Finance and Procurement
Bangor University's investment portfolio is managed by UBS. UBS is committed to operating sustainably and to helping its clients invest in a manner that supports a positive social or environmental impact as well as producing good financial returns.
Bangor University has adopted UBS's sustainable investment strategy, taking into account the Sustainable Development principle i.e. that "we must act in a manner which seeks to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The strategy uses a combination of negative and positive screens to ensure that companies that may be harmful to society or the environment are excluded and to invest in businesses with responsible culture, practices and good governance.
Bangor University does not invest in controversial businesses, such as:
- Adult Entertainment
We do also do not invest in fossil fuels. In this way Bangor University contributes to a Globally Responsible Wales - Bangor University’s Declaration on Fossil Fuel
UBS offers bespoke advice from highly qualified and experienced experts and have summarised their six-pronged approach to sustainable investing:
“UBS analyses more than 12,000 issuers with over 500 sustainability indicators per issuer sourced from multiple leading data providers. These indicators are aggregated into six core sustainability topics: pollution and waste, climate change, water, people, governance, and products and services. The bank's proprietary methodology for sustainability scoring is based on a systematic process of sourcing and processing best-in-class sustainability data, and aligning them to this six-topic framework based on industry best practice. This includes data adjustments and smoothing techniques to make the final scores as useful as possible in an investment context.
In addition, UBS sources indicators on actual controversies such as instances where companies have breached international norms (e.g. the UN Global Compact) or governments have breached UN, US or EU sanctions, or face any other ESG-related events which may affect their prosperity and economic development.
From a high level by following this detailed methodology the companies included in the investment portfolio are well-run, well-managed and well-positioned to exist for the long term. With regard to the inclusion of low carbon/renewable energy companies we find ourselves in a period of transformation whereby industries are becoming greener and those that make the change to low carbon/renewable energy are expected to succeed. As well as broadly aiming to include companies that are becoming more sustainable across the six topics, the investment portfolio excludes extractive fossil fuels."
Investing in Energy Efficiency
Between 2018 and 2019, Bangor University invested £2.5 million in energy efficiency improvements as part of the Welsh Government’s ReFit Cymru scheme. In total, the scheme is projected to reduce the University’s energy consumption by around 12%. For more information, see the ReFit Case Study page.
Living Wage Employer
Bangor University is a Living Wage employer, accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.
The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by over 7,000 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a wage which meets everyday needs - like the weekly shop, or a surprise trip to the dentist.
Equality for Outsourced Staff
On any new contracts where the services would be classed as outsourced we ask the supplier to describe how they will commit to fair working practices for workers engaged in the delivery of this contract (including any agency or sub-contracted workers).
Bangor University has adopted the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Ethical Procurement in Supply Chains and we expect contractors to take a similar approach in relation to ethical working practices. This is designed to ensure that high-quality public services are delivered throughout Wales by a workforce that is treated legally, fairly and safely, and is well rewarded. This Code includes a commitment to consider promoting the Living Wage in relevant contracts. Evidence of fair work practices from suppliers, may include:
- a fair and equal pay policy that includes a commitment to paying all staff at least the Living Wage;
- becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer;
- ensuring that all staff have access to training and development opportunities;
- promoting equal opportunities for all staff regardless of age, gender, disability, religion, race and sexual orientation;
- stable employment, avoiding inappropriate use of zero-hours contracts, and umbrella employment firms;
- flexible working arrangements to allow support for carers, and for family-friendly working;
- supporting workforce engagement, for example Trade Union recognition and representation, or other arrangements for empowering staff.
Procurement Strategy, performance & best practice
Bangor University’s Procurement Strategy 2015-2020 sees sustainability as a key strategic procurement objective in keeping with the University’s Strategic Plan.
The aim is to embed sound ethical, social and environmental objectives into the procurement process as standard”, says Nicola Day, Bangor University’s Director of Procurement.
The Procurement Strategy is supported by a number of sustainability performance measures that will be assessed on an annual basis, such as the number of sustainability risk assessments completed, the impacts identified and the outcomes delivered. Measures also include an assessment of spend with small and medium sized enterprises and spend with Welsh suppliers.
As a member of the Welsh Public Sector, Bangor University adopts best practice as recommended by Value Wales (Welsh Government). The University has adopted the principles of the Welsh Procurement Policy Statement, which supports the achievement of the seven well-being goals for Wales as set out in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015). One of the principles aims at the delivery of social, economic and environmental benefits through effective application of Community Benefits policy. Community Benefits plans were in place for the construction of the new Menai Science Park and the contractor completed the Community Benefits Measurement Tool to record the various sustainability benefits that were achieved as part of the project.
As a full member of the North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium Ltd (NWUPC) we are able to benefit from significant cash and resource savings from collaborative procurement and access to over 100 tailor-led framework agreements.
NWUPC Ltd has joined Electronics Watch as an affiliate member on behalf of members as well as ourselves from 1st September 2019. Electronics Watch is an independent monitoring organisation set up with the purpose of protecting the rights of workers within supply chains. Their focus is on working with public sector organisations who purchase electronics and collaborating with them to have a positive impact on workers through the goods the public sector procures.
Slavery & Human Trafficking
With the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the University is required to produce a statement identifying supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place and to note the steps being introduced to assess and manage the risk. The University will seek to adopt the Welsh Government’s planned Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in Supply Chains.
Procuring IT equipment
The University buys its IT equipment through HE Consortia Framework Agreements. Our desktops and notebooks are purchased via the National Desktop & Notebook Agreement, which is contracted by the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC). LUPC are members of Electronics Watch and therefore Bangor University can be assured that its ICT purchases are supplied from ethical sources.
Continual improvement in procurement
In line with the Procurement Strategy 2015-2020, the University’s procurement procedures are currently being revised to take account of the increasing importance being placed on sustainability, ensuring that sustainability risk assessments are completed for all key procurements and measuring the positive impacts our procurement has on the economy, the environment and the community.