Sustainable Procurement Case Study: Delivering well-being goals through procurement

10th September 2018

In partnership with WRAP Cymru, the NPS embarked on a process to manage the sustainability impacts associated with a new food services framework, and demonstrate their commitment to the delivery of Well-being goals.

Key Facts
The Welsh public sector spends an estimated £74m per year on food and drink services
Each tonne of food waste typically costs a business an average of £2,800
Reducing the impacts of food waste is a key priority of the Towards Zero Waste Strategy and the Well-being of Future Generations Act

Summary

In 2017 the National Procurement Service (NPS) started to refresh its national food and drink services framework, which makes the supply of food services available to more than seventy public sector organisations across Wales. Driven by commitments set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act and the Welsh Government Towards Zero Waste Strategy, the NPS have worked in partnership with WRAP to embed sustainability requirements in the tender specification, evaluation and contract management process. This case study shows how the carefully considered NPS procurement strategy will improve the sustainability of food and drink services used by the public sector in Wales.

Context

The National Procurement Service (NPS) recognises it has an important role in managing the sustainability impacts associated with the delivery of its services, and through expenditure on goods and services.

In partnership with WRAP Cymru, the NPS embarked on a process to manage the sustainability impacts associated with a new food services framework, and demonstrate their commitment to the delivery of Well-being goals.

The delivery of food manufacture, processing and distribution services typically results in the following environmental impacts:

  • Resource consumption – energy, water and materials used in food production and processing;
  • Packaging – energy, water and materials used in the manufacture of packaging materials and products;
  • Distribution – emission of carbon dioxide (C02) and other pollutants, through transport used to carry out the catering services.

In recognition of these impacts, WRAP worked with the NPS to embed sustainability requirements across its procurement strategy.

Tender process

The framework tender specified particular requirements for prospective suppliers to demonstrate:

  • How products and services delivered to customer organisation catering teams will ensure that food waste is minimised;
  • Procedures for monitoring and reporting the performance of initiatives and measures to reduce sustainability impacts;
  • Any innovations which offer potential to reduce the impact of resource consumption during service delivery.

Framework providers will also be expected to take steps towards supplying sustainable food packaging options, including:

  • Reusable delivery containers;
  • Packaging that contains recycled content;
  • Packaging that is recyclable/ compostable;
  • Take-back services for packaging.

Supply chain reporting

Driven by a desire for continual improvement and to report performance against well-being goals, sustainability measures were introduced to the framework contract management process.

Key performance indicators (KPI) developed to monitor and evaluate sustainability performance over the life of the framework contract include:

  • Carbon production - greenhouse gas emissions per kg of product;
  • Carbon distribution – greenhouse gas emissions per delivery mile;
  • Waste generation - food waste generated per kg of product;
  • Food waste not recycled – per kg of product;
  • Water consumption - per kg of product;
  • Packaging - proportion of post-consumer recycled content, as a proportion of total packaging used;
  • Sustainable and Welsh products - as a proportion of total product lines sold.

WRAP has also worked with the NPS to develop a ‘Sustainability KPI Tool’ to enable the NPS to track supplier sustainability performance across the lifetime of the framework, and report against national Well-Being goals indicators.

Lessons learnt

  • Consultation during an early stage of the procurement process ensures that the right priorities are targeted to manage relevant sustainability impacts.
  • Promoting sustainability requirements within tender specifications – that clearly articulate the impacts the procurement exercise is seeking to achieve - provides clarity to prospective suppliers around performance expectations and the outcomes sought.
  • Defining an agreed set of sustainability criteria helps to achieve strategic objectives and sustainability outcomes.