Systematic approach to sustainability helps UNOPS achieve 'gold level' for CIPS Sustainable...

8 June 2015

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has achieved a gold level for its CIPS Sustainable Procurement Review.

The central procurement resource for the UN achieved the level through a combination of efforts in advancing sustainable procurement practices. For example, by providing tailored sustainable procurement training programmes and incorporating requirements, challenges and opportunities faced by client organisations.

UNOPS also demonstrated how it applied its sustainable procurement policy with a number of global best practice case studies.

These included a services tender for two integrated clearance teams for the UN Mine Action Service to rapidly deploy along the Sudan and South Sudan border, a services tender to provide camp management and services in four locations in Somalia, and a tender to provide sustainable housing and improved living conditions in Haiti.

In the latest revision of its Procurement Manual, which guides UNOPS policy, the organisation has adopted a systematic approach to sustainable procurement with sustainability interventions incorporated throughout the procurement process. For example, procurers are advised to conduct a sustainability risk assessment to help identify socio-economic and environmental risks and prioritise actions to address these risks early on in the planning phases.

Emphasis is also placed on contract management, focusing on communication with suppliers about sustainability expectations, and continuous follow-ups based on agreed milestones and checkpoints.

As a result of UNOPS’ holistic approach, its partners benefit from an efficient, transparent, cost-effective and sustainable delivery of goods, services and works. The organisation is currently developing the next revision of its procurement policy.

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