Scotland’s ‘Heritage: sustainable procurement guidance’ published

logoThe Scottish Government has issued guidance for public bodies covering the purchase of products or services where negative heritage impacts may be of concern, or where there are opportunities to enhance heritage.

Scottish Government writes:

Overview: heritage protection and enhancement
This guidance is concerned with buying products or services that have potential negative impacts on heritage, or there are opportunities to enhance heritage. It is important that when we have identified heritage risks or opportunities associated with the products or services that we buy, that we understand the alternative options available to us. This will be achieved through gathering market intelligence and good pre-procurement supplier engagement.

The categories of procurement that can have both a positive and negative impact on heritage range from construction, land management, estates and facilities and fishing. Many opportunities to make improvements will need to be identified at the design stage of the procurement.  This may include decisions regarding protection measures needed when undertaking infrastructure or construction projects.

Description of risk or opportunity
Will the supply of products or providing of relevant services potentially impact negatively on Scotland’s protected areas (land and marine) and historic buildings, or the public’s use of these sites?  Is there an opportunity to enhance Scotland’s protected areas or the public’s use of them? For example, impacts on protected areas and sites as a result of providing products or services. Heritage may be enhanced through, for example, protecting and enhancing Scotland’s heritage resources, and allowing improved access to them.

Policy and legal context
As well as relevant National Outcomes and Indicators within the National Performance Framework a focus on heritage may form part of a public sector organisation’s sustainability strategy, estates or environmental strategy.

Embedding sustainability into procurement is easily achieved as long as the requirements of an individual procurement reflect the objectives of the organisation as set out in relevant policies and/or strategies. Supplier engagement is essential to allow the market to understand and prepare for developing requirements and this must be undertaken before the procurement process begins.

Many sustainability benefits can be achieved through the effective evaluation and selection of a sustainable supplier and further requirements will be detailed in the specification and evaluated as part of the tender process. This must include any ‘end of life’ requirements. It is also essential that a weighted scoring mechanism is designed reflecting the criteria to evaluate the responses against and that this is shared with potential suppliers as part of the tender documentation.

Finally, on-going improvement and innovation can be built into the management of the contract to further develop the products and services required by the contracting organisation. Also, do not forget that at the point of potential award there is always scope to reach a voluntary agreement with the supplier that they will work with you to deliver identified (and agreed) sustainable outcomes that can be captured as a contract commitment.

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