What is sustainable procurement?

After my recent post about the 4Ps of Sustainable procurement, a few people asked me- well “what’s sustainable procurement?”

After starting to write a nice post, I realised that the BS8901 standard has an excellent section on this in their sustainable event management standards. So hoping that I am not infringing on copyright, here it is:

B.1 What is sustainable procurement and why is it required?

Successful implementation of event management for sustainable development depends on the sustainable development objectives being extended throughout the supply chain. This requires engagement with a wide range of suppliers, from specialists to non-specialists.

Sustainable procurement is the integration of sustainable development management into all aspects of the procurement cycle including:

  • a) defining the need for sustainable procurement;
  • b) evaluating possible options;
  • c) design and specification;
  • d) supplier selection;
  • e) tender evaluation;
  • f) post-contract management;
  • g) supplier development; and,
  • h) performance review.

Four key aims should be addressed when integrating sustainable development management into the procurement process:

  1. minimizing the impacts of products and/or services (e.g. impacts on health, air quality, generation of hazardous waste);
  2. minimizing demand for resources (e.g. by using resource-efficient products such as energy efficient appliances, fuel-efficient vehicles and products incorporating recycled content);
  3. minimizing the negative impacts of the supply chain itself, in particular the social aspects (e.g. giving preference to local and/or smaller suppliers and those that meet minimum ethical, human rights and employment standards); and
  4. ensuring that fair contract terms are applied and respected.

If you want to know more about BS8901 – then i suggest you read this post

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