Guidelines for monitoring and contractual guarantee of sustainable procurement. Recommendations to government on improved organisation of monitoring and contractual guarantee of sustainable procurement

Sustainable procurement (SP) is a key issue in many procurement departments. How to organise its monitoring in your organisation? How to guarantee it in supplier contracts? These two questions are at the heart of these SP Guidelines developed by CE Delft and Copper8 for the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management.

These Guidelines are built up around three major lessons:

  • SP is an organisation-wide challenge
  • SP is a process requiring continual improvement
  • SP success requires focus and an integrated approach.

Successful implementation of SP means taking steps at all levels of the organisation: strategic, organisational and project. These Guidelines contain tips, know-how and examples for each of these levels.

  1. Strategic level (board level)
  • Define the envisaged long-term situation in terms of social and environmental impact.
  • Establish roles and responsibilities:
    • Who is responsible for what? Who is mandated for what?
    • What time, budget and capacity are available for implementing SP?
  1. Organisational level (SP team + authorisation level)
  • Translate strategic framework into operational targets, processes and procedures.
  • Organise SP monitoring and contractual guarantee throughout the organisation:
    • take steps to ensure project-level staff can properly implement SP
    • check SP is indeed being rolled out
    • collect project data and report to management.
  1. Project level (project team + work-floor)
  • Lay down specific targets together with the project team.
  • Implement SP in the procurement process:
    • liaise with the market on ambitions, targets and options
    • ensure relevant SP aspects are duly included in tenders and are honoured on delivery
    • record project data gathered for SP monitoring and report to organisational level.