In both private and public sectors, there is increasing pressure from customers, clients, government and the public to put sustainable procurement into practice. Organizations practicing sustainable procurement meet their needs for goods, services, utilities and works not on a private cost-benefit analysis, but with a view to maximizing net benefits for themselves and the wider world. In so doing they must incorporate extrinsic cost considerations into decisions alongside the conventional procurement criteria of price and quality. These considerations are typically divided thus: Environmental, Economic and Social. The important areas of environmental concerns are; more efficient use of raw materials in manufacturing operations, pollution and waste, and energy savings.

Sustainability helps an organisation to:

  • control costs by adopting a wider approach to whole life costing
  • Improve internal and external standards through performance assessments.
  • Comply with environmental and social legislation
  • Manage risk and reputation
  • Build a sustainable supply chain for the future
  • Involve the local business community

Additional benefits include:

  • Compliance with national and international sustainability standards and regulations
  • To have a better understanding of risks in the supply chain
  • contributes to the sustainable organisational strategy
  • Better commercial/economic decisions from understanding of issues that impact on the procurement decision (whole life cycle)
  • potential benefits in a long term relationship, innovation, better materials, alternatives, technical advice, emerging technologies
  • better quality of purchasing staff with more satisfying goals and improved performance
  • Education of suppliers
  • More effective evaluation of proposals and bids
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