Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to taking responsibility of its own impact on the environment and society, both within the local area and across the globe. We recognise that our purchasing of goods and services has sustainable implications and we are actively working towards reducing the negative effects these purchases may cause. 

The council will embed the principles of sustainability throughout its procurement activities to ensure that only value for money products and services are selected. In all cases a balanced consideration of the social, ethical, environmental and economic impacts will be undertaken. 

Working with our suppliers is key to delivering the aims of this policy. As such we will monitor and measure their performance, encourage them to conduct their operations in line with the council’s commitments and embrace continuous improvement.

Procurement Operations

We will:

  • apply a whole life costing approach to major purchases to give a clear understanding of the full impact of purchasing decisions
  • develop and maintain a suite of procurement documents, including sustainability based selection criteria
  • develop and maintain guidance, protocols and training to support and embed the practices of sustainable procurement across the organisation
  • ensure cooperation between Corporate Procurement and council officers in other service areas to ensure consistent application of sustainability related practices
  • establish and embed a corporate approach to contract management and contract monitoring to ensure that sustainability-related promises made by suppliers are delivered upon through the lifetime of a contract
  • where appropriate, design specifications and procurement documents in a manner which allows greater access to opportunities for SMEs
  • promote the use of E-Procurement throughout the organisation to reduce the use of paper in procurement projects


Environmental Impact

We will:

  • require suppliers to take action to reduce waste and promote reuse throughout the supply chain by requesting information on processes during procurements where appropriate
  • require suppliers to support circular economy principles in their business with considerations to using/making products made from non-virgin, repurposed and local (where possible) materials; products that have minimum waste through smart design and packaging and products that can be easily disassembled and repurposed
  • require suppliers to reduce the use of single use plastics in their service provision and find sustainable alternatives (where appropriate)
  • consider the potential transport requirements associated with any contract and how these may be minimised, whilst encouraging suppliers to minimise the negative impact of their transport operations
  • commission and procure energy-efficient products and services and encourage suppliers to improve their processes in this area
  • build a requirement for CO2 reduction into the specification of contracts, where appropriate
  • require suppliers to commit to mitigating its impact on climate change through supply chain carbon reduction initiatives
  • require suppliers to demonstrate they are minimising the environmental impacts of their supply chain, choosing more sustainable and high quality products and/or services
  • consider the risk of negative water impact in specific contracts, with particular focus on waste use, waste waster and discharges into the water system
  • require suppliers to seek sustainable alternatives to materials which are scarce or at risk of becoming so
  • promote the use of, and compliance with, the council’s Minimum Food Standards in all relevant contracts
  • ensure all relevant suppliers are compliant with our Sustainable Timber Policy

Social Value

We will:

  • consider social value as part of all procurement projects
  • consult with service users and other client-side stakeholders to clearly define needs and design methods to meet these needs in a sustainable manner
  • assess suppliers’ awareness and policies in relation to equalities as part of procurement processes
  • encourage suppliers to consider how they can look after the health and well-being of their workforce
  • encourage suppliers to support regeneration projects or initiatives in the communities in which they operate
  • encourage suppliers to take steps to make supply chain opportunities accessible to local SMEs and third sector organisations
  • encourage suppliers to support employment opportunities for people who may otherwise have difficulty finding employment