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ISO 20400:2017-Sustainable procurement

ISO 20400:2017-Sustainable procurement

What is ISO 20400:2017-Sustainable procurement — Guidance?

ISO 20400:2017 provides guidelines and recommendations for organizations to integrate sustainability considerations into their procurement processes. The standard aims to help organizations make purchasing decisions that minimize negative social, environmental, and economic impacts throughout the supply chain.

It emphasizes the importance of considering sustainability factors when procuring goods, services, or works. It provides a framework for organizations to evaluate suppliers, manage risks, and promote sustainable practices in their procurement activities.

The standard covers various aspects of sustainable procurement, including:

  1. Governance and policy: Establishing a clear sustainability policy and integrating it into the organization’s procurement strategy.
  • Organizational leadership: Demonstrating commitment and leadership in sustainable procurement practices
  • Ethical behavior: Promoting transparency, integrity, and ethical conduct in procurement processes
  • Supply chain management: Assessing and managing sustainability risks throughout the supply chain
  • Stakeholder engagement: Involving relevant stakeholders and considering their perspectives in procurement decisions
  • Human rights: Ensuring respect for human rights in the supply chain
  • Labor practices: Promoting fair and safe labor practices, including diversity and inclusion
  • Environmental considerations: Evaluating and reducing environmental impacts, such as resource consumption, emissions, and waste generation
  • Fair operating practices: Encouraging fair competition and promoting responsible business practices
  • Sustainable innovation: Encouraging the development and adoption of sustainable products and services

With the help of this standard organizations can enhance their sustainability performance, minimize negative impacts on society and the environment, and contribute to sustainable development goals. Therefore, It provides a systematic approach to integrating sustainability considerations into procurement processes, leading to more responsible and sustainable supply chain management.

Requirements of ISO 20400:2017

Policy and Strategy:

  • Developing a sustainable procurement policy that aligns with the organization’s overall sustainability goals.
  • Establishing objectives and targets for sustainable procurement.
  • Integrating sustainability considerations into the organization’s procurement strategy

Organization and Leadership:

  • Assigning responsibility and accountability for sustainable procurement at the organizational level.
  • Providing leadership and commitment to sustainable procurement practices.
  • Promoting a culture of sustainability throughout the organization.

Engagement and Communication:

  • Engaging relevant stakeholders in sustainable procurement decision-making processes.
  • Communicating the organization’s sustainable procurement approach internally and externally.
  • Promoting transparency and disclosure of relevant information

Risk Management:

  • Identifying and assessing sustainability risks and opportunities in the supply chain.
  • Developing strategies to mitigate risks and leverage opportunities.
  • Monitoring and managing sustainability risks throughout the procurement process

Supplier Selection and Evaluation:

  • Considering sustainability criteria when selecting suppliers and evaluating their performance.
  • Developing supplier evaluation processes that include sustainability factors.
  • Encouraging suppliers to adopt sustainable practices and improve their sustainability performance

Performance Measurement and Improvement:

  • Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure sustainable procurement performance.
  • Monitoring and reporting on sustainable procurement achievements.
  • Continuously improving sustainable procurement practices based on feedback and lessons learned

Legal and Ethical Compliance:

  • Ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards.
  • Addressing issues related to corruption, bribery, and conflicts of interest.
  • Respecting human rights and labor standards throughout the supply chain.

Benefits of ISO 20400:2017

Enhanced Sustainability Performance: ISO 20400 provides a comprehensive framework for integrating sustainability considerations into procurement processes. By following the guidance, organizations can improve their sustainability performance, reduce negative social and environmental impacts, and contribute to sustainable development goals.

Risk Management and Resilience: Sustainable procurement practices help organizations identify and manage sustainability risks throughout the supply chain. This proactive approach enables organizations to address potential risks such as supplier non-compliance, reputational damage, and disruptions in the supply of sustainable goods and services.

Cost Savings and Efficiency: Sustainable procurement can lead to cost savings and increased efficiency. By considering sustainability criteria when selecting suppliers, organizations can identify partners that offer sustainable and cost-effective solutions. Additionally, sustainable procurement practices often involve optimizing resource consumption, reducing waste, and increasing energy efficiency, leading to long-term cost savings.

Improved Supplier Relationships: Engaging suppliers in sustainable procurement practices can foster stronger relationships based on shared values. Collaboration with suppliers to improve sustainability performance can lead to innovation, increased transparency, and mutually beneficial outcomes.


Reputation and Brand Enhancement: Embracing sustainable procurement practices demonstrates an organization’s commitment to responsible and ethical business conduct. This can enhance its reputation, build trust among stakeholders, and differentiate the organization in the marketplace. It can also attract environmentally and socially conscious customers, partners, and investors.

Compliance with Regulations and Standards: Sustainable procurement practices align with various international guidelines, regulations, and standards related to sustainability and responsible business practices. So, By implementing ISO 20400, organizations can ensure compliance with relevant legal requirements and industry standards.

Positive Social Impact: Sustainable procurement practices consider social factors such as labor rights, diversity, and human rights. By promoting fair labor practices, ethical behavior, and respect for human rights throughout the supply chain, organizations can contribute to the well-being of workers and local communities.

Resonance with Stakeholders: Sustainable procurement practices are increasingly valued by stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and regulatory bodies. So, By integrating sustainability into procurement processes, organizations can meet stakeholder expectations, enhance stakeholder engagement, and build stronger relationships.

Therefore, ISO 20400 provides a roadmap for organizations to adopt sustainable procurement practices, enabling them to achieve a range of benefits, including improved sustainability performance, risk management, cost savings, enhanced reputation, and positive social impact.

Who needs ISO 20400:2017-Sustainable procurement?

ISO 20400:2017 is applicable to a wide range of organizations across various sectors and industries. It is relevant for both public and private sector organizations, regardless of their size or geographical location. The standard is designed to assist organizations that engage in procurement activities and wish to integrate sustainability considerations into their processes. This includes:

Procurement Departments: Procurement departments within organizations play a crucial role in implementing sustainable procurement practices. This standard provides guidance to procurement professionals to consider sustainability criteria, assess suppliers’ sustainability performance, and make informed decisions that align with the organization’s sustainability goals.

Public Sector Organizations: Government agencies, public institutions, and other public sector entities can benefit from ISO 20400 by integrating sustainability considerations into their procurement processes. It helps align public procurement with sustainability objectives, such as promoting social welfare, environmental protection, and responsible use of public funds.

Private Sector Organizations: Businesses operating in various sectors, including manufacturing, retail, construction, and services, can adopt this standard to enhance their sustainable procurement practices. Thus, It enables organizations to address sustainability challenges in their supply chains, mitigate risks, improve supplier relationships, and achieve sustainability goals.

Nonprofit Organizations: Nonprofit organizations, foundations, and NGOs that engage in procurement activities can also benefit from this standard. So, It provides guidance on considering social and environmental factors when procuring goods, services, or works, enabling these organizations to align their procurement practices with their mission and values.

Suppliers and Contractors: ISO 20400 is relevant to suppliers and contractors as well. By understanding the principles and expectations outlined in the standard, suppliers can improve their sustainability performance, align with customer requirements, and enhance their competitiveness in the market.

Pacific Certifications is accredited by ABIS, if you need more support with ISO 20400, please contact us at +91-8595603096 or support@pacificcert.com

Read About: ISO 14971:2019

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