ISO 20400

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ISO 20400:2017 Sustainable procurement — Guidance is a standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that provides guidance to organizations, independent of their activity or size, on integrating sustainability within procurement.[1] It is intended for stakeholders involved in, or impacted by, procurement decisions and processes, complementing ISO 26000, Guidance on social responsibility, by "focusing specifically on the purchasing function".[2]


The standard was developed by ISO project committee ISO/PC 277 under the leadership of Jacques Schramm, a French management consultant.[3] Work started in 2013 and the first edition of ISO 20400 was published on 21 April 2017.[4]

Main features of the standard[edit]

The ISO 20400:2017 standard is structured as follows:

  1. Scope
  2. Normative references
  3. Terms and definitions
  4. Understanding the fundamentals
  5. Integrating sustainability into the organization's procurement policy and strategy
  6. Organizing the procurement function toward sustainability
  7. Integrating sustainability into the procurement process

Researcher Anne Staal notes that within supply chain management, the guidance "necessitates a change in ... buyer-seller relationships",[5] reinforcing the finding of Rentizelas et al. that coercive pressure can “quickly force an industrial sector” to attain a level of sustainable procurement ... but it is not sufficient to develop sustainable practices in suppliers if these organisations themselves do not show initiative".[6]


Construction company Balfour Beatty has been identified as the first organisation to undertake a full evaluation using the standard.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ISO 20400:2017 - Sustainable procurement -- Guidance". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ ISO (2017), ISO 20400 - Sustainable Procurement (overview), accessed 27 August 2020
  3. ^ ISO, Jacques Schramm, accessed 8 November 2020
  4. ^ ISO, You are what you buy – the first International Standard for sustainable procurement just published, 21 April 2017
  5. ^ Staal, A., Measuring & Improving Sustainable Procurement with ISO 20400, published 2 May 2018, accessed 27 August 2020
  6. ^ Rentizelas, A., Jabbour, A., Balushi, A. and Tuni, A., Social sustainability in the oil and gas industry: institutional pressure and the management of sustainable supply chains, Annals of Operation Research, 290, pages 279–300, published 27 March 2018
  7. ^ Action Sustainability, ISO 20400 - So what's it all about?, accessed 27 August 2020

External links[edit]