Sustainable procurement

As one of Australia’s largest tertiary institutions, RMIT has a significant impact through the University’s operational footprint and supply chain.

This allows the University to leverage its buying power to drive improved practices in the supply chain and support the strategic objective of shaping the world.  

Guided by the Sustainable Procurement Plan, RMIT integrates sustainability considerations into its procurement practices including processes, responsibilities and governance. The University's approach to sustainable procurement is aligned with the international standard, ISO 20400:2017 Sustainable procurement – guidance (ISO 20400). The standard defines sustainable procurement as “procurement that has the most positive environmental, social and economic impacts possible over the entire life cycle”. 

RMIT is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and is committed to applying its Ten Principles that establish fundamental responsibilities of business in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.  

The RMIT Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) framework is applied in the procurement process to meet these principles and to ensure that suppliers meet the minimum requirements regarding their own ethical practices. The CSR framework includes a comprehensive screening process for prospective suppliers and the signing of the RMIT Supplier Code of Conduct as a requirement of the contract process.  

All tenders have a weighting for sustainability, Indigenous and student engagement outcomes and sustainability outcomes are also driven through the contract management process with existing vendors.  

Overview of Policy Landscape

RMIT is committed to the ‘triple bottom line’ of environmental, social and financial sustainability and is the signatory to a number of agreements which require the following responsibilities to be addressed:

a) Access and inclusion

b) The stimulation of Indigenous Business in accordance with the Guide

c) Human rights

d) Cultural and gender diversity

e) Environmental sustainability

f) Privacy and data protection

g) Anti-corruption

h) Industry Engagement

Purpose

This Supplier Code of Conduct describes RMIT’s minimum requirements regarding the conduct of its suppliers of goods and services in the areas of labour and human rights, protection against modern slavery, environmental management, health and safety, corporate governance and ethical business practices.

Our suppliers must demonstrate that they align with our values and are willing to drive continuous improvement in their processes, to enable RMIT to meet the following Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments:

UN Global Compact

RMIT is a signatory to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact - this means operating in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

RMIT Values and RMIT Code of Conduct 

One of our values is courage - We are honest and fair in our conduct and relationships. We embrace new thinking and evidence, test it rigorously and apply it to our own learning. We are strongly committed to performance, accountability and value for money. We speak out on issues of importance to our community and our world. We respect the rights of others and our obligations to the health of the planet.

RMIT Sustainability Policy

  • Behave as a socially responsible organisation and ensure that our activities have a positive impact on individuals and communities.
  • Ensure our strategies, processes, supply chains and partnerships meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption to achieve a culture of integrity.
  • Adopt a leadership role at a national and international level to shape a sustainable environment and society, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Exceed, wherever possible, all legislative and regulatory requirements for sustainability and aim to achieve exemplary sustainable practice in all university operations.
  • Assess and address the risks of modern slavery in our operations and supply chains through due diligence and remediation processes, as well as implement tools to assess the effectiveness of these actions.  

RMIT Diversity and Inclusion Framework

RMIT creates life-changing opportunities for all, welcomes students and staff from diverse backgrounds, honours the identity and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations, and is an accessible and open institution dedicated to serving the needs of the whole community.

RMIT Health and Safety Policy

RMIT is committed to developing a values-based health, safety and wellbeing culture and seeks to enhance the health, safety and wellbeing of its people so they can thrive in work and life.

Scope

The Supplier Code of Conduct (‘Supplier Code’) applies to all individuals and organisations (‘Suppliers”) wishing to engage with the University for the provision of goods and services. 

Fundamental to this Supplier Code is a requirement that all Suppliers operate in full compliance with all laws, rules and regulations of the jurisdictions in which they do business.

The requirements outlined in the Supplier Code are not intended to supersede or alter the Supplier’s regulatory and contractual obligations. RMIT requires all existing and new Suppliers to commit to compliance with this Supplier Code.

RMIT requires Suppliers to communicate the Supplier Code to their related entities, its own supply chain and sub-contractors who support them in supplying goods and services to RMIT, so that they are aware of, understand and comply with the Supplier Code.

RMIT seeks to work with Suppliers to meet and exceed minimum requirements as outlined in the Supplier Code and continuously strive to improve the standard of its business practices.

Supplier Requirements

RMIT requires our Suppliers to meet the following standards within their own organisations, throughout their operations, supply chains and whilst undertaking work for RMIT. They must inform RMIT immediately if they become aware of any issues that are in breach of this Supplier Code:

Human Rights and Labour Practices

RMIT believes that all workers in its operations and supply chain deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Suppliers are required to provide a fair and ethical workplace which upholds human rights (including anti-modern slavery) and labour rights, integrating appropriate policies and practices into its business.

  • Suppliers must have adequate and reasonable policies, controls, procedures and training designed to prevent, detect, assess, manage and remedy adverse human rights impacts or human rights breaches in their operations and supply chains.
  • Suppliers are expected to commit to due diligence activities to identify, prevent and mitigate modern slavery risk.
  • Suppliers must ensure that their workers have freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • Suppliers must not to engage in any labour hire practices that involve force, compulsion or child labour.
  • Suppliers must comply with all applicable laws with respect to employment, superannuation and workers compensation insurance.
  • Suppliers must not discriminate against any worker based on any status or attribute protected by law, in hiring and other employment practices.
  • Suppliers must commit to a workplace free from workplace bullying, harassment, victimisation and abuse.
  • Suppliers must provide goods and services in a manner consistent with all applicable human rights obligations.
  • Suppliers must have in place measurable diversity, accessibility and inclusion plans.
  • Suppliers must provide a healthy and safe work environment and integrate sound health and safety management practices.
  • Suppliers must ensure that they complete all supplier registration, vetting and due diligence requirements requested by RMIT.

Environmental Management

RMIT is committed to promoting environmental responsibility. Suppliers are expected to minimise the environmental impacts of their operations (including supply chains) and maintain environmentally responsible policies and practices, including:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduction
  • Pollution control
  • Biodiversity and preservation of natural habitats
  • Water usage and treatment
  • Responsible resource consumption
  • Waste minimisation
  • Preserving cultural heritage

Ethical Business Practices

  • Suppliers are required to comply with all anti-bribery, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws.
  • Suppliers must not engage in fraudulent, corrupt or collusive activities in breach of laws and regulations, whether directly or indirectly.
  • Suppliers must fully comply with obligations under all applicable State, Commonwealth and International laws and demonstrate compliance.
  • Suppliers must demonstrate policies and practices are in place to prevent bribery, deceptive, dishonest, corrupt or inappropriate behaviours.
  • Suppliers must manage and monitor their supply chains to minimise human rights, labour, environment and bribery/corruption risks.
  • Suppliers must proactively manage data security and protect intellectual property.
  • Suppliers must be open and transparent about Corporate Social Responsibility practices and be willing to assist RMIT in driving outcomes.

Monitoring

Suppliers must self-assess their compliance with the Supplier Code and take timely action to correct any deficiencies or breaches reported or identified by an audit, assessment, inspection, investigation or review.

Suppliers must notify RMIT if at any time they believe they cannot adhere to the requirements outlined above.

Suppliers are required to provide information to RMIT in relation to the Supplier Code on request. 

Reporting

Contact procurementrequests@rmit.edu.au to:

  • Report any suspected or actual breaches of this Supplier Code
  • Provide feedback, raise any concerns and seek clarifications on the Supplier Code

Non-compliance

An obligation to comply with this Supplier Code will be included in all contracts between RMIT and its business partners. Accordingly, non-compliance with the code will be a breach of the terms of your contract and may entitle RMIT to terminate that contract.

The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (the Act) requires large organisations to evaluate risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and account for processes and actions to address modern slavery risk.   

Our reporting on this commitment is through the Modern Slavery Statement, an annual, publicly available report that will be submitted to the Commonwealth.  

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery is characterised by the lack of freedom to leave, it can include forced labour, child exploitation and child labour, debt bondage, human trafficking, forced marriage and servitude, abuse and unsafe conditions.  

Modern slavery is often obscured through third party arrangements, and practices of fear and intimidation. Forms of control are exercised through deceptive recruiting, coercion, debt bondage, withholding of passports or identity documents.   

The scale of modern slavery is considerable, and its presence is local, with particular risk across global supply chains and service delivery.  

What does this mean?

Our Modern Slavery Statement reports to the Commonwealth on:   

  • our structure, operations and supply chain 
  • our risk assessment of potential modern slavery risks across operations and supply chains 
  • our due diligence and remediation actions in response to modern slavery risk 
  • our ongoing assessments of effectiveness and maturity; and our consultations and engagement with controlled entities.  

The RMIT Modern Slavery Statement provides an overview of the University’s commitments and actions to address the potential risk of modern slavery across the RMIT Group.

Supply Chain Sustainability School

RMIT is a knowledge partner of the Supply Chain Sustainability School. The School is a not-for-profit initiative that aims to create more sustainable supply chains for the property, construction and infrastructure industries in Australia. They provide targeted learning and support to address all the main sustainability issues including materials, carbon, environmental management, waste, water, biodiversity, ethics, community, climate adaptation, procurement, as well as human rights and modern slavery. Their resources and modules are freely available to all RMIT students and staff and are used for training and capability development.

More Information

For more information on procurement and supply chain management at RMIT visit Supplier Connect.

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torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.