Our individual consumer decisions affect the environment, working conditions and the quality of products and services. By supporting companies that act ethically, we support good market practices. The same principle applies on a larger scale to purchases made by the University of Gdańsk, which implements sustainable procurement measures as part of its purchasing policy.
The subject of sustainable public procurement is part of the National Procurement Policy. One of its main goals is to change the way public procurement is perceived so that it is seen as an instrument for increasing the level of innovation in the national economy and contributing to the realisation of sustainable development, i.e. social, environmental and health goals.
- 'Within this area, our Centre is working on various tools aimed at supporting environmental, social and innovative aspects in the purchases made by our University. By analysing the subject of the contract in terms of its ecological aspects, we will try to apply e.g. evaluation criteria referring to ecology, e.g. extra points for introducing ecological or recycled products, transport limiting the emission of fumes, using biodegradable materials, etc. - explains Deputy Director of the Procurement Policy Centre,' - mgr Sebastian Kruszyński.
Some of these initiatives are the result of cooperation between the Centre for Procurement Policy and the Centre for Sustainable Development of the University of Gdańsk under, among others, the "Green University" programme. For example, the Procurement Policy Centre has drafted its own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) clauses which are an important tool that the University can use to require contractors to comply with environmental or social standards in justified cases.
- 'It is worth noting that CSR clauses are adapted to the specifics of individual purchases, legal regulations or market conditions. Their content is a living organism and may change depending on external conditions and social dialogue,' - explains mgr Sebastian Kruszyński.
These clauses will be used, for example, in agreements concerning electromobility. They concern broadly understood environmental protection and the contractor's declaration that he also takes into account social issues in his business activity while striving to maximize these values.
- 'The principles of sustainable development implemented in the structures of management, employment, organisation of work, finances and services on campus require environmentally responsible decisions to be taken,' - explains the Deputy Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development, dr Krzysztof Szczepaniak. - 'An initiative of this kind is the implementation of sustainable public procurement (green public procurement) at the University of Gdańsk, which is intended to ensure that public funds are spent purposefully and rationally while taking care of the natural environment. One of the most important administrative roles in this process is played by the Procurement Policy Centre, which has started developing the University's sustainable procurement policy.'
With this focus on the purchasing policy, our University has the opportunity to support good market practices such as, for example, equalisation of labour market opportunities, companies' compliance with labour laws, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, water and natural resource consumption and energy conservation.
- 'In 2022. The University of Gdańsk was ranked the highest among all evaluated Polish universities in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which assesses the university's activity in implementing the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030,' - says dr Krzysztof Szczepaniak.
It seems that the continuation of the purchasing policy within the activities carried out in this area will help strengthen the high position of our University in the above-mentioned ranking.
- 'A very important aspect of the activities of the Centre for Procurement Policy is the introduction of constructive communication and continuous cooperation both with the internal environment of our University as well as with external partners. We believe that such an approach not only builds good relations, which are so important in business but also has a positive impact on the purchasing processes carried out by UG, including the implementation of sustainable development goals,' - adds Deputy Director for Relations and Process Optimisation of the Centre for Procurement Policy, mgr Iwona Kuklińska.
- 'The cooperation between the Centre for Sustainable Development, which implements the Green University programme, and the Centre for Procurement Policy, which undertakes the creation of new procedures with commitment and responsibility, should be considered exemplary,' - summarises dr Krzysztof Szczepaniak.