NUS suppliers quizzed on ethicsApril 2000
An ethical grading system is being used by a purchasing arm of the National Union of Students to let contracts to companies.
The system, based on a social and environmental questionnaire sent to 250 potential suppliers, will form the basis for central contracts let this month by NUS Services for confectionery, drinks and other items provided to NUS university shops with a combined turnover of £1.75million a week.
David Boyle, ethical and environmental committee chair at NUS Services, said the grading system ‘represented the first time we have approached this issue in such a … systematic way’.
Nestle and Bacardi were among companies being assessed, Boyle added. Both have been the target of student campaigns in recent years. He claimed a high response rate to the questionnaire, which covers pension scheme investment policies and trade union membership, among other issues. Results will be made public after an NUS Services annual meeting on 19 April. The grades of successful companies will be published in a buyers directory for member unions.
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