The task

ENGIE UK & Ireland formerly traded as Cofely UK until early 2016. In 2014, as part of their sustainability programme, Cofely UK reached out to Action Sustainability and invited them to undertake an assessment of their procurement activities in relation to BS 8903:2010 – Principles and framework for procuring sustainably – Guide. As part of their transition to ENGIE UK & Ireland, the company came back to Action Sustainability in the summer of 2016 and invited them to undertake a reassessment of their procurement activities with a view to benchmarking themselves against best practice and the guidance laid out in the standard and supporting publications, e.g., ‘The Sustainable Procurement Guide: Procuring Sustainably using BS 8903’.

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Action

Action Sustainability was commissioned by ENGIE UK in July 2016 to undertake an assessment against the three elements of BS8903:2010, namely ‘Fundamentals’, ‘Enablers’ and ‘Process’, comprising:

  • an initial project review meeting to define goals, parameters, deliverables and timescales;
  • a comprehensive desktop review of ENGIE UK’s policies and procedures;
  • a two day on-site visit to look at a selection of varying procurements for evidence of implementation of sustainable procurement principles in and across ENGIE UK;
  • a written report providing the findings of the assessor together with a series of recommendations for future consideration;
  • a comprehensive score sheet setting out scores and commentary; and
  • the positioning of ENGIE UK against a series of predetermined benchmarks demonstrating their competence, knowledge and implementation maturity

This approach forms a unique critique against a standardised approach to deliver consistency across assessments whilst recognizing the bespoke and unique features of the business being evaluated.

Benefit

The results of the assessment provide ENGIE UK with:

  • a means of monitoring progress and comparative achievement;
  • a series of objective recommendations to help embed sustainable procurement even further in and across the organisation so as to deliver enhanced sustainability performance, consistent with the company’s procurement and corporate responsibility programmes;
  • an opportunity to position themselves in readiness for the introduction of ISO 20400, Sustainable Procurement – Guidance, in 2017;
  • a third party assessment which can be used to demonstrate competence to both new and existing clients;
  • a framework for developing talent and skills in sustainable procurement with staff; and
  • a benchmark against which to potentially measure themselves against in two years’ time.