New e-learning modules open up sustainable procurement savings to all

2nd April 2013

WRAP today launches a series of sustainable procurement e-learning modules developed as part of its work for EPOW (European Pathway to Zero Waste), supported by Defra. The innovative modules form part of Defra’s NSPP training programme and are designed to help practitioners realise the cost savings associated with implementing more sustainable practices when procuring goods and services, as well as meeting their Greening Government Commitments.

Dr Mervyn Jones, Head of Products & Materials at WRAP, said of the new resources: “Through EPOW, WRAP has worked directly with more than 40 public sector organisations in the south east as part of our targeted assistance programme. This has helped many to not only implement the Marrakech Approach* to sustainable procurement into their policies and contracts, but also shape the behaviour of their private sector supply chains. By so doing, we’ve influenced more than 5.75 billion Euros in policy spend, and almost 460 million Euros-worth of contracts, in moving towards more sustainable procurement.

“WRAP developed this suite of E-learning modules to expand on this engagement work through online learning and further promote the impact sustainable procurement can have. The launch of the modules today will enable the public sector and its supply chains to increase their potential for economic, environmental and social benefits through sustainable procurement.”

Created by WRAP, the simple to follow and free to use online modules offer procurement practitioners the tools and knowledge to confidently assess their own procurement processes, with a view to adopting more sustainable practices. What’s more, the modules will help businesses and organisations unlock potential cost savings through using resources more efficiently, and sending less waste to landfill. 

A total of six modules have been developed comprising of an Introduction to Sustainable Procurement module, and five independent tutorials each dedicated to high priority areas;
• Construction and Major Refurbishment Projects
• Furniture
• Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)
• Re-use and Remanufacturing
• Textiles

The modules include good practice procurement wording, and sample contract clauses, to help users implement sustainable procurement decisions simply. They are available to use online and have been designed to help both public and private sector professionals. They can be used as part of a work schedule and can be completed over time, rather than one sitting.

The E-learning modules adopt the principles of Defra’s National Sustainable Public Procurement Programme**. This is based on the Marrakech Task Force approach developed by WRAP on behalf of Defra and delivered in the health, higher education and local authorities sectors within England. The interactive modules were developed in collaboration with industry and public sector procurers. They contain guidance on tools to embed sustainability within an organisation’s procurement, and highlight key learning concepts and exemplar case studies that demonstrate the benefits which can be achieved through sustainable procurement.

Notes to Editor

  • *The principal objective of the Marrakech Task Force is to promote and support the implementation of public procurement programmes that encourage the uptake of sustainable products and services.
  • **The National Sustainable Public Procurement Programme (NSPPP) seeks to make it clear to government employees that sustainable procurement is simply good procurement practice which can generate significant benefits, including increased efficiency; reduction in carbon; cost savings. The programme explains public procurement and demonstrates how to apply sustainable procurement good practice throughout the purchasing cycle.
  • WRAP’s sustainable procurement goal is to help procurement professionals reduce waste by making sustainable choices when procuring products and services - helping companies to cut costs, and meet their social, economic and environmental objectives.
  • The E-learning modules were created as part of the EPOW project, a partnership between WRAP and the Environment Agency. As part of its work on EPOW, WRAP offers a limited programme of targeted assistance to public sector organisations in the South East and their supply chains to help embed sustainable procurement in an organisation. Support could include a review of your current corporate and procurement documentation, such as policy, targets, project brief, tender evaluation and contracts.

EPOW - the European Pathway to Zero Waste - is an EU demonstration project part funded by LIFE+, the EU’s funding instrument for the Environment and is a partnership between the Environment Agency and WRAP. The project has been set up to investigate practical ways to achieve zero waste to landfill in the South East of England. It will share the results with colleagues both in the UK and in relevant EU Member States. Zero waste in this context is an approach to supporting the sustainable use of resources by business to benefit both the economy and the environment. It concentrates on reducing, re-using, recycling and recovering energy from waste. The project will run to March 2013. More information on European Pathway to Zero Waste can be found at

WRAPs vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on @WRAP_UK

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