What is sustainable procurement?

Organisations increasingly understand the impact that their purchases have on the environment and society. Sustainable procurement addresses these impacts by considering the whole-of-life environmental, social and economic costs of purchases made by the organisation, supported by a framework to embed sustainability thinking into all standard procurement practices.

”Sustainable procurement is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment.” (UNEP definition)

Sustainable procurement encourages the purchasing of products and services that are environmentally preferable (green), socially beneficial, or improve local economies.

Green purchasing is based on the simple premise that every purchase impacts the environment and choosing to buy products and services that are less damaging to our environment and human health than competing products and services provide a better sustainable outcome by:

  • Reducing waste
  • Reducing carbon footprint
  • Increasing efficiency
  • Decreasing costs