5 May 2017

First International Standard for Sustainable Procurement launched

The International Standards Organisation has launched the first global standard for sustainable procurement, ISO 20400, which aims to establish guidelines for companies and procurers to make supply chains more ethical and sustainable. 38 participant countries and 14 observers currently recognise ISO 20400, representing 65% of the global population and 73% of total carbon emissions. The standard, which has been under development for four years, covers social and economic sustainability in addition to environmental sustainability.

The focus is on mitigating the various risks associated with poor supply chain management, and the strategy does not propose certification for compliant companies like many other ISOs. Instead the standard is aimed at generating consensus around improvement of supply chains and enhancing the ethical standards underpinning global purchasing.

ISO 20400 will complement existing standards (e.g. ISO 260000 on social responsibility) and is hoped to increase dialogue on ethics and sustainability between buyers and suppliers worldwide.

For more information and to see the full text of ISO 20400, visit the International Standards Organisation website.