Skip to content

Responsible procurement

Our Responsible Procurement Policy

For Cornwall Council,  our current policy for responsible procurement means:

Socially, Environmentally and Economically responsible procurement to deliver improved quality of life and better value for money for our people, our businesses and our county.

Responsible procurement is good procurement.

The Council has seven responsible procurement workstreams.

These can be found in our Responsible Procurement Policy.

View the Responsible Procurement Policy

  • Social Value
  • Environmental Sustainability and Carbon Management
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Safeguarding
  • Building a Diverse Supply Chain
  • Ethical Sourcing inc Modern Slavery
  • Health and Safety

Social Value

In April 2021 we refreshed our Social Value Policy. 

The aim of our Policy is to maximise economic, social and / or environmental benefits in how we buy goods, works or services.  Whether this is:

  • the added benefits that can be achieved to the local economy through our suppliers
  • increasing training or enabling staff to work in the community through volunteer days
  • engaging in local community based projects to improve the wellbeing of the community, or indeed the wider environment.

For additional support and guidance on social value and tender applications please read the Social Value Information for Tenders document.

Cornwall Council Social Value – Information for Tenderers

Environmental Sustainability and Carbon Management

Along with our partners, we are committed to ensuring that goods and services are delivered in a way that helps to:

  • protect the quality of the environment
  • minimises any adverse impact on the climate from the release of greenhouse gases

Cornwall Council is committed to purchasing timber from sustainable sources. For many years a majority of the Council’s timber purchasing has been Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited. However, this has not been monitored effectively. In 2013 the Council was awarded 'silver' under the WWF Sustainable Timber Campaign.

The Carbon Trust had secured funding to provide free support for small businesses.

Carbon Trust project websiteEquality and diversity

We are keen to ensure that the procuring of goods, works and services is carried out in a manner which:

  • Promotes equal opportunity
  • Promotes good relations
  • Eliminates discrimination (either direct or indirect)

This is as part of the Council's approach to equal opportunities and statutory responsibilities.

The Corporate Procurement Team has assisted Cornwall Council in reaching the 'achieving' level of the Equality Framework for Local Government.

Local Government website

This has been done through effective implementation of equality and diversity considerations in procurement. In our peer assessment in 2013 the Procurement Service was judged as ‘at if not nearing Excellent’.

If you are tendering to sell goods, works or services then you should first read the Equality Information Sheet.

Equality Information Sheet

This will give you a basic understanding of equality and diversity in procurement.

View our equality and diversity pages 


The Council has a Safeguarding Advocates Network amongst its suppliers. Advocates receive regular updates from the Council on safeguarding policy changes. They are also invited to safeguarding advocates events. 

Everybody has the right to be safe no matter who they are or what their circumstances.  Safeguarding is about protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect.

We are all responsible for the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We must ensure that we are doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable members in our society.

The Council expects that any organisation wishing to provide services where staff are employed to work directly or indirectly with children, young people or vulnerable adults are able to demonstrate standards of safeguarding commensurate with those expected of statutory organisations.

Please read our Safeguarding ScheduleThis is usually used for procurement processes where Safeguarding is a significant risk. 

Ethical sourcing including Modern Slavery

Cornwall Council are committed to finding applications of ethical sourcing considerations. We will use a risk based approach, based on country, public exposure (reputational risk) and proportionality. We will use this to identify relevant products and specific contracts suitable for ethical sourcing considerations.

The Council are also working closely with partners across the County and South West. This is to implement an approach to minimising risks associated with Modern Slavery. 

Potential Council suppliers are encouraged to read the Modern Slavery Guide.

Modern Slavery Guide

The Home Office has encouraged all Councils to produce and publish a Modern Slavery Transparency Statement for 2021/22.

The Modern Slavery Transparency Statement sets out the Council’s commitment to identifying and tackling Modern Slavery and outlines the actions that the Council is taking to identify and tackle Modern Slavery in communities and within its supply chain.

The Council’s Modern Slavery Transparency Statement aligns with our Responsible Procurement Policy.

Cornwall Council’s Modern Slavery Statement for 2022/23

Useful links:

Health and Safety

Cornwall Council is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its:

  • staff
  • visitors
  • contractors
  • residents
  • any other users of its buildings, facilities or services

Some of our services or facilities are provided by suppliers, including:

  • contractors
  • sub contractors
  • any other partner organisations

Providers such as these will be subject to an appropriate and proportionate assessment of their health and safety (H&S) policy and arrangements. There will be occasions when it is deemed that, due to the nature of the services to be provided, a specific H&S assessment will not be required.

Health and safety requirements vary from contract to contract. This is dependent on the subject matter and associated risk. On each project the Council’s Heath and Safety team help to assess the risk.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Use our contact us form

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service