ISO 20400 Launches New Sustainability Guidelines for Supply Chains

Logo of the ISO.   Courtesy: Niche

Logo of the ISO.  Courtesy: Niche

The International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) launch of ISO 20400:2017 this April set new international guidelines for sustainable procurement which consider many new factors, including life-cycle analysis, due diligence, complicity, and global cost. The ISO 20400: Sustainable Procurement standard replaces the BS 8903:2010 Principles and Framework for Procuring Sustainably in the UK, though with ISO 20400 being closely modelled after BS 8903, UK organisations are at an advantage in the current early adoption phase. The British Standards Institution (BSI), one of the international group of forty contributing organisations, identified the following sectors as those which would benefit the most from implementing ISO 20400 guidelines: construction, facilities management, hospitality, catering, clothing, food, public procurement, manufacturing, timber, print and paper, and packaging.

“As the need for supply chain transparency grows, the global benefits of sustainable procurement are more evident than ever,” said BSI’s head of market development for sustainability David Fatscher. ISO 20400 considers environmental as well social and economic sustainability in its procurement guidelines. However, while the new standard outlines how organisations can integrate efficient measures into their procurement methods, it stops short of making suggestions for changing the procurement methods themselves. Read more here.