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What does Procurement have to do with the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals with 169 targets designed as a blueprint to help achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The SDGs, set in 2015 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and intended to be achieved by the year 2030, are part of a UN Resolution called "The 2030 Agenda".

Implementing the agenda requires co-operation amongst society including all governments, and as always, public procurement plays a key role.

Specifying sustainable goods and services helps build capacity to achieve the goals along the entire supply chain. Sustainable procurement lets companies and manufacturers know that in addition to providing top quality goods and services, they are also expected to contribute to economic and social development, especially for companies that source materials from and outsource production to developing countries.  

Among the 17 SDGs, only one goal directly references public procurement (target 12.7 under SDG 12), but in reality, sustainable procurement is integral to achieving all the SDGs.

The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) are:

So go ahead, buy uniforms made with better cotton to help protect our water quality (SDG6) and support decent work and economic growth (SDG8), or buy Fair Trade certified coffee to help end poverty (SDG1) and fight inequality (SDG10) or source sustainable paper products to show your climate action (SDG13) and protect life on land (SDG15). 

For more information on the Agenda 2030, click here.

For more information on how Public Procurement can help achieve the SDGs, click here.

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