Scotland's journey of achieving sustainable procurement outcomes 2002-2022: independent review

An independent review that looks back over the past twenty years of sustainable public procurement in Scotland and other parts of the UK. The findings showcase how the progressive approach to sustainable procurement in Scotland has achieved jobs, training and other positive outcomes.

Appendix 3: Case Studies from the Literature Review


Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) Frameworks[121] (now part of Wheatley Housing Association)

In 2003 GHA was the largest of the UK pilots for housing stock transfer. It received an initial investment of £750 million over 5 years. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 gave it similar wellbeing powers to that of the 2003 Local Government Act, enabling it to incorporate Targeted Recruitment & Training (TR&T) clauses, with its own policy for regeneration. This enabled it to maximise social and economic benefits through the procurement process. This legal and policy framework was considered sufficient to justify TR&T clauses as a core element in contracts.



Forthill Primary School was one of 12 schools to be refurbished / rebuilt in Dundee under the Public Private Partnerships Schools Modernisation Projects. Dundee City Council chose to use this £3 million refurbishment and extension as a pilot to promote community benefits and TR&Ts.

Falkirk Council[123]

Falkirk Council was one of the first local authorities to pilot embedding wider community benefits in all of their £108 million per annum expenditure. They achieved this by embedding community benefits in the Council Policy and changing their culture to reflect this. This was after a consultation with stakeholders and experts including outside consultants and private sector operators. This pilot was and continues to this day to be extremely successful. Its implementation and success are regarded as one of the building blocks of Scotland's community benefits success.



Raploch was one of 6 areas to be granted Urban Regeneration Pathfinder status by the Scottish Executive (now Scottish Government). The aim was to transform Raploch into a "21st century town". Over 10 years this was to include the creation of 900 homes, and 225 training and job opportunities. The project was carried outwith sustainable development and TR&T ingrained throughout. It has been widely recognised as a success on all fronts and helped demonstrate the effectiveness of sustainable procurement in Scotland.


Gartcosh Scottish Crime Campus – Sustainable Procurement[125]

A £65 million construction project including targets for environmental and community benefits. This was achieved through effective stakeholder engagement, working closely with the policy team at Scottish Procurement, North Lanarkshire Council and the contractors involved. It yielded results of 9 apprentices, 2 displaced apprentices, 15 new employees, 3 work experience placements, 65% of contract value awarded to Scottish SMEs plus more. The project also achieved BREEAM very good status and significant reduction in carbon footprint and landfill waste.


Shotts Prison Phase 2 development, Scottish Prison Service (SPS)[126]

As part of the construction of the new prison, SPS specified the requirement for contractors to consider community benefits. They developed a pre-qualification questionnaire in conjunction with North Lanarkshire Council as part of their early engagement to assess the bidders experience of community benefits. This focused on TR&T, SME and third sector involvement. This early market engagement allowed the winning contractor to suggest the opportunities they would be able to create, leading to 33 apprenticeships, 150 weeks paid work experience and 16 employment opportunities.

Renfrewshire Council – Assessing procurement capability drives improvement[127]

Following a Procurement Capability Assessment (PCA) Renfrewshire Council took the opportunity to transform its Corporate Procurement Unit (CPU), handling over £200 million of spend each year, from a fragmented administrative support section to a centralised strategic function. Its remit was to deliver significant financial savings through smarter procurement strategy and practice. This resulted in Renfrewshire increasing its assessment score from 21% prior to the project start to 75% (superior status) in 2012.


Falkirk Council Uses Marrakech Approach to raise product and service standards[128]

The Marrakech Prioritisation Methodology was used to assess when and how sustainability requirements could be incorporated into the procurement process. This resulted in a framework agreement that delivered social and environmental benefits. This included introducing minimum mandatory standards for cleaning products and services and enabled Falkirk Council to include Government Buying Standards as part of their contract renewals, ensuring that sustainable products would be used going forward.


Scottish Government – Life cycle impact mapping informs procurement strategy development[129]

The Scottish Government tendered for Bio-mass Supply Arrangements. The process for this was influenced by the Marrakech Approach to identify risks as opportunities that are presented via life cycle impact mapping. It was agreed that this was a success and saved the government a significant amount of time and resources. One of the members of the procurement team responsible said "Following the Marrakech approach provides a fantastic return on investment".


Renfrewshire's early engagement with suppliers delivering sustainable outcomes[130]

This case study illustrates the benefit to Renfrewshire Council of early supplier engagement, in the context of an organisation-wide and senior level commitment to embedding appropriate and relevant sustainability considerations at every stage of the procurement cycle. Outcomes included: more efficient and innovative supply chains; design and engineering efficiencies; better cost predictability; significant local employment; skills and SME opportunities; and community benefits.

Scottish Futures Trust's suite of Key Performance Indicators for hub[131]

Working in collaboration with several stakeholders, most notably Local Authorities, NHS Boards and CITB, sustainability was addressed in the development of a suite of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT). The sustainability criteria were applied to the delivery of numerous community infrastructure projects across Scotland. Amongst the KPI areas covered were community engagement and community benefits, sustainability and supply chain management. KPIs focusing on community benefits were developed to cover both recruitment and training as well as SME and third sector development. Under the heading of sustainability, KPIs addressed the achievement of BREEAM targets 1; reducing construction waste; re-use and recycling of construction waste; recycled content materials and Energy Performance Certificates.

Perth & Kinross Council (PKC) – Furniture Procurement[132]

PKC attended Marrakech Approach training in 2011. Following this they implemented waste and procurement hierarchies. This challenged every decision to buy, meaning the purchase and/or disposal of furniture should be the last resort. At the end of the 3 years this had reduced their annual furniture spend by approximately 85% from £293,000 - £33,000 (approx.).

Government Buying Standards help to drive environmental improvement and deliver value for money at Falkirk Council[133]

Falkirk Council procurement staff attended a Marrakech Approach workshop in March 2011 where they identified the requirement to incorporate higher environmental performance standards into their framework for deep cleaning of kitchens. They achieved this by using the Government Buying Standards (GBS), formerly known as Quick Wins. The GBS are a set of purchasing specifications that encourage the smart procurement of more sustainable goods and services in order to achieve cost savings in public operations. The standards were developed by a Cross-Government Stakeholder Group for a range of commonly purchased products, including cleaning products and services. The standards are updated to ensure that they remain current with market developments.

Scottish Government's Bull Stud Facility[134]

The case of the construction of a new Bull Stud Facility highlights the importance of considering sustainability outcomes at the earliest possible stage in the procurement cycle. This means considering sustainability risks and opportunities from design all the way through to operation and contract management. The appropriate sustainability requirements can then be incorporated into the procurement documentation at each stage in a relevant and proportionate manner, in line with the Marrakech Approach to sustainable procurement.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Brookfield Multiplex – Good procurement is sustainable procurement[135]

The Queen Elizabeth construction was a large design and build project in Scotland, which resulted in an impressive list of wider community benefits including 320 news jobs, 213 new entrants (including 58 apprentices), 107 partner jobs, and 154 work experience opportunities for young people. This was achieved via early engagement, including robust clauses in contracts providing a means of achieving sustainability from primary contractors cascaded through to sub-contractors, wider stakeholder consultations and innovation. They also employed the skills of a dedicated Community Benefits Officer. The project achieved BREEAM Excellence status and won numerous awards.


Scottish Environment Protection Agency – How web conferencing helped SEPA[136]

SEPA embarked on a project to greatly reduce the amount of travelling their 700 team members carry out. To achieve this, they worked with InterCall to implement web conferencing across their organisation. This had a very positive impact on expenses, time, carbon footprint and efficiency.


Perth & Kinross Council (PKC) – Introduces Community Wishlist (CWL)[137]

PKC first developed their CWL in 2017. The model was to set up an online form on the PKC website which community organisations could complete with their request. CWL is currently managed by the Council's procurement team. Although it got off to a slow start in the first year due to lack of awareness, the CWL has been a huge success, winning a GO Award and influencing others to implement similar initiatives across the UK.

Wheatley Group[138]

Wheatley Group is a Scottish housing, care and property-management group, delivering services to over 210,000 people across 19 local authorities in Scotland. Wheatley actively promote the inclusion of community benefits for all regulated procurements. Wheatley is supported by their Charitable Trust, the Wheatley Foundation, who support a range of community and economic programmes and increase access to opportunities across Wheatley neighbourhoods, many of whom experience multiple disadvantage and deprivation. A dedicated Community Benefit Officer role sits within the Foundation Team, liaising with stakeholders and monitoring deliverables and performance. In 2018/19, of the 192 training and employment opportunities secured through community benefits 31% were taken up by people from priority groups, and 17% of opportunities created went to people living in Wheatley homes.


Scottish Prison Service[139]

SPS has continued to develop its approach of reflecting community benefits and social impact provisions within its major construction and service contracts. The award of a £54 million contract in December 2019 to build the new Women's National Facility (WNF) in Stirling being the most recent. This project reflects a range of actions intended to secure social impact for SPS, the relevant local authority and SPS target priority group.


North Ayrshire Council become the first Scottish Local Authority to become a member of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance[140]

In August 2020, alongside the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, North Ayrshire Council became one of the first two local authorities to join the Wellbeing Economy Alliance as members. Both councils have shown leadership with their leading "build back better" campaigns, which seek to revitalise their local economies through a green, sustainable recovery.

Transport Scotland – A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam[141]

This ethos of this project is delivering community benefits and a commitment to bring meaningful and measurable change to the surrounding communities. Through this project, Transport Scotland have already exceeded the target of creating 30 new jobs over the project duration and are working to ensure that most of the opportunities created by this project are filled by workers from the local area. Other benefits delivered include 4,000 pupils and students engaged; 7 work placements for secondary school pupils; 2 foundation apprentices; 44 new jobs created including 4 through Fairstart and 6 placements for people with a conviction.


North Ayrshire Community Wealth Building – First Annual Report [142]

The report details the first year in Scotland's first Community Wealth Building project which began in 2019. They are developing a pan-Ayrshire approach to Community Wealth Building Fund with north, east and south Ayrshire. This is funded by the Scottish Government and Ayrshire Regional Economic Partnership. There are multiple projects, initiatives, collaborations and partnerships outlined in the report. It details one of the most exciting, captivating and innovative undertakings in Scotland in recent memory. Off the back of this, multiple other local authorities have now begun their own Community Wealth Building projects in what is sure to be a turning point in Scottish Sustainable Procurement.

Facilities Services Management[143]

A large contract awarded by Scottish Government in 2021 for hard and soft facilities management (FM) services and related projects. The new contract will provide a range of sustainability outcomes over its duration including actions to support our climate change and circular economy obligations, and Scotland's expectations in relation to social and economic outcomes including Environment: We value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment; Economy: We have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy; Fair Work & Business: We have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone and Human Rights: We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination.

Reducing carbon footprint in ICT upgrade[144]

Glasgow Kelvin College used life cycle impact mapping to identify areas for carbon reduction when they upgraded their ICT infrastructure to improve the speed and performance of their lab and shared PC computer equipment in 2020. The project contributed to the following National Outcomes: we are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society; we value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment; we are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally; and we tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally.



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