Our approach


UNOPS involves local workers in the procurement process, for example when procuring insecticide treated bednets in Myanmar, on behalf of the Global Fund. Photo: Global Fund

Putting sustainability in practice

UNOPS is committed to integrating social, economic and environmental considerations into its buying process. We strive to procure the supplies our partners need in a way that promotes social progress, economic development and environmental protection.

Read the UNOPS Procurement Manual

This Manual governs the procurement of all goods, services and works. It also governs the standards of conduct for all UNOPS personnel involved in the procurement process.

UNOPS is part of the advisory committee for the Sustainable Public Procurement Initiative and has received the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply's gold certificate in sustainable procurement – an achievement that has helped cement our status as a leader in sustainable procurement. In partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and ILO's International Training Centre (ITC-ILO), UNOPS has also developed a sustainable procurement guide for the United Nations, entitled 'Buying for a Better World'. In addition, UNOPS contributes to the body of knowledge in sustainable procurement and supply chain management through joint research projects with leading academic and professional institutions. This includes the yearly production of the Annual Statistical Report on UN Procurement and its thematic supplement as well as original research.



Harnessing its significant buying power, UNOPS can support its partners in advancing sustainable procurement by:

  • building long-term economic, social and environmental considerations into solicitation and contract documents

  • informing partners of the environmental impacts of products  

  • considering life-cycle costs and the total cost of ownership 

  • ensuring suppliers comply with conditions on child labour, exploitation and workers' rights


UNOPS has significant expertise in promoting sustainable procurement, for example through: 

  • encouraging suppliers to support the United Nations Global Compact

  • taking a leading role in advancing sustainable procurement practices worldwide, for example through purchasing carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions 

  • developing sustainable procurement capacity and tools in collaboration with other United Nations organization

​Capacity development and training

UNOPS supports national capacity development through hiring local workers and expanding the procurement capacity of local governments. Our extensive experience allows governments to benefit from specialized expertise in the procurement of infrastructure, motor vehicles, healthcare supplies and other commodity groups.​

UNOPS also collaborates with UNEP and ITC-ILO to offer customized sustainable procurement training workshops to procurers, requisitioners and policy makers across the United Nations system.

Bringing industry standards and operational excellence to development

UNOPS procures high quality goods and services at the right price, while fully adhering to fundamental procurement principles, including fairness, integrity and transparency. Our partners benefit from our technical expertise, global market overview and competitive prices. In addition to the CIPS certification in sustainable procurement, UNOPS has been CIPS-certified in procurement policies and procedures.

UNOPS regulatory framework is established in the UNOPS Financial Regulations and Rules and our procedures are outlined in the UNOPS Procurement Manual. We carefully select suppliers through competitive bidding based on their capacity, adherence to ethical standards and financial health. UNOPS continuously evaluates suppliers and performs rigorous quality checks.

We only work with suppliers that comply with UNOPS procurement policies and procedures and share our respect for fundamental human rights, social justice, human dignity and equality, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations Supplier Code of Conduct.