Leading the way through responsible procurement

Since September 2016, suppliers to Keele University have been able to take advantage of our online Supplier Engagement Tool. The Supplier Engagement Tool is part of Keele’s commitment to responsible procurement and will help our suppliers identify the impact their business has on the environment as well as helping them put together a sustainability plan for their future.

With over 700 suppliers already registered, we have been able to collate information on their issues relating to the environment, health and safety, customer service, technology and their priorities as a business.

Suppliers’ top concerns include customer communication, streamlining through technology, health and safety and the communication of environmental responsibility. Conversely, issues of less concern include their impact on the local area, the sending of commercial waste to landfill and sourcing products responsibly.

This initiative is part of Keele’s commitment to responsible procurement and Our Vision 2020, part of which is to demonstrate progress in relation to the Modern Slavery Act (2015). Initial feedback via the Supplier Engagement Tool indicates that although 93% of our suppliers are aware of the Act, only 4% consider it an issue for their business.

Companies identified as “high risk” by the Act include catering, IT and construction and it is our aim to make sure our suppliers take every opportunity eradicate modern slavery.

Suppliers have already been able to show the actions they have completed such as keeping a clear focus on wellbeing, issuing a positive environmental policy and reducing the need for business travel.

As suppliers continue to take advantage and register with the Supplier Engagement Tool, we will be able to use this information to demonstrate that our priorities are reflected in the actions of our suppliers.