SUSTAINING LONDON 2012
The most important requirement that LOCOG has when it comes to sustainable procurement is buried some way down in its 31-page Sustainable Sourcing Code. It expects all suppliers and licences that provide products and service to the events industry to be taking steps to implement BS 8901:2009 ‘Specification for a sustainability management system for events’. How many of us are doing that, I wonder? And how many of us knew that was in fact a requirement for gaining work at the Olympics?
Just as interestingly, while LOCOG is a company registered in England and Wales, it is not subject to EU procurement regulations. However, it claims it “will adopt fair and sustainable procurement principles and processes…” and that “contracts will be awarded to businesses that reflect London 2012’s procurement policies and values”.
In particular, prospective suppliers and licensees need to ensure that their businesses and supply chains comply with LOCOG’s Sustainable Sourcing Code – a 31-page document that goes into great depth on the Committee’s approach to sustainable sourcing.
Put simply, LOCOG will look at where goods come from, who made them, what they are wrapped in and what will happen to them after the games. In addition, when it comes to sourcing labour it intends to use the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code as the required standard that suppliers should achieve. The ETI Base Code is founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and is an internationally recognised code of labour practice.
Where suppliers and licensees intend to use temporary or agency staff they must ensure that labour providers are members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and, if relevant, are licensed by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
Overall, the Sustainable Sourcing Code requires suppliers and licensees to manage the environmental and social impacts of their business practices. This means that suppliers have to meet certain core principles: responsible sourcing that ensures products and services are sourced and produced under internationally acceptable environmental, social and ethical guidelines and standards; maximising the use of materials with reused and recycled content, minimising packaging and designing products that can either be reused or recycled; maximising resource and energy efficiency and ensuring that appropriate substances and materials are used in order to protect human health and the environment. In fact, LOCOG expects suppliers where appropriate to amend their business practices to ensure that they meet with the requirements of its Sustainable Sourcing Code.
For example, sustainability related certified products will need to carry a certification mark, such as those from the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, the Soil Association and the Rainforest Alliance.
Naturally, health and safety forms part of the Code; but the actual wording is rather non-specific. It says:
“LOCOG is committed to creating and maintaining a positive health and safety culture which secures the commitment and participation of all its employees, volunteers, contractors, partners, suppliers and licensees.
“Suppliers and licensees must comply with health and safety legislation, industry standards, and LOCOG policies”.
It goes on to add:
“All suppliers of services will be required to be actively involved in working safely to mitigate health and safety risks and will report accidents and hazards to LOCOG…a suitable audit procedure will also be required for all suppliers of services.”
There will, of course, be particular sustainability objectives for particular tendering processes. These will be outlined to all prospective bidders; and the evaluation criteria used by LOCOG at the Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage will include a range of criteria relating to value for money, including sustainability.
Suppliers and licensees will generally be asked to complete either a management plan or LOCOG’s Supplier and Licensee Sourcing Document. This will help prove that the supplier is integrating the Code into the management process.
Even this simple outline shows how the Olympics tendering process could be long and complicated, so with some contracts already out there for bidding, it’s time all of us in the industry get on our bikes and make our pitches. Let’s prove that the British events industry is the best in the world.
A version of this article can be found at www.eventindustrynews.co.uk