Sustainable Procurement Tools

Contract management

Where materials security will be built into the contract, relevant and proportionate performance indicators need to be developed to ensure delivery. 

These may include evidence of the origin of materials or independent verification of process methods. 

A baseline should be available or required (for example within 6-12 months of start of the contract). If it is impractical to obtain a baseline (for example where materials quantities cannot be tied to the delivery of a specific contract, or where markets are developing quickly and the full performance requirement is not available to the buyer at the time of the procurement) the focus within contract management should be on continual improvement in materials management practices. Where appropriate KPIs may include:  

'The provision of yearly verification that materials used within products or services supplied meet the specification requirements of [X% recycled content] [sustainably sourced].' 

'The provision of [quarterly/yearly] confirmation of supply chain details relating to essential materials, products or equipment supplied or reliant upon within service delivery and evidence of ongoing assessment of risks to security of supply.’ 

Contractual requirement must be quantifiable and measureable; otherwise there is a risk that it may be unenforceable. The buyer must also consider whether this requirement is core to the contract or a secondary issue, as any remedy for breach of performance may be difficult to quantify. 

At the point of potential award there is always scope to reach a voluntary agreement with the supplier that they will work with you to deliver identified (and agreed) sustainable outcomes that can be captured as a contract commitment. Ongoing improvement and innovation can also be built into the management of the contract to further develop the products and services required. 

This is particularly relevant in the case of innovative materials where the market may initially be constrained but opportunities develop over time.