Sustainable Procurement

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Project Details

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Sustainable Procurement

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IT / IN / DE
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Project Purpose

Sustainable Procurement is a process by which public authorities or private corporations seek to achieve the appropriate balance between financial, environmental and social considerations when procuring goods, services or works at all stages of the value transformation cycle, taking into account their costs through the entire life-cycle. Such considerations pertain, for instance, to the respect of core labor and safety standards in the production process, and the energy efficiency performance and innovative characteristics of the purchased products. Sustainable procurement is rapidly increasing, as international, regional and national entities are establishing ambitious policy objectives in this regard. In the European Union for example, where public procurement amounts to 17% of countries’ GDP on average, Member States have been required to achieve a share of 50% of public tenders including environmental criteria in more than 20 priority product and services categories, including lighting, textile, food, paper, office building design construction and management. Demonstrating compliance with sustainability considerations may introduce however additional administrative burdens to trade across border, particularly for small-medium enterprise suppliers when, participating in international tenders, are requested to proof compliance with specific environmental and social regulations, norms and standards. It becomes therefore relevant to facilitate these companies in their compliance with these sustainability matters. The facilitation of international sustainable procurement practices look at how procedures and controls governing the movement of goods across national borders can be improved to reduce associated costs and maximise efficiency while safeguarding legitimate regulatory objectives, which could be resolved by implementing processes and practices that: 1) Simplify the exchange of information and data once compliance is ensured; 2) Enable fast transfer of certificates; 3) Allow for electronic smooth tendering; 4) Support the legal validity of the documents exchanged; 5) Streamline the procedures between the contracting entity and the tenderer.

Project Scope

The scope of this project is to identify policies, standards and good practices for sustainable procurement, and their impact on trade facilitation. The project will collect best practices that provide guidance and support for financially sound, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible procurement in B2G and B2B. The project also identifies common requirements and provides recommendations as to their use in such a way to minimize administrative burdens and facilitate cross border trade and access of transition and developing economies to procurement opportunities worldwide, in line with both the WTO Government Procurement Agreement and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Project Deliverables

The project deliverables are as follows: a) Recommendation on sustainable procurement as a tool for trade facilitation.

Exit Criteria

The exit criteria that will indicate the deliverable has been completed, are specified as below. a) Recommendation on sustainable procurement as a tool for trade facilitation. a) Recommendation • b) Internal and external review logs showing how comments have been addressed. • c) Final draft of a text ready for publication.

Project Team Membership and Required Functional Expertise

Membership is open to experts with broad knowledge in the area of sustainable (public and private) procurement and trade facilitation (policy, legal and regulatory, environmental and social standards at both national and international level). In addition, Heads of Delegations may invite technical experts from their constituency to participate in the work. Experts are expected to contribute to the work based solely on their expertise and to comply with the UN/CEFACT Code of Conduct and Ethics and the policy on Intellectual Property Rights.

Geographical Focus

The geographical focus of the project is global.

Initial Contributions

Initial contributions include: (UNEP, 2014). • The Trade and Environmental Effects of EcoLabels ( (UNEP, 2011) • The Impacts of Sustainable Public Procurement ( (EU 2011) Buying Social: A Guide to Taking Account of Social Considerations in Public Procurement ( (EU, 2011) • Buying Green Handbook ( (World Bank 2016) • Sustainable Procurement- An introduction for practitioners to SPP in WB IPF projects ( (WTO 2017) Symposium on Sustainable Procurement (

Resource Requirements

Participants in the project shall provide resources for their own participation. The existence and functioning of the project shall not require any additional resources from the UNECE secretariat. The project will be prepared in between Forums, in face-to-face meetings, if feasible, and using conference call facilities (provided by the UNECE secretariat).

Project Proposal Files