Sustainable procurement: emerging issues
Walker, H. and Phillips, W. (2008) Sustainable procurement: emerging issues. International Journal of Procurement Management, 2 (1). pp. 41-62. ISSN 1753-8432
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/http://www.inderscience.com
Sustainable procurement is the pursuit of sustainable development objectives (WCED, 1987) through the purchasing and supply process, and involves balancing environmental, social and economic objectives. It is rising on the policy agenda for many countries, but knowledge remains limited. This study explores emerging issues through focus groups at a sustainable procurement workshop. The 44 participants included senior policy-makers, academics and practitioners from the public and private sectors and professional bodies. Focus group discussion data were taped and analysed. Four sustainable procurement themes were explored: (1) moving from an environmental focus to social and economic dimensions; (2) sustainability and innovation; (3) ethical supply and (4) measurement issues. The findings seek to inform the academic and practitioner debate on sustainable procurement.