Sustainable Procurement and Community Benefits

 Illustration of a climate friendly town showing alternative energy and active travel solutions in place

Sustainable Procurement 

Sustainable procurement or 'Procuring the Future' can be defined as a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities. This is done in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment. 


The council has significant buying power both locally and regionally and recognises the importance of Sustainable Procurement in supporting the wider sustainability agenda. In support of this, the council approved a Sustainable Procurement Policy in November 2020, which includes a commitment to purchasing goods, materials and services that minimise or reduce the impacts of our activities on the local and global environment. The policy is therefore aligned to the East Lothian Procurement Strategy 2023-2028, East Lothian Council Plan 2017-2027, East Lothian Poverty Plan 2021-2023, Equality Plan 2021-2025 and East Lothian Climate Change Strategy 2020-2025 which includes Sustainable Procurement as one of the key priority areas.

In order to link procurement to the priorities on the Council Plan, it's important that when conducting any procurement exercise to consider all the aspects that are set out in the Sustainable Procurement Charter.

Sustainable Procurement Action Plan

East Lothian Council (ELC) declared a climate emergency that demands urgent action to make all council services Net Zero as soon as possible and in any case by 2045. ELC are required to lobby, support and work with all relevant agencies, partners and communities to fulfil this commitment.

The council has also pledged to work with the community and partners towards making East Lothian a carbon neutral county. Sustainability is embedded within the council’s Climate Change Strategy 2020-2045 with the promise to continue to reduce the environmental impact of East Lothian Council service provision.

Community Benefits 

A community benefit is a commitment provided by a supplier or private sector partner, in addition to the main contract in place in order to provide added social, economic or environmental value to the local community.

The community benefits requested by ELC fall into 6 categories:

  • Training and Work Experience 
  • Employability and Skills
  • Education and Outreach
  • East Lothian's Local Economy and Social Enterprises 
  • Community Engagement Projects
  • Protecting and Improving our Environment

I am a business looking to deliver community benefits as part of the contract agreement 

Successful suppliers will be expected to deliver community benefits in line with their contract.

The community benefits Wish List is a tool which has been designed to provide suppliers  with options when choosing how to fulfil their community benefit obligations. This wish list includes specific requests from local community groups and third sector organisations for community benefits projects.

Suppliers bidding for public contracts can utilise the wish list by identifying a community group or project that they can commit to supporting. This approach brings benefits to both the local community and the supplier, as the community benefits delivered are current and meaningful, but also the ‘Wish List’ widens the scope of assistance the suppliers can offer.

If used, items from the wish list would then be included the suppliers quality submission, within their tender response.

Further information on community benefits clauses and method statements will be provided by ELC within tender information packs.

How are community benefits selected and included into the Wish List?

Local communities and not for profit organisations can engage with the relevant connected communities area managers to make requests or ‘wishes’ for material or labour donations, sponsorships, work experience and any other relevant community engagement activity.

These wishes will then be reviewed and added to the wish list made available to suppliers, who can select requests that best align with the vision and values of the company or the goods, works or services they provide.

Please note there is no guarantee that specific community benefit requests included on the wish list will be fulfilled.

Take a look at our Community Benefits map below to see the wishes fulfilled by our suppliers so far!


How will community benefits be managed?

Delivery of Community Benefits will be monitored and reported as part of on-going contract management activities undertaken by our Contract Managers. The procurement team will also have oversight of the delivery of community benefits and have a requirement to report on their delivery as part of our Annual Procurement Report.

If you have any enquiries, please contact us at: