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Ethical procurement

Disclosure date: 28 May 2012

Reference: FOI2012/031

Request

1. a) What was the total amount (in pounds) spent by the university on garments in the last financial year (2010-2011) or the last year you have figures for?

b) How does this break down amongst the categories of course wear, staff wear, sportswear, uniforms, clothing sold by the student union and any other garments, or if you use different categories to break the total figure down, please supply figures using the categories you use.  

2. Who are the university's main garment suppliers (please include any supplier that comprises 10% or more of the total university spend on garments)?    

3. What was the total amount spent on garments by the university's student union in the last financial year (2010-2011) or the last year you have figures for?   

4. What was the total amount spent on garments by societies, including sports teams at the university in the last financial year (2010-2011) or the last year you have figures for?     

5. Does the university have a steering group or similar body that has responsibility for ensuring that university procurement upholds workers rights, other human rights and/or increases purchase of Fairtrade products? If so, please provide details of this group or provide a URL to enable us to access this group's web page.     

6. Does the university have an ethical procurement policy or is ethical procurement covered by another policy of the university, such as a sustainability policy? If so, please provide a copy of this policy or provide a URL to enable us to access this policy.      

7. Does the university have a strategy for increasing the labour rights and other human rights standards in its supply chains? If so, please provide a copy of this strategy document or provide a URL to enable us to access this strategy document.    

8. Does the university have any stipulations in its contracts with suppliers, that they must adhere to basic International Labour Organisation workers rights standards?     

9. Does the university require suppliers of garments or other goods to disclose their factory locations, even if they are in different countries?

10. Does the university have a strategy to increase procurement of Fairtrade cotton for uniforms, accomodation supplies, or other garments? Please provide a link to the strategy document or minutes that show this.

Response

1. a) The available central records indicate that there was no expenditure on garments in the last financial year. It is possible that small quantities were purchased by departments, but this is not recorded centrally and there is no budget heading for garments or clothing.

b) Not applicable.  

2. Not applicable.  

3. The Student Union is a separate organisation and not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It has, however, indicated that its approximate spend on garments, including merchandising, was £10,000 during 2010-2011.

4. Societies belong to the Student Union, which is a separate organisation and not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It has, however, indicated that approximately £800 was spent on garments by societies during the last financial year.

5. There is no group currently in place but it is an aspiration to form a cross-party group across the university this year.

6. Please see the “Purchasing Policy” sub-section of the Bloomsbury Colleges Environmental Policy Statement:

http://www.soas.ac.uk/admin/governance/policies/file74939.pdf   

7. The School is working closely with the Sustainable Procurement Centre of Excellence (SPCE) based at Leeds University to develop a new more ethical and sustainable procurement strategy and policy, addressing issues such as labour and human rights as well as environmental concerns. More details of the Centre of Excellence can be found at http://spce.procureweb.ac.uk/    

8. Not currently, although this is under review. 

9. Not currently.

10. There is no strategy currently in place but it is an aspiration to form a cross-party group across the university this year.