ISO 26000 home

Sustainable Procurement ISO 20400 and ISO 26000

A new worldwide guidance standard has been developed for Sustainable Procurement. This guidance standard with number ISO 20400 is fully based on ISO 26000.

The development started in 2013 with a proposal of France and Brazil. 38 countries have participated and 11 external liaison organizations while 14 countries were observing members (download the list at the right).

The English version of ISO 20400 is published at Monday 24 April 2017.

Look here for more information at the official ISO website

The four main parts of the guidance standard consists of:

Clause 4, Understanding the fundamentals

This clause is primarily written for use by top management of an organization to help define the strategy and policies in connection with sustainable procurement. As a result it considers what sustainable procurement is, what the main sustainable procurement principles and drivers are. Which practices are fundamental like risk management and due diligence, exercising influence and leverage, setting priorities and avoiding complicity.

Clause 5, Integrating sustainability into the organization’s procurement policy and strategy

This clause 5 is building the bridge between the organizational policy and strategy and the procurement policy and strategy regarding its contribution to sustainable development. It is about clarifying accountability and understanding procurement practices and supply chains. Aligning procurement practices with organizational objectives and goals.

Clause 6, Organizing the procurement function towards sustainability

Clause 6 is primarily written for use by procurement management and describes the conditions that need to be created and management techniques that should be employed to enable sustainable procurement to be successfully implemented and continually improved. These conditions are key to successfully integrating sustainability considerations into the procurement process described in clause 6. Five enablers are discussed: further priority setting, enabling people, governing procurement, engaging stakeholders and measuring performance.

Clause 7, Integrating sustainability into the procurement process

This clause addresses the procurement process and is intended for individuals who are responsible for the actual procurement within their organization. This clause may also be of interest to those in associated functions.

When adopting sustainable procurement, it should be integrated into existing procurement process steps like: planning, specifications, supplier selection, contract management and contract review and lessons learnt.

An example of a procurement tool is the “global cost and value creation method” in Clause 7.

ISO 26000 practices

Important practices of ISO 26000 like exercising due diligence, analysing sphere of influence, setting priorities and avoiding complicity are being explained in the Fundamentals. Related actions and 'how to' guidance is included in Clause 6 and 7.

Annex A

The seven core subjects and 37 SR issues of ISO 26000 are being explained in an annex table, from the point of view of procurement.

International meetings

ISO 20400 was developped during six international meetings:

  • Paris, 23-24 September 2013
  • Brazil, Foz do Iguacu, 25-28 February 2014
  • Singapore, 3-7 November 2014
  • London, 15 – 19 June 2015
  • Sydney, 2 - 6 May 2016
  • Rio de Janeiro, 6 - 9 December 2016

Voting October 2016: 97% Yes

The voting on the DIS2 version in October 2016 by countries resulted in 97% positive voting.

This indicates a strong support for this new guidance standard by the participating countries.

All delegations at the Rio meeting voted on 9 December 2016 that ISO 20400 was mature enough for direct publication in 2017.


ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement Overview

ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement Overview

Download here the Overview diagram of ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement.

This version is based on the final version of April 2017 and is slightly adjusted for better clarification.

ISO 20400 list of countries and liaisons

ISO 20400 list of countries and liaisons

Download here the list with countries and liaison organizations who are participating in ISO 20400. Version March  2017.