The Task

To review the ITT questions that are driven out of the refreshed heatmap’s RAG (red, amber, green) ratings to ensure it shapes procurement exercises going forward for various tenders across projects.

The Action

Action Sustainability undertook 4 pieces of work within the project:

  • Task 1: Review the existing question sets. We reviewed the current sustainable procurement heatmap and questions document in addition to the recently updated heatmap to get the baseline of where Balfour Beatty are. Balfour Beatty has some specific requirements around making the process simpler for low value tenders and introducing more drop down question options for medium value tenders. Moving away from binary ‘Yes/No’ responses allowed the supplier to offer more detailed and nuanced responses. This fed into the development of the question sets and the associated guidance on model answers
  • Task 2: Develop the Questions and Model Answers. Drawing on our experience in the built environment and other sectors, we developed a suite of questions and model answers that can be used across the categories and for high value and low value order thresholds segregated by goods, works, services, plant. Areas of priority were determined by the updated heatmap.
  • Task 3: Test the Questions and Model Answers. We facilitated a virtual workshop with key Balfour Beatty stakeholders to discuss and refine the questions and answers so that they are appropriate and clear to understand for the supplier, the Balfour Beatty end-user and for them to be included in Balfour Beatty’s e-procurement system, Jaggaer.
  • Task 4: Update and finalise the question set. Taking feedback from the workshop we adjusted the question and answer set and then submitted the final version.

The Outcome, Benefits, and Lessons Learnt

The tender questions were developed in line with Balfour Beatty’s sustainable procurement heatmap which aligns to their sustainability focus areas of environment, materials and, communities and to allow for qualitative responses from the supply chain to ensure commitments to sustainability objectives. The question response guides gave examples of what good responses should incorporate, thereby providing the procurement team a guide to understand and evaluate sustainability tender responses from the supply chain.