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Sustainable public procurement in practice

9 August 2016

The below article was written by Philipp Tepper, Senior Expert with ICLEI Europe's Sustainable Economy and Procurement team. It was first published in CSR TurkeyMagazine.

This year marks 20 years of work on sustainable procurement at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. Over the last two decades, through its activities on sustainable procurement, ICLEI has been involved in over 150 projects; organised more than 100 conferences, seminars and workshops; trained over 2,000 people; supported 300 cities in more than 50 countries, and saved 1 million tonnes of CO2.

ICLEI has been a main driver across Europe to establish the concept of socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) and supported cities piloting approaches that include common CSR practices on decent work conditions, transparency and reporting as well as due diligence and enforcement along supply chains, mainly in high risk areas of products, services or works such as the construction, timber, electronics and textiles sectors. ICLEI believes that local authorities have to act as key drivers for the promotion of fair working conditions in global supply chains – at least for those high risk areas where reputational risks are more than obvious (e.g. stones and child labour, textiles/construction and workers health and safety).

In ICLEI’s Sustainable Economy and Procurement team we know that the power of public procurement should not be underestimated, although it might appear that changing behaviour in purchasing organisations is sometimes like turning a tanker – slow moving but once on the move they do it very effectively and act as a role model for sustainable procurement…

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