Responsible Procurement Group

In conjunction with EAUC and HEPA the Responsible Procurement Group (RPG) was relaunched in May 2023. This is open to both FE & HE members. Helen Baker, Procurement Director, UWE, is the Chair.

The purpose of the RPG is to identify, share and promote best practice on Responsible Procurement throughout the sector and to stimulate the development of resources, principles and guidance to support members on Responsible Procurement. We have the following sub-groups:

  • Supply chain climate action (co-chaired by Kat Thorne, Director of Sustainability (Interim), QMUL & Harriet Wallace, Director Sustainability Strategy, Imperial College)
  • Circular economy & waste reduction (chaired by Angus Warren, CEO, APUC)
  • Social responsibility (including social value & human rights) (chaired by Fiona Goodwin, Deputy CEO, EAUC)
  • Supplier assurance (chaired by Candy Snelling, Associate Director for Estates and Sustainability, NERC/UKRI)
  • HESCET (chaired by Ash Shelbrooke, Procurement Specialist, HEPA)   

If you would like to join a sub-group, please complete this ONLINE form.

We will share all tools, resources and outputs across HEPA and EAUC memberships.

Tools & Resources

New Guidance on Community Benefits
A guidance document has been produced by the Social Responsibility Sub-Group to help procurement teams, contract managers and sustainability teams. You can view this here.

A new sector Net Zero Carbon Supplier Tool (for calculating and reducing your institutions scope 3 supply chain emissions)
As part of setting an ambitious targets of achieving Net Zero Carbon (NZC) across all 3 scopes of emissions 10 years ahead of the UK Government’s legally binding target, and, with over 50% of their universities carbon emissions coming from within supply chains, NTU established a NZC supply chain workstream to focus on understanding how to decarbonise their procurement activities.  NTU focussed on the data methodology to fully understand the climate change impact of the supply chain. Research involved a thorough investigation of GHG methodologies and a deep dive into the HESCET data. This led to a decision to adopt a hybrid methodology using a combination of supplier-specific data and average (HESCET) data, a methodology that is supported by both the international Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and the EAUC Standard Carbon Emissions Reporting Framework.

Whilst the data is fundamental, they also wanted to support and help their supply chains to understand their own carbon footprint and provide them with the expertise to reduce their emissions (which ultimately contributes towards the sector achieving net zero and proactively combatting climate change).

Taking both elements, and with their experience in sustainability and procurement NTU developed a Net Zero Carbon Supplier Tool (in partnership with NETpositive Futures) and launched it as a pilot to a selection of NTU’s suppliers in Spring this year.  Since this, the tool has undergone further developments as a result of having five universities take part in the six-month beta testing phase (which commenced in June).  There are a number of suppliers who, by signing up to the tool, have provided those universities with their emissions data, and created a bespoke carbon reduction plan.

The tool has been designed by the sector, for the sector to reduce bureaucracy and create simple solutions that will engage our suppliers in procurement and net zero activities, and by collaborating and adopting this tool as a sector, we are reducing the burden on our suppliers (only one account is required regardless of how many universities they supply).  Likewise, universities will benefit by increased engagement/up-take for less effort.

As part of the official sector launch universities are invited to join the 12-month action research project commencing on 1st November.  Colleagues can view the webinar to understand more. The deadline for institutions wanting to take part is 16th October, and for those interested, further information can be sought via email to or

APUC sector supply chain GHG emissions (supply chain supplier scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions) reporting: For colleagues across the sector that are not aware, APUC have developed (around four years ago) a sector supply chain GHG emissions reporting tool. This uses the UK Government DEFRA conversion factors (which are updated annually) which are the only full scale Scope 1 , 2 and 3 emission data methodology for supply chains currently available. The current HESCET tool also uses the same base DEFRA conversion factors but the APUC tool  provides a more granular approach then the HESCET tool as it provides emission data by supplier, category and commodity, as well as by HESA classification, whereas the HESCET tool focusses on HESA level reporting. Please contact your procurement team to gain access to this. This is available to Procurement teams within the reporting section of the APUC/UKUPC Contract Uptake platform (access is usually given via procurement as there is wider procurement data for that institution in the portal that can be changed by those that have access – the GHG data can be downloaded and shared within institutions however): Contract Uptake - Login ( GHG data for the 2021/22 AY is available already, APUC has just updated the tool with the 2023 published DEFRA conversion factors, and spend data for the 2022/23 AY is currently being provided by institutions across the UK to APUC – APUC will then publish the latest full year spend data for each relevant institution using these in the coming weeks.  

All member institutions of NEUPC, NWUPC, LUPC, SUPC and APUC can, if they have provided their spend via the UKUPC spend classification service*, access this tool / data free of charge. For members of NEUPC, NWUPC, LUPC and APUC, if the Heads of Procurement from an institution from one of those consortia do not have their login details to hand they can get them re-issued by contacting the APUC eSolutions Helpdesk via Some members of SUPC also already have direct access, SUPC members generally however have an alternative route to access the data, SUPC can help members directly with this.

*Note that a small number of English consortia member institutions do not submit their basic spend data so the GHG data would not be available for these institutions. It is currently provided for all Scottish universities and colleges plus around 140 universities that are members of the English UKUPC purchasing consortia.

Responsible Procurement Group Relaunch 16th May 2023 HEPA booking page
Responsible Procurement Group - Steering Group 18th July 2023  
Delivered by EAUC