The First International Standard for Sustainable Procurement is underway by ISO

As companies continue to advance their sustainability strategies and practices, the question of “to what standard” is becoming more urgent. Especially with regard to the procurement policy of a company. Sustainable Procurement means buying products and services from suppliers in a responsible way, in a way that respects economic, ethical and environmental aspects and includes issues such as waste disposal, supply chain and the cost of operation and maintenance over the life of goods or services.

A new standard, ISO 20400, Sustainable Procurement – Guidance is now being drafted, in order to provide organizations with a framework allowing them to integrate and measure sustainable practices into their procurement process.

Why is this important? When suppliers adhere to the organization’s set standards and values, the quality of the relation contributes to the organization’s long-term success and growth. For example, procurement in the public sector alone in OECD countries accounts for 12% of GDP and 29% of government spending. If we can make this amount of money work to an internationally accepted standard, it will be a major contribution toward global sustainability.

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