BS ISO 20400:2017 Sustainable procurement - Guidance

BS ISO 20400:2017

Sustainable procurement. Guidance

Status : Current   Published : April 2017



What is this standard about?

Supply chain partners can have a big impact on an organization’s performance and reputation, and can also be seen as part of its responsibility. Organizations should therefore use their influence to help their supply chains act more responsibly and sustainably, which is what this standard aims to support. 

Who is this standard for?

It can be applied by organization of any size, in any sector, but will typically be used in the following industries:

  • Construction 
  • Facilities management 
  • Hospitality 
  • Catering 
  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Manufacturing 
  • Timber 
  • Print and paper 
  • Packaging

It will be used by: 

  • Senior procurement and purchasing professionals
  • Commercial directors
  • Finance directors 
  • Contract, tender and supply managers
  • Supply chain managers
  • Sustainability managers
  • Environment/waste managers
  • Operations managers
  • Facilities managers

Why should you use this standard?

This standard will help your organization practise sustainable procurement and thereby improve the sustainability performance of your supply chain and reduce risk. Users will benefit from:

  • An increased contribution to the organization’s overall sustainability strategy
  • Better risk and compliance management
  • Improved value and performance assessment
  • Better communications with stakeholders and along the supply chain
  • More opportunities to innovate

This standard is also compatible with the following related standards:  

What’s changed since the last update?

BS ISO 20400 isn’t a revision – it’s a new international standard. But it does cover much the same ground as BS 8903:2010 Principles and framework for procuring sustainably. Guide, which it replaces. The core differences are:

  1. Fundamentals. In the new standard this section draws on BS ISO 26000:2010, which was published after BS 8903:2010. But it recognizes this is not the only starting point. The new standard also has a much stronger emphasis on social issues and human rights. It introduces the concept of complicity: saying “we didn’t know” will not be an acceptable response from a purchaser if something goes wrong in their supply chain. The section “Why procure sustainably?” will be familiar to BS 8903 users.                                                                                                                                 
  2. Integrating sustainability into the organization’s procurement policy and strategy. This was covered in “Fundamentals” in BS 8903 but has its own short section in the new standard. It introduces ideas from BS ISO 26000 such as due diligence.                                                                                                                                  
  3. Organizing the procurement function towards sustainability. This was called “enablers” in BS 8903 but this terminology didn’t translate well. The content is very similar to BS 8903, however, covering governing procurement, enabling people, stakeholder engagement, setting priorities and measuring and improving performance.                                                                                                                      
  4. Integrating sustainability into the procurement process. This section is similar in structure to BS 8903 in that it follows the procurement cycle, but it’s been updated to include new concepts such as lifecycle analysis, due diligence, complicity and global cost.


Standard NumberBS ISO 20400:2017
TitleSustainable procurement. Guidance
Publication Date30 April 2017
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)No other standards are normatively referenced
Informative References(Provided for Information)ISO/IEC 17021-3, ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014, ISO 14020:2000, ISO/IEC 17021-2:2016, ISO 14024:1999, ISO 14040:2006, ISO/IEC 17025:2005, ISO 31000:2009, ISO/IEC 17020:2012, ISO 14001:2015, ISO Guide 82:2014, ISO/IEC 17024:2012, ISO/IEC 17065:2012, ISO 14021:2016, ISO 14044:2006, ISO/IEC GUIDE 2:2004, ISO 14031:2013, ISO 26000:2010, ISO 28001:2007, ISO 9000:2015, ISO 14025:2006, ISO Guide 73:2009, ISO 5127:2001
ReplacesBS 8903:2010
International RelationshipsISO 20400:2017
Draft Superseded By15/30295292 DC16/30344980 DC
DescriptorsCommerce, Sustainable development, Risk analysis, Organizations, Purchasing, Enterprises, Sustainability
Title in FrenchAchats responsables. Lignes directrices
ISBN978 0 580 85406 4
File Size4.801 MB

 Your basket
Your basket is empty

Multi-user access to over 3,500 medical device standards, regulations, expert commentaries and other documents


Access, view and download standards with multiple user access, across multiple sites with BSOL

Tracked Changes

Understand the changes made to a standard with our new Tracked Changes version

Develop a PAS

Develop a fast-track standardization document in 9-12 months

Customers who bought this product also bought

  • BS 8001:2017
    Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations. Guide
  • BS EN ISO 14001:2015
    Environmental management systems. Requirements with guidance for use
  • BS ISO 45001:2018
    Occupational health and safety management systems. Requirements with guidance for use