Be Birmingham Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable Procurement July 07 – March 08

Over the last year, LWM has continued working on various aspects of Be Birmingham‘s procurement including identifying appropriate and practical tools for measuring carbon impacts of procurement decisions, and the production of a sustainable procurement compact for all Be Birmingham partner organisations to sign up to. This compact was successfully launched on 12th March 2008 by the chair of Be Birmingham, Cllr Paul Tilsley.

Sustainable procurement compact (external link to pdf on Be Birmingham’s website)

Birmingham’s is the first local strategic partnership to agree a joint approach to procure more sustainably. The compact is essentially about using procurement to maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits to the communities of Birmingham and a taking responsible approach to procurement’s wider impacts. It commits partners to relevant staff training, development of policies for individual organisations, and identification of priorities for sustainable procurement.

Principles include ensuring organisations offer opportunities to small businesses and social enterprises, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and using procurement to stimulate sustainable markets and low carbon technologies.

If you would like to find out more about the compact, the process involved in producing it, and whether your local strategic partnership might be interested in adopting something similar, please contact LWM to discuss it further.

Sustainable procurement August 06 – March 07

Last year, as a precursor to the work above, LWM undertook a project commissioned by the Birmingham Strategic Partnership (now renamed Be Birmingham) to produce a sustainable procurement action plan for the BSP members. The project was funded following a review of the Community Strategy, which highlighted the potential of procurement, and was intended to help meet commitments laid down in the Local Area Agreement (LAA), where environmental sustainability is one of the cross-cutting themes designed to influence all areas of the agreement. A reduction of C02 emissions is one of the key outcomes of the ‘safer and stronger communities’ block, and the project sought to develop procurement processes to achieve wider community benefits, also relating to the ‘stronger and safer communities’ block and to the commitment to wider community engagement. The project also linked with the National Sustainable Procurement Action Plan, and had a role in helping partners to meet requirements and guidelines from bodies such as the Audit Commission and the Environment Agency.

The completed reports can be found here:

Full report: Developing Sustainable Procurement in Birmingham

Summary report: Making Procurement Work for a Sustainable Birmingham

A follow-on project has now begun (as of July 2007), with a focus on delivering the objectives on the community strategy through procurement; and on identifying appropriate carbon footprint tools and how to combine them with other elemeents of sustainability.

Further information

For any other information about the project, please contact Karen Leach at LWM – see contact details in the left margin.

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