integration of SSV considerations, and support for procurement projects reaffirms our commitment to drive positive change and sustainability across the procurement landscape.

For more information on our upcoming SSV training sessions for customers and suppliers, click here to view the Events page on our website.

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