1. Introduction

1.1 Responsible procurement means environmentally, socially (ethically) and economically responsible purchasing.

1.2 PCC’s has 7 high level principles within its sustainability strategy that it aims to adhere to, including: “Promote sustainable purchasing policies that respect economic, social and environmental limits”.

1.3 PCC aims to procure goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis and generates benefits not only for PCC but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment.

1.4 The council’s spending power can have significant influence on the key markets in which it operates and can make a significant contribution to meeting our sustainability principles. The council has a responsibility to ensure that its procurement minimises any risk of social exploitation or environmental damage within the supply chain.

1.5 Recent Best Value Statutory Guidance (September 2011) clearly states that “authorities should consider overall value, including economic, environmental and social value, when reviewing service provision”.

2. What PCC hopes to achieve through responsible procurement

2.1 Stimulation of markets for sustainable products and services leading to market innovation. This will provide economic efficiencies and a better supply of products and services which put less pressure on society and natural resources.

2.2 Supply chains that demonstrate all elements of this responsible procurement policy

2.3 Develop a greater awareness within PCC and suppliers of the benefits of responsible procurement and how these benefits can be achieved.

3. What does responsible procurement mean for PCC?

3.1 All public contracts have to observe the EC Treaty principles involving transparency, equal treatment, lack of discrimination and fairness in all public spending. All PCC procurement will also follow the over arching principle of fair and honest dealings at all times.

3.2 We would expect our suppliers, and associated companies where permissible, to comply with national and other applicable law and regulations in the countries and communities in which they operate.

3.3 Environmental

3.3.1 PCC recognises we live in a world of limited resources and aims to ensure that all procurement supports PCC’s commitment to use natural resources responsibly as stated in our sustainability strategy.

3.3.2 PCC will meet relevant environmental standards and abide by all legislation and regulations related to the protection of the environment and the handling of dangerous and hazardous materials.

3.3.3 PCC will aim to:

a) Consume less and purchase less – identify and remove wasteful practices within our own operations
b) Purchase goods that have a minimal impact on the environment both locally and globally for example locally sourced food. Areas such as natural resource use (such as energy and water), transport and waste (including packaging) will be included in our considerations.
c) Consider whole life costing when comparing and choosing products and services, this will include purchase cost, usage costs (energy/water consumption, consumables such as ink/paper), maintenance costs, disposal or recycling costs/resale value.
d) Consider waste production, including how to reuse or recycle goods at the end of their life and where this is not possible how to ensure disposal in the most environmentally sound manner
e) Increase the proportion of recycled content in our chosen products where practicable
f) To use suppliers who have a written environmental policy and internal environmental management programme appropriate to the size and nature of their operations – this would address areas such as CO2 emissions, natural resource use (such as energy and water), waste, and wood and paper management. Data would need to be provided where relevant.

3.4 Social/ethical

3.4.1 PCC has a responsibility to ensure that its procurement minimises any risk of social exploitation and that our suppliers, and associated companies where permissible, respect the human rights of their employees and the communities in which they operate.

3.4.2 PCC will ensure regulatory compliance with all national and other applicable law and regulations including the International Labour Organisations protocols in respect of child labour and bonded labour.

3.4.3 PCC will aim to use suppliers who:

a) Ensure that wages meet legally mandated minimums and industry standards
b) Ensure that working hours are in accordance with local regulation and industry practice and voluntary overtime is at manageable levels
c) Treat all employees fairly and not discriminate against any group in its employment practices
d) Provide clear and uniformly applied disciplinary practices and grievance procedures that include provisions prohibiting mental, physical and verbal abuse
e) Provide a safe work environment, abiding by local laws and regulations and respecting the health and well being of its workforce
f) Ensure all employees are able to respond appropriately where there are any concerns that children or vulnerable adults in the community may be being harmed or abused

3.5 Economic

3.5.1 PCC will ensure its procurement will be economically beneficial to all parties involved and its relationships are based on the principle of fair and honest dealings.

3.5.2 PCC is committed to delivering a diverse and competitive supply base by encouraging a mixed range of suppliers.

3.5.3 PCC will:

a) Ensure use suppliers who adhere to local laws and a stand against bribery and corruption
b) Ensure fair competition
c) Aim to promote employment and training opportunities for the residents of Portsmouth wherever possible and permissible under the law.
d) Aim to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and work with local businesses to encourage them to participate fully in procurement opportunities with the council
e) Aim to promote the Voluntary and community sector and work with local voluntary and community organisations to encourage them to participate fully in procurement opportunities with the council

3.6 Equalities

3.6.1 PCC will ensure that all procurement adheres to the Equality and Diversity Strategy for Portsmouth
3.6.2 Responsible procurement should consider its impact on society in such areas as age, disability, gender (including transgender) race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, as well as in relation to socio-economic situation and community cohesion.