Sustainable procurement is the process of making purchasing decisions that meet an organisation’s needs for goods and services in a way that benefits not only the organisation but society as a whole, while minimising its impact on the environment.
Established social enterprises have similar needs as established private sector businesses but have currently more barriers to growth because of their approach to employability, their key social focus or because of barriers to a sustainable procurement framework.Currently, tenders are not commonly won by members, either because current commissioning policy favours the larger national organisations and because 90% of trading companies in the Scottish Borders are micro-businesses and don’t see the benefits of frameworks, commissioning and tend to end up being the sub-contractors. These businesses are then unable to take on apprenticeships, which are much needed to drive up the skills of our young people. SBSEC now hosts the sustainable procurement group made up of key commissioning partners; RSLs, Colleges, Live Borders, NHS, SBC and the third sector. We are now looking at a framework that is social enterprise and third sector focused and supports commissioners to look to community benefits to bring real benefits to the borders.
We are promoting sustainable procurement as we want our members to benefit for collective purchasing and in-kind contributions from other organisations. We also want to walk members through the process of tendering.
SBSEC hosts the Sustainable Procurement Group, which consists of partners from other sectors such as NHS, SBC and Housing Associations.