ISO Launched the World’s First International Standard for Sustainable Procurement


Every purchasing decision an organization makes has an impact not only on organization’s bottom line, but also on the economy, society and environment.


By integrating sustainability into its procurement policies and practices, organization is able to ensure that it operates in a responsible way, works with suppliers who behave ethically, tackles human rights issues within the supply chain, minimizes damage to the environment, maximizes its positive social, economic and environmental impacts, and contributes to sustainable development.



International Organization for Standardization developed a new standard ISO 20400 for sustainable procurement with the aim to provide clear guidelines on how to implement and measure sustainable procurement practices.


Chair of the project committee that developed a standard Jacques Schramm said, “It is no longer enough for businesses to rely on suppliers to provide them with what they want, no questions asked. Organizations benefit greatly from getting to know their suppliers – understanding what their requirements are as well – to ensure their demands are not unrealistic and that the suppliers they work with have good, ethical practices.”


Jacques Schramm also added, “The risks of not understanding and managing practices throughout the whole supply chain are great. At best, poor quality products or ruptures of stock can result. At worst, disasters like the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013 can happen. Sustainable procurement helps to minimize risks such as these by encouraging buyers and suppliers to work closely together for a better result for all.”


ISO 20400 is a universal standard that can be used by any organization, regardless of its size and industry it operates in. The standard is intended, first of all, for any stakeholders involved in procurement decisions and processes.



ISO 20400 provides an understanding of sustainable procurement and defines its principles such as accountability, transparency, respect for human rights and ethical behavior. ISO 20400 also provides guidance on how to integrate sustainability into organization’s procurement policy, strategy and process.


“Using ISO 20400 will help organizations achieve their sustainability objectives, improve management of supplier relations, improve the sustainability efforts of their supply chain and give them a competitive edge,” said Jacques Schramm.

For more details about ISO 20400, click here.


by Natalie Myhalnytska


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TAGS:sustainable supply chain, sustainable procurement, supply chain management, responsible production

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