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Responsible Procurement

Social Value Policy

Earlier in the year we refreshed our Social Value Policy

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The aim of our Policy is to maximise economic, social and / or environmental benefits in how we buy goods, works or services.  Whether this is:

  • the added benefits that can be acheived to the local economy through our suppliers
  • increasing training or enabling staff to work in the community through volunteer days
  • engaging in local community based projects to improve the wellbeing of the community, or indeed the wider environment.

For Cornwall Council,  our current policy for responsible procurement means:

socially, environmentally and economically responsible procurement to deliver improved quality of life and better value for money for our people, our businesses and our county.

Essentially, responsible procurement is good procurement.

The Council has six responsible procurement workstreams. These can be found in detail in our Responsible Procurement Policy. Information and guidance on these individual workstreams can be found below:

  • Environmental sustainability and carbon management
  • Equality and diversity
  • Safeguarding
  • Ethical sourcing
  • Health and safety
  • Supply Chain Diversification
  • Social Value: Employment and Skills
  • Social Value: Additional Outcomes for Vulnerable Groups
  • Social Value: Supporting, protecting and improving community assets

Cornwall Council feed in to European and International Networks as active members of:

  • Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network
  • Sustainable Procurement Leadership Council

Cornwall Council is confident that it has achieved level 4 of the Sustainable Procurement Task Force Flexible Framework.

Along with our partners, we are committed to ensuring that goods and services are delivered in a way that helps to:

  • protect the quality of the environment
  • minimises any adverse impact on the climate from the release of greenhouse gases

Cornwall Council is committed to purchasing timber from sustainable sources. For many years a majority of the Council’s timber purchasing has been Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited. However, this has not been monitored effectively. In 2013 the Council was awarded 'silver' under the WWF Sustainable Timber Campaign.

The Carbon Trust have secured funding to provide free support for small businesses. This is to progress energy efficiency opportunities. The support includes:

  • training workshops
  • capital contributions to energy saving
  • equipment
  • free opportunity assessments

We are keen to ensure that the procuring of goods, works and services is carried out in a manner which:

  • Promotes equal opportunity
  • Promotes good relations
  • Eliminates discrimination (either direct or indirect)

This is as part of the Council's approach to equal opportunities and statutory responsibilities.

The Corporate Procurement Team has assisted Cornwall Council in reaching the 'achieving' level of the Equality Framework for Local Government. This has been done through effective implementation of equality and diversity considerations in procurement. In our peer assessment in 2013 the Procurement Service was judged as ‘at if not nearing Excellent’.

If you are tendering to sell goods, works or services then you should first read the 'Equality Information Sheet'. This will give you a basic understanding of equality and diversity in procurement.

General information on equality and diversity in the Council is available.

The Council has a Safeguarding Advocates Network amongst its suppliers. Advocates receive regular updates from the Council on safeguarding policy changes. They are also invited to safeguarding advocates events. Further information can be found on the Supplier Safeguarding Advocates webpage.

Everybody has the right to be safe no matter who they are or what their circumstances.  Safeguarding is about protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect.

We are all responsible for the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We must ensure that we are doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable members in our society.

The Council expects that any organisation wishing to provide services where staff are employed to work directly or indirectly with children, young people or vulnerable adults are able to demonstrate standards of safeguarding commensurate with those expected of statutory organisations.

Please read our Safeguarding Schedule. This is usually used for procurement processes where Safeguarding is a significant risk.

Further information on safeguarding in the Council is available. 

Cornwall Council are committed to finding applications of ethical sourcing considerations. We will use a risk based approach, based on country, public exposure (reputational risk) and proportionality. We will use this to identify relevant products and specific contracts suitable for ethical sourcing considerations.

The Council are also working closely with partners across the County and South West. This is to implement an approach to minimising risks associated with Modern Slavery. The Council’s statement on slavery was revised in June 2020. 

Potential Council suppliers are encouraged to read this simple guide to Modern Slavery.

Useful links:

Cornwall Council is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its:

  • staff
  • visitors
  • contractors
  • ressidents
  • any other users of its buildings, facilities or services

Some of our services or facilities are provided by suppliers, including:

  • contractors
  • sub contractors
  • any other partner organisations

Providers such as these will be subject to an appropriate and proportionate assessment of their health and safety (H&S) policy and arrangements. There will be occasions when it is deemed that, due to the nature of the services to be provided, a specific H&S assessment will not be required.

Health and safety requirements vary from contract to contract. This is dependent on the subject matter and associated risk. On each project the Council’s Heath and Safety team help to assess the risk.