The challenge

In 2018, WWF-UK was in the process of setting out a long-term strategy to reverse the decline of nature and expand its own scope to influence broader environmental and ethical issues such as climate change. As the previous facilities management (FM) services contract was ending in October of that year, the organisation spotted an opportunity to bring in a new FM solution that could help it achieve these goals.


WWF-UK’s aims were to embed ethical criteria at every stage of the procurement process, ensure that every ethical aspect included in the procurement process would lead to a tangible or measurable output, and encourage tender proposals that would create the leading UK sustainable FM service. WWF-UK’s procurement team needed to put together a focused procurement process that excited businesses with a similar ethical focus.

The solution

WWF-UK’s procurement team identified The SFMI as a credible and sector-specific sustainability benchmarking process that could help to measure the ethical elements it had identified. WWF-UK brought in The SFMI to operate as a technical specialist. Acclaro’s work comprised a focussed pre-qualification of bidders, which included a list of suppliers that had performed well in the 2017 SFMI, and an enhancement of the tender specification, reviewing services and making amendments where there was room to improve the level of environmental and ethical stewardship. Acclaro then compiled a tender appendix of ethical criteria tailored to WWF-UK’s services that could boost ethical performance.

The next step was to benchmark the four shortlisted bidders against each other across a subset of SFMI criteria that were deemed most relevant to WWF-UK’s contract scope. Finally, Acclaro supported the mobilisation of successful bidder ENGIE through a series of three-way workshops and standard
operating procedures (SOP). WWF-UK also included a contractual requirement that ENGIE must ensure it maintains a ‘platinum’ standard SFMI assessment annually for the life of the contract. The service provider
achieved the top platinum score for a second successive year in the 2019 SFMI.

The results

Environmental benefits

  • Chemical-free services. Chemical substances removed entirely from the cleaning service
  • Removal of single-use plastics. Removal of circa 4,500 single-use plastic bottles per annum from cleaning and kitchen consumable supply
  • Real-time energy management. Visibility of real-time energy usage has reduced consumption
  • Improved biodiversity. The adopted biodiversity plan has created circa 75 square metres of improved habitat for nesting species and space for pollinating plants
  • Optimised waste recovery. Hard-to-recycle substances such as Tetra Paks and waste electrical and electronic equipment have been added to the list of recyclable materials at the Living Planet Centre

Social benefits

  • Fair pay. Payment of the Real Living Wage (as set by the Living Wage Foundation) to all dedicated contract staff as a contractual standard
  • Investment in people. Training of on-site team leading to the qualification of one individual under City & Guilds Legionella and ACOP L8, with more to follow
  • Volunteering. The commitment of 120 hours of contract team volunteering leave to support WWF projects and campaigns per annum
  • Community engagement. Involvement of local volunteers in works to implement site Biodiversity Plan (e.g. seeding pollinator plants, creating nesting habitat)
  • Educational resourcing. ENGIE has donated 15 tablets to WWF-UK which have been deployed on the ‘Our Planet’ citizen science project with youth groups
  • Campaign support. Four high-profile ENGIE client sites participated in WWF Earth Hour in March 2019
  • Learning and development. ENGIE has committed to delivering seven educational conferences /seminars at WWF-UK’s Living Planet Centre over five years

“Going through a rigorous
supplier selection process
with the SFMI enabled WWF
to embed ethical criteria
through and select an FM
service provider that could
match its values and deliver
measurable outputs against
its high environmental and
social standards.”

Sunil Shah, Managing Director of Acclaro Advisory

“The integration of the SFMI
into the tender process has
provided strong assurance
that we have selected a
supply partner in ENGIE
that shares our ambitions,
particularly in the area of
carbon reduction.”

Adrian Warburton, Director of Finance, WWF-UK

“The WWF-UK tender
was aligned to the SFMI
framework, which enabled
us to offer our best
environmental and social
sustainability solutions
with confidence that these
commitments would be
valued by the client in the
tender evaluation.”

Jamie Quinn, Corporate Responsibility and Environmental Director, ENGIE UK & Ireland

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