Third time running: UNOPS receives award for distinction in sustainable procurement

CIPS 7 August 2018

UNOPS receives the gold level from the world's leading purchasing and supply association and remains the only United Nations organization to achieve this honour.

“UNOPS deserves special commendation for achieving gold three years in a row […]. They are the only organization to have reached this level consistently and were particularly identified as having strong sustainability goals,” said Duncan Brock, Group Director, Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

"This award underlines our commitment to quality. We are determined to keep raising the bar on the services we offer to nations across the world, in support of the Sustainable Development Goals," said Grete Faremo, UNOPS Executive Director.

Sustainable procurement is the practice of integrating requirements, specifications and criteria that take environmental protection, social progress and economic development into account at every level. This can range from assessing the fuel efficiency of vehicles to purchasing from small- and medium-size businesses, as well as businesses owned by women.

One UNOPS project in Kosovo, highlighted as part of the latest award submission, saw the supply and installation of wastewater treatment plants at three common crossing points. Procurement processes encouraged designs that minimized environmental impacts and reduced waste. The project included gender-mainstreaming initiatives to support the hiring of women to complete technical work. With the project now complete, treated sewage water is channeled into tanks used to fight fires.  Grey water, relatively clean wastewater, supplies fire hydrants, irrigates green areas and is used in public toilets.

“Procurement has a significant impact on critical social, economic and environmental concerns. It is the reason we embed sustainable procurement considerations into what we buy globally, whether products or services,” said Patricia Moser, Director, UNOPS Procurement Group.

“In addition to our own procurement model, we opt to hold ourselves accountable to private sector standards, to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring a more sustainable world,” she added.

As part of its wider efforts, UNOPS continues its Possibilities Programme through which small- and medium-sized enterprises and women- and youth-owned businesses are empowered to participate in UN procurement.

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