Public Risk and ISO 20400:2017

Practitioners experience as well scientific research related to public governance point in the direction of a high correlation between the quality of interfaces – within or between organisations – and the presence of public risks. Working together and tuning in the chain of things are crucial for quality. Many of the international strategies and polices points in the direction of a need for a more sustainable business development, this to protect quality of life, a balanced society, the natural environment, earth.

Procurement makes up a substantial budget of any organization, so wouldn’t the world be a better place if it was done in a sustainable way? A new standard in development aims to help organizations do just that, and it has now reached one of the final stages in its development.

ISO 20400:2017 provides guidance for organizations – public and private -, independent of their activity or size, on integrating sustainability within procurement, as described in ISO 26000. It is intended for stakeholders involved in, or impacted by, procurement decisions and processes. In fact it is – like ISO 31000 – a form of risk management.

The purchasing decisions an organization makes have impacts far and wide, from the energy it consumes to the quality of life of the workers who manufactured the products it buys. And when we think that procurement in the public sector alone accounts for around 12 % of GDP and 29 % of government expenditure in OECD member countries, it is not something to be taken lightly.

ISO: “Purchasing sustainably – known as sustainable procurement – should be the goal for any organization as it maximizes its positive social, environmental and economic impacts. This means making smart choices with all purchases, including everything from office supplies to energy providers, caterers and building materials.”

The new standard in development, ISO 20400, Sustainable procurementGuidance, will provide guidelines for organizations wanting to integrate sustainability into their procurement processes.