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Sustainable Procurement – What, Why & How?

An organization’s procurement decisions do not only affect the organization itself; they affect the economy, environment and society. What an organization buys, how it buys, who it buys from, how delivery happens and how bought goods and services are used, can have an enormous influence on everything from business performance to environment, market reputation, stakeholder relations and well-being of all employees associated with the extended supply chain.

By using their purchasing power, organizations can influence a meaningful change in society and create value for economy while protecting the environment. Procurement is an influential tool for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to Sustainable Development. In a research, 74% of the respondents agreed that customers and other stakeholders are demanding that companies do more in relation to sustainability, with 92% acknowledging that some part of their supply chain would receive a poor sustainability report if it was fully audited. Integrating sustainability principles within procurement can stimulate an evidently positive change across the supply chain.

Academic studies also confirm that sustainable procurement saves cost and brings visible efficiencies to the business. One of the recommended practices of sustainable procurement is supplier diversity, which means sourcing from under-utilized groups of suppliers. Such initiatives were shown to save $45 million in the radio spectrum industry, a 10% reduction in expenditures for the logging industry and a 12% cut in government procurement expenditures.

Until recently, the absence of a universally acceptable standard for sustainable procurement had been identified as a reason for incoherent implementation of sustainability practices in the supply chain. To help, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) issued ISO 20400 standard, world’s first international standard for Sustainable Procurement. It provides guidance to organizations for integrating sustainability into procurement process, defining the principles of sustainable procurement such as accountability, human rights, transparency and business ethics. It is applicable to any organization, regardless of its business sector, complexity and size. It encompasses all stakeholders involved in or impacted by procurement decisions and processes.

If you are interested in learning more about What, Why and How of Sustainable Procurement, join us during an interactive webinar on 19th September 2020. Attendance is through registration at

Sustainable procurement is increasingly becoming the solution to reconciling the operational issues of supply chain management and consumer demand with financial growth and stability. And it also happens to have social and environmental benefits too.


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