The Task

Avanti West Coast were seeking support in understanding the gaps in their sustainable procurement performance across their business, having recently developed their sustainable procurement and supply chain strategy based on their organisational goals, named ‘Our Responsible Plan’.

There was a need for an in-depth and objective review of their performance in sustainable procurement with wide internal stakeholder involvement and prioritised actions necessary needed to drive the change required. Action Sustainability’s assessment and the subsequent report provided findings and recommendations which will help Avanti bridge the gaps to ensure the golden thread methodology is followed, allowing procurement to fully embed sustainability into its processes and influence the supply chain.

The Action

Action Sustainability undertook a desktop review of documents and conducted interviews with relevant staff across various functions and departments from Avanti and produced a report based on the findings, putting forth recommendations for areas of improvement.

The first phase of the evaluation involved reviewing Avanti’s documentation such as policies, strategies, tender procedures (PQQ & ITT documents) and example tender exercises recently undertaken.

The second part of our process involved a series of 1:1 interviews around sustainability, sustainable procurement, and, contract management. Key people from Avanti’s business and from First Group, at different levels and in different roles, all with an influence on spend were involved in the process.

The interviews were based on the key elements of the ISO 20400 standard – Fundamentals, Policy & Strategy, Enablers and Process. Through our discussions, we were able to explore how effectively sustainability objectives are deployed through procurement.

The Outcome, Benefit, and lessons learnt

The analysis provided confidence in the sustainable procurement and supply chain strategy developed by Avanti West Coast to align its processes and approach to ISO 20400 and there are plenty examples of good practice. Their approach to sustainable procurement was assessed as being ‘established’ and on the higher end of the spectrum.

The evaluation results gave Avanti an action plan of activities to do, the timescales, and the complexity in carrying them out in order to reach their sustainability goals. The recommendations will bring about alignment of the procurement process with organisational goals, sustainable and innovative solutions, prioritisation of risk, and opportunities to inform the procurement strategies. As well as better supply chain relationships through supplier relationship and contract management and guidance to carry out measurement and monitoring.

The ISO 20400 Standard is an ideal platform to use to assess and then improve your procurement, supply chain management and sustainability outcomes.