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Finance and procurement

Sustainable procurement policy statement

First published

01 Apr 2019

Last updated

01 Apr 2019


COPFS is committed to embedding corporate social responsibility and sustainability into our everyday procurement activity to benefit society, the economy and the environment.

We will purchase goods and services in a way that minimises the impact on the environment where it is practical and economically viable to do so. In line with the Scottish Government’s purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth, EU and UK ‘green’ procurement legislation, we will actively seek to reduce the amount of materials and energy consumed, reduce waste and promote a sustainable approach to the way we conduct our business.

Working with colleagues and suppliers, we will ensure whole-life costs are considered and that, where practical and economically viable, purchases have been manufactured and are delivered, used and disposed of, in an environmentally responsible manner.

Adoption of the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Procurement Action Plan and fulfilling its 10 Steps to Sustainable Procurement will contribute to successful progress against our Best Value obligations, the Procurement and Commercial Improvement Programme and the Best Practice Indicators. Improved sustainability in procurement activity will also make a significant contribution to our climate change targets.

This policy will be reviewed annually as part of our corporate planning cycle. This will ensure that it continues to be aligned to our business objectives and that it is appropriate to the nature and scale of our operations.


Sustainable procurement is defined in the Scottish Government’s ‘Sustainable Procurement Action Plan for Scotland’ as:

“A process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis and generates benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society, the economy and the environment”.

Procurement is an essential element in delivering the Scottish Government’s priorities and plays a key role in attaining the social, economic and environmental benefits that sustainable economic growth delivers. We are conscious that our activities affect the environment in which we live and work and we are acting to minimise negative environmental and social impacts associated with the products and services we purchase. We acknowledge our responsibilities in delivering this policy and recognise the importance of engaging our suppliers and (internal) customers in its implementation.

COPFS is committed to supporting the Scottish Government’s purpose of ‘increasing sustainable economic growth’ and we will procure our goods, services and works in a way that minimises the impact on the environment where it is practical and economically viable to do so.

We will comply with, and where possible exceed, guidance provided within the Procurement Journey, the Scottish Government Sustainable Action Plan and relevant legislation. We will embrace the following principles:

  • to embed an organisation-wide commitment to making more sustainable choices when undertaking procurement. This means identifying more sustainable ways of meeting requirements and designing sustainable procurement specifications accordingly. The approach will address the social, economic and environmental implications of product and service choices. When relevant, it will embrace whole-life costing and address how aspects such as design, manufacturing materials, operating costs, energy consumption, waste and recycling options support a more sustainable approach
  • to work in partnership with our suppliers and contractors to minimise the environmental and social impacts of our supply chain
  • to be ethical in our business practices and in our dealings with suppliers
  • to support sustainable economic growth by developing processes that enable SMEs and local suppliers to be part of our supply chain
  • to support Corporate Social Responsibility and embrace the Scottish Government’s programme to increase the use of Community Benefit clauses and public-social partnerships and, where feasible, working with the third sector to offer them greater involvement in service design and delivery
  • to promote the use of the Scottish Government's Supported Business Framework