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Ethical Supply Chain

Promoting ethical procurement and consumption on campuses and beyond
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SOS-UK advises NUS Services on responsible sourcing and purchasing for NUS' purchasing consortium for students’ unions, as well as supporting SU staff and students.

This ethical supply chain work includes:

  • Ethical sourcing: demonstrating a commitment to sourcing goods responsibly and ensuring the business practices of suppliers align with NUS values.
  • Constructive engagement: proactively engaging with suppliers to address ethical issues and make positive changes.
  • Focus areas: driving action on key issues within the supply chain.


NUS Services: ethicaltrading@nus.org.uk

SOS-UK: Aqeel Kapasi

Ethical sourcing

NUS has a commitment to sourcing goods responsibly and ensuring the business practices of their suppliers align with the organisation’s values. With increasing access to information that calls out the social and environmental challenges in supply chains, there is ever increasing demand from students for improved transparency, stewardship and accountability – as shown by our research.

Photo of cotton plant in India, courtesy of SU-stainable

NUS' Ethical Code of Conduct sets the expectations for NUS’ contracted suppliers, accompanied by a ethical and environmental screening process which includes assessment of supplier policies and commitments on a range of issues, including worker rights, political lobbying, environmental stewardship, animal welfare and health and safety. 

Where a supplier’s actions may be outside of the required standards, constructive engagement takes place to address these issues.

The approach takes a holistic view of sustainability, including social and economic matters as well as environmental. For example, NUS is increasingly working with social enterprises, cooperatives and other purpose-led businesses in recognition of their broader values when it comes to people and planet.

Constructive engagement

NUS has a long history of conducting constructive engagement with suppliers on issues raised by students, and reflecting concerns in the public domain. NUS’ work with suppliers is unique in this respect, being able to engage with students then proactively engage with suppliers to address issues and make positive changes.

For more informationabout NUS’ approach, read the Constructive Engagement Policy.


Zero waste shop at Keele University SU