The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Gold again! UNOPS receives award for best practice in sustainable procurement

UNOPS receives its second gold level from the world's leading purchasing and supply association.

UNOPS is the only United Nations organization – and one of only five organizations in the world – to achieve this honour.

"We welcome this award as it strengthens our resolve to provide greater support to our partners and clients in achieving the sustainable development agenda," said Grete Faremo, UNOPS Executive Director. 

"To receive the gold level in the Sustainable Procurement Review two times consecutively and to obtain a score of 97/100 is a tremendous accomplishment," said Patricia Moser, UNOPS Procurement Group Director. "This speaks to how we continuously strive to be leaders in the field of sustainable procurement."

Sustainable procurement is the practice of integrating requirements, specifications and criteria that take environmental protection, social progress and economic development into account at every level.


  • ​​​​​​​A man in Baharka IDP Camp in Erbil can use this solar-powered lamp to charge his mobile phone, as well as a source of light throughout the night. © Newsha Tavakolian Magnum Photos for UNOPS​​​

"I'm delighted that UNOPS continues to strive for gold and re-accreditation, and we welcome their enthusiasm and accomplishment into the wider CIPS community," said David Noble, Group CEO for the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS).

He added: "Being the best and leading the way is not on everyone's radar, so I commend UNOPS for continuing to be leaders in their field."

Sustainable procurement practices can range from assessing the fuel efficiency of vehicles, buying stationery made of recycled paper or paper from sustainably managed forests, to purchasing from and/or creating local employment opportunities for traditionally disadvantaged businesses.

One UNOPS project highlighted as part of the latest award submission saw the distribution of solar-powered lanterns and mobile phone charging kits, as well as the setting up of solar streetlights in internally displaced persons camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Solar photovoltaic power systems and solar water heaters were also installed.

UNOPS is focused on driving sustainability further down its supply chain by sourcing locally and engaging small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as those owned by women.

This effort is part of a pilot programme, launching in Jordan later this year, which will train participants on public procurement, and raise awareness about relevant and available procurement opportunities to smaller businesses and those owned by women and minorities.

UNOPS received a bronze level award in 2011, a silver level award in 2013 and a gold level award in 2015.


UNOPS is a central resource for procurement within the United Nations. The organization buys more than $700 million worth of goods and services for partners every year, in support of peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects worldwide.

About CIPS

CIPS is the world's largest procurement and supply professional organization. It is the worldwide centre of excellence on procurement and supply management issues, with a global community of over 115,000 in 180 different countries, including senior business people, high-ranking civil servants and leading academics.

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