The way we procure items and spend our money can make a big difference to improving the sustainability of our organisation, with wider impacts on our supply chain. We are a member of the North Eastern University Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) as well as an affiliate member of Electronics Watch.

Within our Campus Management Climate Action Policy we are committed to 'Promote and monitor sustainable procurement practices that manage social, economic and environmental impacts of purchases and develop a method for measuring embedded carbon within the University’s supply chain'.

Our measures and targets 

  • 2018/19 Scope 3 Baseline footprint 27,254,000 kg CO2e
  • Target (to halve by 2030) 13,627,000 kg CO2e

Procurement is potentially the largest section on the University’s scope 3 footprint, using the Higher Education Supply Chain Emissions tool, it has been estimated at almost 4 times the size of the University’s combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions. This includes central procurement, ICT, maintenance as well as food and catering. The University’s long-term target is to achieve net zero in Scope 3 emissions by 2050 and to have made significant progress by 2038.

This is the first time the University has mapped its procurement carbon footprint. So far two years’ worth of data has been mapped in the Campus Management Monitoring Tool and emissions have been estimated according to spend. These two years demonstrate a wide variation especially in central procurement spending due to COVID lockdowns, IT spending to respond to the move to hybrid and remote working, as well as variations due to onsite construction projects. Whilst it is positive this is now being mapped, a few more years data will provide a more accurate picture. 

Procurement across the University presents a large challenge due to the size of activity and number of stakeholders making purchases across all departments. It requires both behavioural and cultural change across the whole organisation and it cannot be tackled by a single workstream or Directorate. Elements of this are included within the Leadership and Governance workstream of the Climate Action Strategy to influence practices and alternative approaches to commit to carbon and ethically responsible decisions whilst moving towards holistic assessment of supply chains embedding full lifecycle implications into decision-making. Within the Campus Management workstream, procurement impacts are most evident within the catering  environmental risk profile, particularly local impacts. Long term ambitions include moving towards a more plant based and locally sourced menu, with over 50% sourced from within the Sheffield City Region, delivered through the Hallam Sustainable Food Policy.


Actions to achieve over the 2023/24 year include:

  • Continuing to use and develop the Hallam Sustainable Food Policy and begin to develop sustainable food metrics and KPIs to incorporate into the long-term plan
  • Measure and report on % food purchased from Sheffield City Region