The Task

To align themselves with the ISO 20400 standard for Sustainable Procurement, Anglian Water Services (AWS) were seeking support in understanding and addressing the sustainable procurement performance across its business.

There was a need for an in-depth and objective review of Anglian Water’s performance in sustainable procurement. Wide internal stakeholder involvement was required and actions necessary to drive change forward were prioritised. Action Sustainability’s assessment and subsequent report’s findings and recommendations will help AWS take their procurement to even higher levels of sustainability.

The Action

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

The first phase of the evaluation involved reviewing AWS’s documentation, such as policies, risk assessments, category management plans, job descriptions, tender procedures (PQQ & ITT documents) and examples of recently undertaken tender exercises.

The second part of our process involved a series of 1:1 interviews around sustainability, sustainable procurement with key people from AWS’s business, at different levels and in different roles, all with an influence on spend. The interviews were based on the key elements of the ISO 20400 standard – fundamentals, policy and strategy, enablers and process. Through our discussions, we were able to explore how effectively their sustainability objectives are deployed through procurement.

The Outcome

The analysis provided a confidence that AWS has tried to improve it’s processes and approach to sustainable procurement since the last assessment against BS 8903 and there are plenty examples of good practice.

AWS’s approach to sustainable procurement was assessed as being ‘established’. The evaluation results gave AWS an action plan of activities to do, the timescales and complexity in carrying them out to reach their sustainability goals.

The recommendations will bring about; further upskilling of staff competence in the realm of sustainability, alignment of the procurement process with organisational goals, sustainable and innovative solutions, cost saving through challenging the need. As well as better supply chain relationships through supplier relationship and contract management with 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.