Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable Procurement means buying goods, services and works in a way that

  • gives value for money 
  • provides benefits for the Council
  • provides benefits for society, the economy and the environment.

Argyll and Bute Council is committed to balancing environmental, social and economic principles and to working with all sectors of the business community in order to achieve this. In support of this, the Council has nominated the Head of Customer and Support Services, Judy Orr, as its Sustainable Procurement Champion.

"We want to ensure that all our procurement activity is done in a way that benefits our local economy, for example providing new jobs, training and learning opportunities.  We are committed to always using products that minimise any negative impact on our environment and actively support recycling, reuse and sharing where we can.   It’s my job to ensure that this becomes second nature in all the council’s procurements.” Judy Orr, Sustainable Procurement Champion, 2019

Sustainable Procurement Policy:

Argyll and Bute Council is committed to delivering sustainable procurement according to the principles set out in the current Argyll and Bute Council Sustainable Procurement Policy.

The aim of this Policy is to embed sustainability principles (social, economic and environmental) into all procurement within Argyll and Bute Council.  The document looks at how our sustainability aims fit with wider council and public sector priorities, and is aligned to the current Argyll and Bute Council Procurement Strategy and our Corporate Plan - you can read both these documents in our Plans and Policies section

Sustainable Procurement Action Plan:

The Scottish Procurement Directorate Sustainability Action Plan calls on public sector organisations to produce their own Delivery Plans to set out how, and by when, improvements in sustainable procurement will be made.

A self-assessment tool (Flexible Framework) developed by the UK Sustainable Procurement Task Force allows organisations to measure and monitor their progress on sustainable procurement over time.

Level 1 of the Revised Flexible Framework was achieved by the council in advance of the internal target date of 31/03/16. An Action Plan has been developed to work towards achieving Level 2.

Community Benefits:

Community Benefit Clauses enable the Council to include contractual requirements in contracts to ensure that suppliers deliver wider social benefits as part of the contract.

The Council's Community Benefits Clauses in Procurement Guide requires Community Benefit Clauses in tenders for supplies and services contracts over £100k and all works contracts over £500k unless there is a compelling justification not to do so.

Recent success stories of Community Benefits achieved through contracts include:

CHORD Dunoon Pier Phase 1A Contract: 

  • Contractor:  George Leslie Ltd
  • Scope of Contract: The following works were required to the Category ‘A’ Listed Dunoon Pier - Timber Pile Replacement above Bed-Level / Timber Pile Encapsulation; Re-instatement of Missing Braces and Ties; and Lifting and Repairing / Re-positioning Decking Boards and Installation of Anti-Slip Treads.
  • This contract used the Client-Based Approach to Community Benefits, and the contractor’s final Employment and Skills Plan confirmed that they provided: 2 x Work Placements (16-19); 6 x existing apprentices; 3 x Supervisor training for subcontractors; 3 x Leadership and Management training for subcontractors; 2 x Advanced health and safety training for subcontractors.  In addition, the contractor engaged with a local sub-contractor – Shearwater Marine Services, and used at least 9 local suppliers and businesses during the contract period. 
  • One of Dunoon Grammar School’s Young Enterprise Company’s pictures of Dunoon Pier; both the picture and the frame were made from reclaimed timber from the pier.Other benefits achieved through this contract included:  Sponsorship of an event at the Cowal Highland Gathering 2015; the contractor engaged with Friends of Blairmore Pier Trust with regards to assisting with the pier’s refurbishment; and tying in with the philosophy of recycle, reduce, reuse the contractor liaised with the Contract Administrator to increase involvement with the local schools.  Of the 67 ‘greenheart’ timber piles and 157 linear metres of decking boards which were replaced the vast majority retained a significant element of timber, which although not suitable for the pier could be reused. Discussions were held with the Technology and Design Department of Dunoon Grammar School and the reclaimed timber was dressed and cut to manageable lengths before being transported to the school by the contractor.  It is the intention of the school to use the reclaimed wood for projects such as manufacturing picnic benches for use in the school; benches to be installed on the pier following its refurbishment; and framed and laser cut timber images of the pier buildings.

CHORD – Oban Bay Regeneration – Public Realm Works Phase 2: 

Oban Bay regenerationThis contract included the Client Based Approach to Community Benefits (Regeneration Band 1).  As at the end of April 2016, the main contractor – Land Engineering – had provided the following benefits:  1 x Existing Apprentice, 1 x Job created through local employment vehicles, 2 x New entrant, 1 x N/SVQ start for subcontractors, 5 x Training plans for subcontractors, and 1 x Supervisor training for subcontractors.  In addition, the contractor contributed hanging baskets to BIDS4Oban to be used in Argyll Square in June 2016.  Unfortunately this contractor went into Administration on 30 May 2017, at which point the delivery of all CB obligations ceased, so no final statement of achievements is available.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Third Sector Organisations and Local Businesses:

Successful local businesses will reduce unemployment. Economic growth is one of the council's key priorities and procurement can play an important part in developing this objective.

The council is committed to ensuring opportunities are open to all and that SMEs, Third Sector organisations and local businesses should not be disadvantaged in any way in the tender process.

The council is an active member of the Supplier Development Programme (SDP).

The council advertises all tenders through the Public Contracts Scotland website. Businesses can subscribe to receive automatic emails when adverts are placed for their chosen sphere of work.

Supported Businesses:

A Supported Business is a business where at least 30% of its employees have a disability or are disadvantaged.

The potential for involvement of supported businesses is considered at the Commodity Sourcing Strategy development stage, which is mandatory within Argyll and Bute Council for all regulated and OJEU level procurements (over £50,000 value for Supplies and Services and over £2,000,000 for Works).