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Tools for suppliers

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The procurement function links the UN to the market. The United Nations are already committed to encourage suppliers to adhere to the principles of respect of human rights and protection of the environment. But sustainable procurement is a complex policy to set in motion. Capacity building and assistance to beginners needs to be provided; innovative approaches and experiences on sustainable procurement policies implementation need to be shared.

An important work has to be done in assisting the markets to be "prepared" to the request of public authorities for more sustainable products and services. Not all markets are ready to provide more sustainable products in the right quantities and quality. Sustainable procurement therefore is there to encourage and not to paralyse the sustainable development of emerging and fragile economies.

Initiatives such as the Global Compact offer to private companies a framework of ten principles, assisting them in building their corporate social and environmental responsibility. The UN also publishes a “UN supplier code of conduct”, informing its suppliers of the overreaching values that the UN expects its suppliers to achieve. UN suppliers are encouraged to get acquainted with these principles and to strive to continuously improve their business practices.

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