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Procurement

UN report shows how public procurement is a powerful tool for sustainable development

A new report released by the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards urges governments to ensure public procurement does no harm to people and the planet.

The report explores how government spending can drive the uptake of voluntary sustainability standards (VSS), which are special rules that guarantee that the products we buy do not hurt the environment and the people that make them.

“VSS have been recognized as potentially transformative tools for governments to realize their sustainability commitment. If used appropriately with trade policy, they could change our course toward sustainable development. But we must also ensure that small scale producers and businesses are not left behind because of stringent VSS requirements that they cannot meet”, said Isabelle Durant, which coordinates the forum.

“The coronavirus has exposed vulnerabilities and risks in our systems and business models. We now need to take this opportunity to build a more sustainable future and thus put the Sustainable Development Goals at the heart of policy-making”, she added.

The report concludes that more national focus on VSS and sustainable public procurement hold the key to wider adoption of these standards globally.

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