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Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable procurement is defined in the ISO 20400 Standard as “procurement that has the most positive environmental, social and economic impacts possible over the...

“Procurement that has the most positive environmental, social and economic impacts possible over the entire life cycle”.

(ISO 20400 Standard)

Built environment projects with major contractors can pass up to 80% of spending through to their supply chain. Subsequently, sustainable procurement is a critical part of client and contractor policies and strategies, which is often reflected in tendering processes.

There is an expectation on the industry to respond to the UK Construction Strategy and other sustainability legislation, to deliver work more sustainably and more efficiently.

So many organisations and public sector bodies now identify the procurement practises and actions required throughout the supply chain to allow the built environment to improve value for money through “smarter procurement”, focusing on issues such as:

  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Ethical behaviour
  • Innovation
  • Integration
  • Continual improvement

ISO 20400

In April 2017, ISO launched the first global sustainable procurement standard to build on, and replace, BS 8903.

The standard applies to any organisation, regardless of sector, size or location, providing:

  • An understanding of sustainable procurement
  • Sustainability impacts and considerations across various aspects of procurement activity
  • Methods of implementing sustainable procurement

The Supply Chain Sustainability School’s delivery partner, Action Sustainability, led the UK delegation to develop the standard and has created a wealth of resources to help businesses align themselves to it.

ISO 20400 Website

Latest sustainable procurement resources

Here are a selection of featured sustainable procurement resources. To view more, please visit our full resource library.

“Embedding sustainable procurement principles actually provides an excellent platform for unlocking all kinds of innovative green solutions”
Nick Baker, Skanska