The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has published the world’s first sustainable procurement standard.

ISO20400 can be used by customers to examine the environmental and ethical impacts of their suppliers.

Jacques Schramm, Chair of ISO, said: “It is no longer enough for businesses to rely on suppliers to provide them with what they want, no questions asked.

“Organisations benefit greatly from getting to know their suppliers – understanding what their requirements are as well – to ensure their demands are not unrealistic and that the suppliers they work with have good, ethical practices.”

Avoiding disasters

He added: “The risks of not understanding and managing practices throughout the whole supply chain are great.

“At best, poor quality products or ruptures of stock can result. At worst, disasters like the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013 can happen.

“Sustainable procurement helps to minimize risks such as these by encouraging buyers and suppliers to work closely together for a better result for all.”

> See the new ISO20400