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Feedback invited on new global sustainable procurement standard

15 December 2015

A new standard developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) that provides guidance on integrating sustainability into procurement processes is open for public comments until 12 January 2016. The development of ISO 20400 is part of a two year programme of work that has seen countries across the world provide input. The standard is intended to be a world-wide solution, and was created partly in response to the increased globalisation of supply chains and the greater involvement of multi-national organisations.

The primary purpose of the standard is to define sustainable procurement, provide information on impacts and aspects to be considered across different procurement activities, and to give practical information. It aims to be applicable to both public and private organisations, and can be broken down into four primary components. The first looks at fundamentals, outlining the scope and principles of sustainable procurement and examining the organisational benefits of engaging in this type of procurement.

The second looks at integrating sustainability into policy and strategy concerns, while the third aspect looks at management techniques to improve sustainable procurement, including ensuring that relevant procurement staff are trained to add sustainability considerations into contracts. The final aspect looks at the procurement process from the point of view of those responsible for carrying out procurement within the organisation. The standard is expected to be published towards the end of 2016.

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