ISO 20400 – the New Standard on Sustainable Procurement

BITCI News - Aug 01, 2017

ISO has published a voluntary standard on Sustainable Procurement – ISO 20400.This document provides good guidance for any organisation intent on integrating and embedding the principles of sustainability into their procurement processes and operations.

According to ISO 20400, sustainable procurement is a “powerful instrument for organisations wishing to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030”.  In integrating sustainability into procurement policy and strategy, organisations become much better equipped to manage risks and opportunities for environmental, social and economic development, at all levels of the chain of supply.

ISO 20400 describes Sustainable Procurement as being divided into seven core subjects:

  1. Organisational governance: decision-making process & structures.
  2. Human rights due diligence: avoidance of complicity, economic, social and cultural rights and fundamental principles and rights at work.
  3. Labour practices: conditions of work and social protection, health and safety, human development & training in the workplace.
  4. Environment: prevention of pollution, sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation & adaptation, biodiversity and national habitats.
  5. Fair operating practices: anti-corruption, responsible political involvement, fair competition, respect for property rights, promoting sustainabilty in the value chain.
  6. Consumer issues: fair marketing, factual and unbiased information, fair contractual practices.
  7. Community development: employment creation and skill development.


To purchase the Standard, see and

If you would like to discuss your organisation’s approach to Sustainable Procurement, you can contact Darina Eades, Senior Adviser on Corporate Social Responsibilty at