Join our new SUMS Commercial Community of Practice Group (CCOP) for leaders of procurement and contract management.

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Commercial Community of Practice Group (CCOP)

We’ve called it ‘Commercial’ to reflect the drivers from the Government to behave more commercially and the need to link university strategies to deliver the greatest value - going beyond the bounds of procurement to include whole university initiatives and activities.

This group is for strategic commercial leaders in finance, procurement and contract management including, Finance Directors, Deputy Directors of Finance and Procurement Directors, and those who have responsibility for driving organisational strategies such as directors of estates and sustainability.

The group is an opportunity to look to the future, to understand better the strategic drivers that will shape our commercial activities. We will focus on initiatives that have the greatest impact and those most affected by procurement and effective supplier management. In joining the group, you’ll be able to network with other leaders, share best practice and learn from each other.


Wednesday 23 March,  11:00-12:00
Online Session via Zoom Meeting (Breakout Rooms will be used to facilitate discussion)

The Commercial Community of Practice Group will be led by SUMS Associate Linda Crotty and our first meeting on Wednesday 23 March will consider sustainability.

This is a hot topic with recent new legislation requiring suppliers’ commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 and for universities to consider ‘social value’ in awarding major contracts. It’s an increasingly important agenda item for Finance Directors and university executive boards as to access funding and investment the world of finance asks for evidence of an organisation’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Universities and their commercial leaders: leaders of finance, procurement and contract management, are facing a growing number of pressures, to publicly address a range of often not well-understood issues. Issues include articulating their value to society, addressing inequalities and lack of inclusion, addressing the climate crisis, ensuring ‘value for money’ and reversing biodiversity loss. All of these ‘asks’ are core to being a sustainable university: financially and in realising environmental and social equity.

To address these effectively universities need to take a systematic, whole institution approach to develop strategies and plans which address this complexity but don’t overburden its community with disjointed initiatives.


We are pleased to be joined by SUMS Associate Dr Louise Ellis, who will hold an interactive masterclass to open the session. Louise is an EAUC Board member and a member of the UKRI Sustainability Implementation Advisory Group. Before joining SUMS as an Associate Consultant she was Director of Sustainability for the University of Leeds and Chair of Russell Group Sustainability Working Group, and before that Manager, Sustainability Business Services, Deloitte.

Louise will address the role procurement leaders have in ensuring their policies and actions connect with and reflect the strategic aims of their institution, to leverage potential synergies and avoid duplication and competing priorities. She will also explore how procurement leaders can play a role in forming these aims, knitting together commercial and the other multiple strands of sustainability into a coherent programme that enables the university to measure and understand the impact of its initiatives.

Please note places are limited to ensure a tailored focus and high engagement for all participants.


This event is FREE and open to members of SUMS Consulting only. Places are limited to ensure a tailored focus and high engagement for all participants.

Allocated on a first-come, first-served basis - booking is required to attend. To ensure this opportunity is available to the widest range of institutions, we reserve the right to limit attendees to 2 per institution. If the event is oversubscribed, we may contact you if your booked places exceed this amount.

Registration Options:

  • SUMS Member: Free to register
  • SUMS Staff: Free to register

We would advise checking if your institution is currently a member of SUMS before booking your place here.

Please use the 'BOOK NOW'  button above to secure your place. Joining instructions will be sent nearer to the event.


For assistance, please contact Grace Parsons - Events and Marketing Officer at

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