About our community interest company Our mission is to inspire sustainable business. 
We do this by building and freely sharing the body of knowledge in sustainable procurement.

How we started

Originally funded by Defra, we contributed to our mission through training, communication and events to promote the recommendations of the Sustainable Procurement Task Force.

What we do now

As a self-financing social enterprise we focus increasingly on developing new best practice and knowledge through working with businesses, standards organisations, NGOs and academia.

Our past projects include:

  • Contributed a technical author and steering group member to BSI to develop the world’s first standard for sustainable procurement, BS 8903
  • Authored and published two books on sustainable procurement related to BS 8903 and produced two educational videos and an online Gap Analysis tool
  • Provided the UK delegation in the development of the international standard for sustainable procurement, ISO 20400
  • Conducted in-depth analysis of the relationship between sustainability and value for money with the Olympic Delivery Authority and production of a learning legacy paper
  • Provided a project manager to deliver 76 Learning Legacy resources for the London 2012 Organising Committee for the Olympic Games

Our current projects include:

  • Providing expert advice and support to The Institute of Human Rights and Business to develop an independent international body to oversee human rights issues related to global sporting events such as the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cups
  • Funding and operating an international knowledge sharing resource with a free Gap Analysis tool
  • Sponsoring Doctorate level research with Loughborough University to explore the relationship between personal and corporate values and sustainability performance on major construction projects
  • Providing the services of Shaun McCarthy OBE to act as a Non-Executive Director of IEMA and as Chair of their Professional Standards Committee


ASCIC and Action Sustainability (Trading) Limited (ASTL) are sister companies, sharing a common Director of Shaun McCarthy OBE. Carol Hill and Ian Heptonstall, as co-Directors of ASCIC and ASTL respectively, provide additional expertise and knowledge to these organisations. A common goal across both organisations is to inspire sustainable procurement, which drives the agenda of their work.

We are now primarily funded by donations from our sister company Action Sustainability (Trading) Ltd. who as part of their social purpose donate 2.5% of turnover to ASCIC in addition to pro-bono work by our co-Directors Shaun McCarthy, Carol Hill and our consultancy team.