Sustainable Procurement can be described "as a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services and works in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy, while minimising damage to the environment". Sustainable procurement is not only about how we source, but what we source.

Sustainable Development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and attempts to minimise greenhouse gases, reduce global warming, preserve environmental resources and provide communities that allow people to reach their fullest potentials.

Falkirk Council is obligated to comply with all relevant environmental and procurement legislation and will always strive to act as an ethical and responsible procurer. As a major procurer, the Council is in a position to encourage suppliers and contractors to consider the impact of their supplies and services, and to offer more sustainable alternatives.

Sustainable Procurement requires to be embedded throughout Council procurement processes. The Contract Strategy will set out the Council's intention to actively seek to procure supplies, services and works through sustainable procurement practises.

The Sustainability Test is designed to help embed relevant and proportionate sustainability requirements into the development of frameworks and contracts. It gives clear direction on embedding sustainable actions into your procurement exercises. The sustainability test is used to develop the sustainability considerations within the Contract Strategy.

Where it is appropriate to do so, sustainable development considerations shall be included within specifications and tender award evaluation criteria. Whole life costing methods will be employed where it is pragmatic to employ such techniques, and the Council shall strive to procure cost effective sustainable solutions.

The Scottish Government has developed the Scottish Flexible Framework which allows organisations to measure and monitor their progress on sustainable procurement over time. Falkirk Council has measured it sustainable procurement performance as Level 2. It has developed a Sustainable Procurement Action Plan to reflect what needs to be done to achieve Level 4 in the Flexible Framework and realise sustainable procurement outcomes.

We have much to gain by implementing Sustainable Procurement by improving quality of life locally, making best use of resources and by playing its part in global efforts on sustainable development. It is especially important in the current financial climate for the Council the get the maximum possible benefit from public spending for the community of Falkirk.