Responsible Procurement

Making sustainability a key consideration of our purchasing decisions and supplier relationships


How can I embed sustainability considerations when purchasing?

Do you need to buy in the first instance? Could you rent or borrow instead?

If you need to buy goods, consider if they are:

  • Locally sourced (eg made in the UK), long-lasting, and energy efficient. 

  • Made of recycled materials, and recyclable at end of life.

  • Environmentally certified (eg FSC wood, Fairtrade, EU Ecolabel, B Corp).

Make sure to embed environmental considerations in your requirements, contract specifications, and evaluation criteria.

For tender processes, sustainability should be part of the scoring criteria (5 to 20% depending on the nature of the contract).

Our Sustainability Impact Assessment tool will help you identify sustainability risk and opportunities for the good and services you are purchasing.

Consider sustainability as early as possible to achieve maximum impact. The sustainability team is here to help, contact us at

Further resources

  • Sustainability Impact Assessment tool, to help you identify sustainability risk and opportunities for the good and services you are purchasing.

  • LSE Sustainable Procurement Policy governs how we embed sustainability considerations into our procurement decisions.

  • Consult our sustainability policies to find out more about how we embed sustainability into LSE's decision making.

  • How to choose an energy efficient product - guidelines for buying an electrical product.

  • Example ITT environmental questions and environmental assessment tool. Use the table template to find out if your procurement has an environmental impact and what conditions you can build into your purchase to minimise their impact.

Progress and Initiatives

  • In 2021 we contacted all our suppliers to urge them to consider how they will play their part addressing the climate crisis, letting them know sustainability considerations will be an increasingly important aspect of our relationship with them.

  • Sustainability is a key aspect of a number of key contracts for the School including: waste services, buildings maintenance, courier services, stationery, laundry services, and more.

  • Construction company MACE, who delivered the Centre Buildings Redevelopment and Marshall Building, have worked closely with LSE to incorporate sustainability considerations into the construction process highlighting shared values and visions on sustainability. Read more on our Sustainable Buildings page.

  • Responsibly sourced, organic uniforms were provided to LSE cleaning and maintenance staff. Provided by Neutral the uniforms are certified Fairtrade, use organic cotton, are produced at SA8000 certified facilities and a minimum of 70% of the energy used in production comes from wind power. 

  • Over 300 cleaning staff were brought in-house, in 2017, having previously had an outsourced contract for over 20 years. Being full LSE staff members, they now have better working conditions, employment rights and benefits such as better sick leave, holiday and pensions. 

  • LSE is an active and supportive member of the LUPC. Based in Bloomsbury, the LUPC has a membership of around 60 universities, colleges and museums within the M25. It negotiates purchase agreements and contracts on behalf of its members whose combined spend is approximately £1 billion. Environmental considerations are factored in to all contracts.

  • Our catering outlets continue to achieve awards for sustainable sourcing of their food. We sell only Fairtrade tea, coffee and bananas, and we buy a wide range of other Fairtrade products, including staff uniforms. Read the LSE Fairtrade Policy here and about LSE Catering here.