Sustainable Procurement Tools


Glasgow Kelvin College recently upgraded their ICT infrastructure to improve the speed and performance of their lab and shared PC computer equipment. By employing life cycle impact mapping prior to the procurement process, they identified climate risks associated with purchasing new computers, which stimulated discussions around creative alternatives.

The result was that the college instead trialled replacing Hard-Disk Drives with new Solid State Hard Drives and upgrading computer memory. This cost-effective solution resulted in a vast increase in computer performance at a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to buying new computers. Upgrading more than 400 computers across Glasgow Kelvin College’s campus and a number of partner learning centres has improved the speed of computers, and increased user satisfaction.

Glasgow Kelvin College now plans to roll these upgrades out across a further 150 PCs at Community Learning Centres in the greater Glasgow area, which provide free use of computers and College learning to underprivileged communities who would not otherwise have access to fast PCs.

The pre-procurement decisions involved in this project have allowed Glasgow Kelvin College to reduce the carbon footprint of their ICT upgrade, save money, and improve education and modern, digital skills.

The requirement

The college owns more than 400 lab and shared PCs that are approximately 6 years old. These were no longer running efficiently, so an ICT upgrade was required.

Procurement Process

The Procurement Team invested time on the pre-procurement processes of establishing whether to buy, what to buy, and how much to buy. When considering whether to buy they compared both the cost and environmental impact of purchasing new PCs versus purchasing new solid state hard drives and upgrading the memory of existing PCs.

Once a decision had been made to pilot updating hard drives and memory of PCs, the procurement team utilised the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) IT Peripherals Framework for their upgrade.

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