Procurement: a lever for sustainable development?

Procurement is playing an increasingly strategic role as a lever for sustainable development and social and environmental responsibility. Greater regulation on sustainable procurement in the public sector, including significant changes to the EU Directives in April 2014, are driving this change.

There is also increased emphasis on ‘clean’ supply chains in the private sector, as best practice seeks to mesh with public sector requirements and reduce the risk that bids for public contracts might be undermined by adverse environmental impacts or social misconduct along the supply chain. Private sector companies should act now to establish best practice sustainable procurement principles to minimise the risk of litigation; several international standards are embedding the principles of sustainable procurement into their requirements.

Malcolm Dowden and I  have pulled together a book which provides a comprehensive overview of strategic sustainable procurement, as it stands today and how it is likely to develop. It distils key developments in EU and UK public sustainable procurement legislation, government guidance, and policy but it also introduces and covers sustainable procurement more broadly for those organisation that do not work or intend to work with the public sector, too.

The book draws on case studies and practical examples on contractual aspects of procurement; shows you how to develop a sustainable procurement strategy;and contributes to the development of sustainable procurement policy. The book also offers practical examples of what sustainable procurement entails, whether the organisation is bidding for public sector contracts, in need of meeting tender requirements, looking to obtain certification for a standard, or is simply seeking to improve its supply chain management and implement best practice.

Colleen Theron is a tri-qualified solicitor in England and Wales, Scotland and South Africa. Since 1996 she has advised on environmental issues in complex property and corportate transactions and recently founded sustainability consultancy CLT envirolaw.

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