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New UNECE Recommendation - emphasis on sustainable purchasing

31 May 2019

Procurement commitments under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Public Procurement (GPA) have been estimated at around EUR 1.3 trillion.

This is enormous purchasing power that can drive investment and innovation towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns, to address for instance, challenges linked to air, soil and water pollution, or occupational health and safety.

To help public authorities and companies embrace more responsible practices, while avoiding additional administrative burdens for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) trading across borders, UN/CEFACT has developed UNECE Policy Recommendation on Sustainable Procurement. The Recommendation provides a minimum set of common criteria to select sustainable suppliers, and meet increasing government and consumer demand for products and services that achieve value for money, while complying with fundamental environmental, social and health standards.

According to the Recommendation, a sustainable vendor rating model should contain a minimal set of commonly accepted social and environmental performance indicators that measure the suppliers’ sustainability performances. Defining a set of minimal sustainability criteria is a crucial goal for simplifying the compliance procedures at a global level, where global supply chains operate, and market forces maximize their synergies by simultaneously engaging Multi-National Corporations and MSMEs.

Read more here.

Access the full recommendation here.