Supporting sustainable development


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Although progress has been made, the quest for a peaceful, inclusive and sustainably developed world is far from over.

As we continue to work towards implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, new thinking is needed to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Procurement serves as a link between suppliers and buyers, donors and recipient governments, connecting the world’s most vulnerable with the goods and services they need. It is a vital component to help the world overcome global challenges – once and for all.

Below are just a few articles that highlight how procurement can drive sustainable development. You can read all 10 articles from the publication, which includes contributions from across the private, public and academic sectors, here: 



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Blockchain: ​
The missing

By Harry John, Procurement Leaders​​

As goods move through supply chains, they are subject to thousands of lines of communication between governments, organizations and individuals. Records of contracts, invoices, orders and many other transactions create a massive amount of data. But for procurement to meaningfully contribute to sustainable development, it has to be both transparent and efficient. How can we ensure this? Blockchain technology could ho​​ld the key.

©UNOPS/Atsushi Shibuya​​





Five rules for powerful 

By Jeanne Kling and Kate Vitasek, University of Tennessee

Many organizations tackle the global water and sanitation crisis using faulty approaches. Simply installing water systems and assuming communities will have water for the foreseeable future doesn’t work. So what’s the key to ensuring access to and the sustainable management of water and sanitation for all? Creating true win-win collaborative​ agreements with partners who literally have a vested interest in achieving the same goal.

Choosing the right colour condom: Green!

By Eric Dupont, UNFPA

Male latex condoms are a very resource-intensive product – they require large amounts of water, chemicals and raw material to produce. So how do you continue producing something that is vital for protecting people against sexually transmitted diseases while reducing their environmental impact? Encourage suppliers to make the production process greener.



Related links​​​​​



ASR supplement 2015
​Using innovation today to prepare for tomorrow. As we adapt to a changing world, the way we procure goods and services needed for humanitarian assistance and development must keep in step.

DOWNLOAD​ PUBLICATION (in English only) 


ASR 2016
The Annual Statistical Report on UN Procurement provides data and analysis on the goods and services procured by the United Nations system in support of its operations around the world.


How we procure​

UNOPS considers sustainable procurement as the practice of integrating requirements, specifications and criteria that are in favour of the protection of the environment, of social progress and in support of economic development.