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Sustainable Procurement

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

“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

Introduction to Sustainable Procurement

Shaun McCarthy of Action Sustainability tells us what sustainable procurement is, and why it’s important to the business world.

Introduction to sustainable procurement

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.

Sustainability Strategy
Biodiversity and Ecology
Sustainable Procurement
Sustainable Procurement
“Embedding sustainable procurement principles actually provides an excellent platform for unlocking all kinds of innovative green solutions”
Nick Baker, Skanska
SustainabilitySustainability Assessment
Benchmark your sustainability knowledge against the industry, meet client requirements and get your business recognised.
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The School has developed over 70 e-learning modules for all topics, and all skill levels. Ranging from 15 minutes to an hour in length, they are a great way to bring yourself up to speed on any issue.
SustainabilitySustainability case studies
Want to read more about best practice in sustainability? Click here to view case studies from our member and Partner organisations.
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