APUC Supply Chain Sustainability Policy


APUC aims to be a leader, on behalf of client institutions, in driving forward the sustainable procurement agenda (click here for the commonly understood definition of sustainable procurement), delivering best value for institutions whilst being committed to embedding and effecting advanced sustainable procurement. APUC shall, with the help of its client institutions' collaborative buying power, strive to bring about positive impacts on supply chain sustainability, reaching as far into its supply chain as reasonably possible.


In order to enable our client institutions to use our agreements confidently in the knowledge that issues relating to social responsibility, ethical, economic and environmental impact have been addressed to an acceptable level, or better, APUC shall:

  • Ensure its agreements remain fully EU compliant, but strongly focus on sustainable considerations wherever practicable and legal
  • Establish materially effective minimum standards for supplier sustainability compliance
  • Develop a full understanding of the level of supply chain sustainability within its supply base
  • Promote adherence to the United Nations (UN) 10 principles of the Global Compact
  • Support the Scottish Government's Sustainable Procurement Action Plan and assist institutions to achieve a step change on the Scottish Sustainable Procurement Flexible Framework
  • Manage tendering and lotting strategies that ensure fair access to contracting opportunities for businesses of all appropriate sizes and organisation types wherever relevant
  • Mitigate supply chain sustainability risks, and exploit the opportunities
  • Develop, and disseminate, the APUC Code of Conduct
  • Baseline and then manage continuous improvement in sustainable procurement by working with the supply chain
  • Foster product and/or process innovation through supply chain collaboration
  • Promote use of, and compliance to, these objectives by client institutions


This policy intends that we will exceed the normal definition of Sustainable Procurement and carry out the procurement of goods and services in such a manner as to minimise any negative environmental, ethical, economic or social impact, and promote positive impacts and change, throughout the whole life cycle and supply chain of the goods or services, in order to fulfil current needs without lessening the ability of future generations to do the same.

APUC tenders and manages Agreements on behalf of Scottish Universities and Colleges (and in some instances for other consortia/Centres of Expertise and their members across the UK) for a wide variety of goods and services. Within these agreements, sustainability impacts can cover (but are not limited to):

Social Impacts: labour standards, human rights, child labour, forced labour, discrimination, equality, health and safety, free education

Environmental Impacts: carbon emissions, carbon management, waste management, water management, pollution, technological improvements

Ethical and Economic Impacts: fraud, trade issues, corruption, poverty and low wages, bribery

APUC shall ensure delivery of this Policy through implementation of its Supply Chain Review and Audit Strategy and through communication of and adherence to its Supply Chain Code of Conduct.

Definition of “Sustainable Procurement”

The UN Marrakech Task Force definition of Sustainable Procurement is "Sustainable Procurement is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment."

United Nations (UN) 10 principles of the Global Compact

UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption:

Human Rights

  • Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
  • Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
  • Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  • Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
  • Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
  • Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
  • Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
  • Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
  • Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

Supply Chain Policy copyright © 2013 APUC Ltd.