The University has a Procurement Strategy which sets out the procurement guidelines of buying goods, services and works. Within this strategy, the University acknowledges that its purchasing decisions have major socio-economic and environmental implications, both locally and globally.

Procurement Carbon emissions SMART targets 

Our current targets and some examples of how we are going to achieve them can be accessed through the sustainability targets document.      

An orchard full of trees


Sustainable Procurement Steering Group        

A Sustainable Procurement Steering Group of the Sustainability Strategy Group was created in April 2014 to oversee this important work; membership includes students, academics and procurement professionals. The main focus of this group is ethical procurement issues, including workers’ rights such as Modern Slavery in the supply chain, factory conditions and reforming supply chains and Social Values Act. See the terms of reference and membership details. The group members are invited to guest lecture to students and education is an important remit of the group.  

Procurement of electronic goods

Another example is our procurement of electronic goods. Poor working conditions and labour rights abuses are commonplace in many parts of the developing the world, where the majority of ICT products are made. The University procures all its ICT equipment through a purchasing consortium which has signed up to Electronics Watch NWUPC Ltd. An independent organisation that aims to monitor working conditions in the global electronics industry to enable socially responsible public purchasing across Europe. 

The Head of  Procurement who chairs this group is a member of the Sustainability Strategy Committee and provides regular reports to the meetings. The University understands that procurement is one of the most significant contributors to its carbon footprint. Training in this important area is seen as key, HEPA 6 modules are being trialled in Procurement and then rolled out to all relevant staff. We are working with  using their supplier engagement tool. An example report is here. The University has also used the tool to establish our own Action Plan.  An example of impact analysis for catering services is here.

Ethical Investment


The University does welcome donations from alumni, corporate benefactors, and other supporters. To enable the educational purposes of donations to be achieved, the University may, from time to time, invest surplus funds and endowments with third party organisations. 

Wherever possible and in accordance with Charity Commission guidelines, the University wishes to make such investments in ways that are consistent with the mission and values of the University. 

The University expects its investment managers (as and when appointed), as part of their normal investment research and analysis process, to take account of social, environmental, and ethical considerations in the selection, retention, and realisation of investments. The University will strive to invest in companies where the activities of the company are, on ethical grounds, consistent with the educational and/or research objectives of the University. The University will also take into account the published guidance of the Charity Commission on ethical and socially responsible investment of charitable funds.

The University will not knowingly invest in companies whose activities include practices which directly pose a risk of serious harm to individuals or groups, or whose activities are inconsistent with the mission and values of the University. 

Specifically, The University will not directly invest in:

  • Fossil fuel companies
  • Arms Companies
  • Border Industry Companies
  • Companies in Violation of International Law

Read our ethical investment policy here.

The Pro Vice Chancellor (Finance and Resources) reviews the investment position annually read his latest report.

Fossil Free Declaration 

The University is continuing to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable energy by signing the Fossil Free Declaration in May 2021. Please visit the document link to view the declaration. We are publicly declaring that we do not invest in fossil fuel companies now and in the future.

SDG Sustainable procurement

Installing Solar 50kwp PV at 51视频