University adopts social value procurement tool in UK first

The University of Manchester is using the online Social Value Portal to assess social benefits when procuring services

The University of Manchester has become the UK’s first higher education institution to adopt the Social Value Portal (SVP).

The online tool – helping organisations assess social value when procuring services – is already widely used in such public sector areas as the NHS and local government.

“[The move] will elevate us to the best practice in procurement and will better link the way we spend our money to our civic ambitions and the global sustainable development goals,” said Dr Julian Skyrme, the university’s director of social responsibility.

Areas covered by the SVP include local job opportunities, environmental impact and community wellbeing.


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“Universities across the UK are some of the biggest economic actors in their regions but have, up-to-now, been slower than local authorities and other sectors in embedding a more robust, quantifiable approach to social value through their supply chains,” said Guy Battle, chief executive of the SVP.

“With annual expenditure of nearly £400 million per year, the University of Manchester can do much to maximise their social value through their supply chain and we look forward to working with them to demonstrate what excellence in higher education procurement looks like.”

The university’s move follows last year’s teaming up with social value dashboard, Impact Reporting, to analyse its sustainability programmes.

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