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Recommendation 43: Sustainable Procurement

Published: November 2019

Public procurement alone represents 15-20% of the global GDP, while procurement commitments under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Public Procurement (GPA) have been estimated at around EUR 1.3 trillion. This is enormous purchasing power that can drive investment and innovation towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns, to address for instance, challenges linked to air, soil and water pollution, or occupational health and safety.

To help companies embrace more responsible business practices, while avoiding additional administrative burdens for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) trading across border, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has developed ECE Policy Recommendation n°43 on Sustainable Procurement, in collaboration with the ECE Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness and Public-Private Partnerships.

The Recommendation 43 provides a minimum set of common criteria to select sustainable suppliers and meet increasing governments’ and consumers’ demand for products and services that achieve value for money, while complying with fundamental environmental, social and health standards.

This Recommendations 43 as a publications (ECE/TRADE/451) is available in English, French and Russian for download.