ISO launches procurement standard

After four years of development, the first international standard for sustainable procurement was launched late last week by the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

ISO 20400, which boasts 38 participating countries and 14 observing nations and represents 73 per cent of carbon emissions,  aims to help companies make better purchasing choices throughout their supply chains by establishing guidelines for companies to judge suppliers on ethical and sustainability issues.

A guidance standard rather than a certification standard, it will also take account of social and economic sustainability when judging what sustainable purchasing looks like.

Jacques Schramm, chair of ISO/PC 277, the committee which developed the standard, said it would help organisations avoid the financial, environmental, and reputational risks associated with poor supply chain management.