13 August 2015

UN efforts to enhance sustainable procurement in the health sector outlined

A new UN report on sustainable procurement practices in the health care sector has been released, detailing the progress of the informal Interagency Task Team on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS) in its mission to influence the global health market towards greener procurement. The SPHS is comprised of a range of UN organisations, including UNDP, UNEP, UNICEF, and WHO.

Placing a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, resource depletion and chemical pollution, the task force spearheaded a number of initiatives to improve the uptake of environmentally friendly procurement, including the publication of guidelines on energy requirements for medical devices, conducting pilot studies to identify opportunities to reduce waste in packaging, and carrying out research into reducing waste within the manufacturing process of selected pharmaceuticals.

Tools such as environmental scorecards and checklists for procurers were additionally developed, providing procurement officers with the knowledge to adopt environmentally sound purchasing practices. SPHS also engaged suppliers and manufacturers, devising a business case to demonstrate the benefits of sustainable procurement.

To download the document, visit the SPHS website.