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Why is sustainable procurement needed?

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The United Nations, including its many affiliated agencies, recognise their own responsibilities in contributing to more sustainable patterns of development, maintaining a market behaviour which is credible, inspirational and exemplary, and proving that UN agencies stand behind the principles they promote.

Within the UN system the main concern is to answer the call of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination to move all organizations belonging to the UN system towards climate neutrality. This pronouncement was prompted by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who, at the World Environment Day 2007, challenged all UN agencies, funds and programmes to become climate neutral and "go green".

Within this framework, the HLCM PN with the support of SUN (Sustainable UN, the UNEP based initiative aimed at achieving climate neutrality in the UN) has initiated a process of awareness-raising and tools development in sustainable procurement. The working programme for the advancement of sustainable procurement in the UN is intensive, and results are already noticeable.

Through the development of procurement criteria that support sustainability principles, requisitioners and procurers can send strong signals to the market in favour of goods and services that promote sustainability.

The key international organisations already increasingly recognise public procurement as a means of changing the unsustainable patterns of consumption and production.

BAN KI-MOON speech on climate neutrality on World Environment Day, 5 June 2007

CEB decision on climate neutrality

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