The Task

To align Falmouth Exeter Plus (FX Plus) with the ISO 20400 standard for sustainable procurement, and ensure they are leading the way in sustainable procurement in the Higher Education sector.

FX Plus needed to identify where the gaps lay in their process, policy, and enablers to develop and ensure those areas are more robust to enable a sustainable supply chain and process. Action Sustainability’s assessment and subsequent report’s findings and recommendations will help FX Plus ensure their procurement team are a catalyst for change through their supply chain and procurement activities.

The Action

Action Sustainability undertook a desktop review of documents and conducted an ISO 20400 gap analysis workshop with key stakeholders from FX Plus. We produced a report based on the findings and put forth recommendations for areas of improvement.

The first phase of the evaluation involved reviewing their supporting documentation such as policies, strategies, job descriptions, and tender assessment documents. The second part of our process involved a workshop with key people at different levels and different roles from FX Plus, all with an influence on spend.

The interactive and engaging workshop was 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 the sustainability objectives are actually deployed through their procurement processes.

The Outcome, Benefit, and lessons learnt

The analysis provided confidence that FX Plus are doing lots of good work in sustainability and sustainable procurement already, especially in the environmental pillar of sustainability. They have a well-established heat map that they are refreshing to be implemented going forward. Their approach to sustainable procurement was assessed as being ‘established’ with a score not dissimilar to other higher education institutions and on the higher end of the spectrum.

The evaluation results gave them an action plan of activities to do, as well as the timescales and required complexity in carrying them out to reach their sustainability goals. The recommendations will bring about triple bottom line thinking in the process, clear accountabilities for embedding sustainability, and further development of SMART objectives. Recommendations also included the training and upskilling of staff competence in the realm of sustainability and better supply chain relationships through supplier relationship and contract management.

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