Sustainable procurement policy

Published: 01 September 2022
Freedom of information class: How we procure goods and services

RoS Sustainable Procurement Policy

RoS is committed to supporting the Scottish Government’s purpose of ‘increasing sustainable economic growth’. 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.

1 Purpose and Scope

1.1 This policy sets out RoS commitment to make sustainable choices when undertaking procurement exercises.

1.2 This policy applies to all staff and particularly those within the Procurement directorate.

1.3 This policy is supported by the Environmental Policy and the Sustainability & Climate Change Strategy 2021-26.

2 Guiding Principles

2.1 The principles of the policy are to support the Scottish Government’s purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth and meeting the needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis, generating benefits to the organisation, society, economy, and the environment.

3 The Policy

3.1 Registers of Scotland (RoS) is conscious that our activities affect the environment in which we operate and are acting to minimise the negative environmental and social impacts with the products and services we purchase.

We are committed to embracing the following principles:

  • Making more sustainable choices when undertaking procurement by identifying and designing sustainable procurement specifications accordingly to address the social, economic, and environmental implications of product and service choices.
  • Where relevant embracing whole-life costing and addressing how aspects such as design, manufacturing materials, operating costs, energy consumption, waste and recycling options support a more sustainable approach. * Working in partnership with our suppliers and contractors to minimise the environmental and social impacts of our supply chain.
  • Supporting sustainable economic growth by promoting the use of SMEs and local suppliers within our supply chain.
  • Supporting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and embracing 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.
  • Promoting use of the Scottish Governments Supported Business Framework.

3.2 RoS will do this by:

  • Incorporating CSR and sustainability into our everyday procurement activity to benefit society, the economy, and the environment.
  • Purchasing goods and services in a way that minimises the impact on the environment where practical and economically viable.
  • Initiating savings in materials and energy, reducing waste, and promote a sustainable approach to the way we conduct our business in line with the Scottish Government’s purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth.
  • Integrating appropriate environmental and social requirements into all procurement activities from specification to evaluation stage.
  • Ensuring all procurements over £50,000 will be evaluated to consider the environmental and/or social impacts of a particular product or service over its lifecycle, and appropriate supplier sustainability performance assessment criteria and weightings are used.
  • Complying with the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 which puts statutory duties on RoS to consider sustainability in procurements including:
    • Sustainable procurement duty (section 9) including Fair Work.
    • Community benefits for contracts with an estimated value of £4 million or greater (section 25).
  • Utilising the tools developed by the Scottish Government for use in the contract development phase which help to identify and address optimising economic, social, and environmental outcomes of procurement activity, such as:
    • Prioritisation tool
    • Sustainability test
    • Lifecycle mapping
  • Following Level 4 status on the Scottish Government Flexible Framework and ensuring annual reviews take place.

4 Roles and responsibilities

4.1 The Environmental Management Group is responsible for the content of this policy, its approval and review. They are responsible for ensuring its implementation in practice and for monitoring this over time. They are responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures, guidelines, or standards as are required to support this are maintained and ownership for these assigned appropriately.

4.2 The Procurement team will ensure this policy is embedded throughout all relevant procurement activities with appropriate support from the Sustainability team.

4.3 This policy will be made available on our website, to all RoS staff, contractors, and suppliers.

5 Approval and review

5.1 This policy will be reviewed and approved by the Environmental Management Group annually, unless earlier review is appropriate.

AuthorSustainability and Climate Change Manager
Reviewed Head of Procurement and Estates
Cleared Accountable Officer
Approval Environmental Management Group Approval date July 2022
Policy version Version 2.0
Review responsibilityEnvironmental Management Group Review date July 2023
Publication scheme Yes
Email to