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Sustainable Procurement

UNSW launched its Sustainable Procurement Vision 2018-2025, aimed at delivering outstanding environmental, social and economic benefits to UNSW students, staff and community through understanding and strengthening UNSW supply chains.  

The Strategic Procurement team is at the forefront of this vision and strives to be leaders of excellence within the higher education sector.  Due to the various terminology challenges across industry, the Strategic Procurement team is adopting ‘Sustainable Procurement’ as the consistent term, to be used to describe all Sub Principles. Sub Principles include: Human Rights, Modern Slavery, Gender equality, Health & Safety, Environmental, Equity, diversity and inclusion and Carbon, Energy, Water, Waste.  

To ensure that sufficient attention and positive impact is made against each of these Sub Principles, Procurement intend to focus on two of these within 2020. It is intended that Procurement will focus their attention on two a year. This allows for sufficient impact, actions and outcomes to be integration into business as usual for the following year.

In 2020, the two key Sub Principles that Procurement intend to focus on are a) Supplier Diversity and b) Modern Slavery.

This will allow for actions to be set for each quarter of the year, accompanied by the appropriate governance and a strong stakeholder group to assist with the execution of actions. 

Besides these two principles having a Focus Plan, the procurement team continue to partner with Estate Management's Sustainability team as well as identify sustainable procurement opportunities each time an activity is sent to suppliers.

Human Rights & Modern Slavery


UNSW is committed to meeting the requirements under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth).  

UNSW is an entity with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100m. As such there is a requirement to report annually on the risks of modern slavery. 

To report and met the requirements under the Act, a number of key operational areas need to have specific plans and initiatives with risks, mitigation and prevention clearly articulated. These range from Alliances, Investment, Research, Education, Students, Employment, Supply Chain, Hospitality, Controlled entities and others. These are otherwise known as 'workstreams'. 

To support this diverse range of activities, UNSW has established a legal working group who is working closely with a number of internal stakeholders to determine the appropriate 'workstreams' and the teams responsible for outputs.

Procurement is responsible for articulating how UNSW intend to meet the compliance requirements under the Act for Modern Slavery and Human Rights within the Supply Chain.


It is early days in the journey and we have been busy educating ourselves with as much content and absorbing as much knowledge as we can from credible resources both within UNSW and within the broader community. We have also attended a number of seminars, third party presentations and collaboration with Sydney Uni, and looking at the benefits of a sector wide approach through the Australian Procurement Network (AUPN) who have specifically established a working group dedicated to identifying ways universities across the nation can work together to engage the market and provide shared resources. 


Many other organisations are on the same journey and therefore lessons learnt both positive and negative have helped shape the strategy and Procurement's action plan. We agree that to have the best outcome possible and to be leaders both within the procurement sector and higher education there is a need for a combined approach. We are developing a clear strategy with the appropriate governance, specific initiatives broken down by quarters and responsibility assigned to specific personnel. Alongside this, we will continue to work with the AUPN and Sydney Uni to understand where collaborative approaches may benefit our supply chain and ease resource time and effort,

We are looking forward to sharing our Focus Plan for Human Rights and Modern Slavery at the end of March 2020 and look forward to presenting our plan at the next bi-monthly legal working group at the end of February 2020. 

To provide a clear view of the framework and the intended outcome, the attachment contained within this page clearly identifies the governance and how Procurement intend to deliver positive and impactful change across all Sub-Principles. 

Modern Slavery Governance Structure