ISO 20400, Sustainable procurement – Guidance, which aims to help organizations make sustainable procurement decisions, has now reached one of the final stages in its development.
ISO 20400 will provide guidelines for organizations wanting to integrate sustainability into their procurement processes.
The standard has reached a second Draft International Standard stage, and interested parties can once more submit feedback on the draft before final publication in 2017.
As sustainable procurement is a key aspect of social responsibility, ISO 20400 will complement ISO 26000, Guidance on social responsibility, which provides guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible way. As ISO 26000 provides guidance rather than requirements, it cannot be certified to unlike other well-known ISO standards. ISO 20400 and ISO 26000 will complement one another 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 ISO 20400, 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.
“For many organizations, sustainable procurement is already featured in their sustainability reports, yet there is a distinct lack of clear guidelines on how to implement and measure sustainable procurement practices,” Schramm said.
“Using ISO 20400 will therefore 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.”