Procurement makes up a substantial budget of any organization, so wouldn’t the world be a better place if it was done in a sustainable way? A new standard in development aims to help organizations do just that, and it has now reached one of the final stages in its development.
urchasing sustainably – known as sustainable procurement – should be the goal for any organization as it maximizes its positive social, environmental and economic impacts. This means making smart choices with all purchases, including everything from office supplies to energy providers, caterers and building materials.
A new standard in development, ISO 20400, Sustainable procurement – Guidance, will provide guidelines for organizations wanting to integrate sustainability into their procurement processes. It has just reached a second Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, meaning interested parties can once more submit feedback on the draft before final publication in 2017.
Complementing ISO 26000
Sustainable procurement is a key aspect of social responsibility, thus ISO 20400 will complement ISO 26000, Guidance on social responsibility, by enabling organizations to contribute to sustainable development efforts by minimizing their impact on the environment, tackling human rights issues and contributing to society and the economy.
Jacques Schramm, Chair of ISO/PC 277, the committee developing the standard, said that the procurement function is a key driver of an organization’s level of social responsibility, but up until now there have been few harmonized, international guidelines that can be applied universally, and in sufficient detail.
DNV GL representatives have been active contributors in the ISO/PC 277 committee.
“ISO 20400 will be a practical standard produced by sustainability and procurement experts. It will detail how the purchasing function can implement the concept of sustainability in their daily practices,” comments Sustainability Manager in DNV GL – Business Assurance Antonio Astone.