Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Sustainable procurement practices for education

Sustainable procurement practices; a green procurement system for the education sector


Good practice

Greener or more sustainable procurement principles can reduce the environmental impact of the goods you purchase and could reduce your costs.

The main theme of green procurement is to consider the life cycle of products as a whole, not just their purchase price. This includes thinking about the:

  • materials used in manufacture
  • methods of production and embedded energy
  • energy use of the product over its life span
  • eventual disposal costs and environmental impacts
  • potential for re-use or recycling.

You can apply the same principles to a range of goods which are commonly used in the education sector.

Consider using supplies of foodstuff from local suppliers and developing a sustainable food procurement policy.

Further information

General links

GOV.UK: Sustainable public procurement

Forum for the Future: Purchasing for sustainability 

EAUC: Green Directory of sustainable goods and services

Commission of the European Communities: Green Procurement handbook (Adobe PDF - 532KB)

Sustainability Exchange: Higher education environmental performance improvement

WWF: Responsible sourcing of forest products

Construction and buildings links

The Energy Consortium: Project manager's guide to energy and water efficiency in buildings (Adobe PDF - 6.52MB)

Building Research Establishment: Sustainable construction

Sustainable food procurement links

Defra: Best practice in public sector food procurement (Adobe PDF - 364KB)

Fairtrade Foundation: Fairtrade products

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