International initiatives and guidance

These organizations from around the world provide guidance and resources on implementing best practice sustainable procurement within public and private organizations. There is a wealth of information within each of these sources—if you are looking for advice or information on something specific, contact us for assistance.

BS8903:2010 Principles and Framework for Procuring Sustainably

The British Standard establishes best practice for sustainable procurement and provides a practical model for embedding sustainability into organisational policy, procurement process, and developing enablers. There is additionally a companion guide that looks more in-depth at a number of issues.

Australian Government Sustainable Procurement Guide

This guide was written by ECO-Buy to assist government procurement staff to include sustainability considerations in all stages of the procurement process. The guide covers assessing value for money, evaluating supplier sustainability, and avoiding greenwash. There is additionally a Guide for Sustainable Procurement of Services.

Australian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC)

Produced the Australian and New Zealand Government Framework for Sustainable Procurement that established the ANZ context and principles for implementing sustainable public procurement, which state governments have signed up to.

Sustainable Procurement Task Force

A group of businesses charged by the UK Government to review the government’s purchasing. They delivered a report on sustainable procurement and recommendations for government implementation, and subsequently developed the outcomes into a Flexible Framework for best practice and a purchasing category Prioritisation Tool.

UN Global Compact Sustainable Supply Chains

Information about supply chain sustainability: initiatives, programmes, codes, standards and networks; resources and tools; and case examples of company practices.

London 2012 Learning Legacy 

The London Olympics were a case study in sustainable procurement for large construction projects and events. This website shares the knowledge and lessons learned to inform other projects. Also see the Sustainable Sourcing Code, which sets out specific objectives and requirements for a number of aspects and categories of procurement.

Supply Chain Sustainability School

This is a UK initiative backed by the construction industry to develop the sustainability knowledge and performance of suppliers and sub-contractors. It provides a supplier self-assessment tool and number of resources and e-learning modules, including basic introductions to sustainable procurement as well as materials selection and environmental management.

European Commission Green Public Procurement (GPP) Toolkit

Offers three modules; an overview of GPP, legal considerations, and practical implementation through purchasing criteria. The website also provides a number of case studies from public authorities across Europe.

US EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

A resource for US government agencies to meet green purchasing requirements by providing tools, calculators, case studies, training modules and example tender documents.


A European campaign led by ICLEI to support government agencies in implementing sustainable procurement practices. It also provides the Procura+ Manual with detailed guidance.

Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre

A sharing platform for information and examples of sustainable procurement for European public authorities.

Responsible Purchasing Network

An US-based network of buyers dedicated to socially responsible and environmentally sustainable purchasing. The website provides purchasing criteria, webinars, and other resources.

International Green Purchasing Network

Based in Japan, this group promotes green purchasing and provides information on guidelines and criteria from around the world.

The Marrakech Process

A global cooperation through UNEP to support the implementation of a 10-Year Framework of Programs for sustainable consumption and production. Part of their focus is Sustainable Public Procurement.

Sustainable Public Procurement Knowledge Management Centre

Established by UNEP, it is a source of information for procurement practitioners through information platforms, presentations, brochures and other publications translated into a variety of languages.

The Swedish Environmental Management Council (SEMCo)

The Swedish government's expert body on environmental and other sustainable procurement providing information on: SEMCo's product-specific criteria for sustainable procurement, the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).


Sustainable Procurement Centre of Excellence for Higher Education

Targets the university sector and links to a number of publicly available resources, including example policies, incorporating social considerations, contract management, and whole life costing.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

Provides resources for campuses seeking to use their purchasing power to help build a sustainable economy.

The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC)

Tools & resources providing practical advice and information on how to make the business case for sustainable procurement in your college or university, what the risks are and how a green team could help the process.