Ethical and sustainability issues are increasingly at the forefront of the minds of clients, regulators, employees, investors and other stakeholders. How you handle these issues will have an impact on how you are viewed as a firm. Consideration for ethical and sustainability issues should extend beyond the day-to-day operations of your firm to those who supply you with goods and services.

By including these questions in your IT tender, you will have a more complete picture of the environmental impact of your business as well as aligning the ethical considerations of your suppliers with your own. If your firm has published policies on ethics, sustainability, and diversity etc, you should share these with potential suppliers.

Example questions

  • What are your ethics and sustainability policies? If you don’t have a published policies, are you willing to adhere to our firm’s own policies or code of conduct? (This might include reference to your firm’s values and statements on your commitment to equality and diversity, inclusion, social mobility, anti-slavery, responsible sourcing of goods and services etc.)
  • Please demonstrate what steps you are taking to ensure the ethical and sustainable sourcing of supplies and services as part of your supply chain. In the case of hardware procurement, please confirm that you have an effective conflict minerals compliance programme.
  • Please demonstrate what steps you are taking to minimise your carbon footprint and provide information that will allow us to assess this
  • Do you comply with industry standards on environmental issues such as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and ISO 14001?

You may wish to consider the social value of the procurement, such as sourcing goods from small/medium sized enterprises, minority owned business or from suppliers from less economically developed countries? Does your procurement process operate in a way which removes or minimises barriers to entry from such vendors, or if your procurement is larger in nature, does the vendor have a business partner eco-systems that supports the use of such parties as sub-contractors?