London — Balfour Beatty achieved a world first by being the first company to complete the ISO 20400 assessment, the 2017 international standard for sustainable procurement.

The new standard, which has been in development since 2013 involving a committee of over 40 nations, provides the fundamental guidance, drivers and principles to ensuring sustainable procurement for organizations.

Successful completion of the assessment and implementation of the standard ensures that key issues are considered in developing a sustainable procurement policy and strategy; guidance in creating organizational conditions necessary to procure sustainably; guidance in setting priorities in sustainable procurement and suggestions on how to improve the procurement process as a whole.

Aaron Reid, Head of Sustainable Procurement, Balfour Beatty, said, “We are extremely proud to be the first company in the world assessed against ISO 20400. The standard gives us a clear framework to determine ‘what good looks like’ in terms of sustainable procurement and how we compare against it. The assessment itself was robust, practical and coherent. It held a mirror up to us as a business, enabling us to uncover areas of existing good practice to be shared and areas for improvement to focus upon.”

Director of Action Sustainability and Chair of the Supply Chain School, Shaun McCarthy OBE, said, “Societal expectations for supply chains to minimize impact on the environment and respect human rights are at a tipping point. In response, ISO 20 400 sets out a strategic framework for achieving sustainability and value for organizations competing in a global market. Procurement professionals and their stakeholders need to step up to this sustainability challenge and the standard provides a global framework for doing so. We at the School are delighted Balfour Beatty, one of our UK Partners, is leading the way, worldwide.”

An official partner of the Supply Chain School, Balfour Beatty will be sharing lessons learned in accomplishing the standard at the Construction Suppler Day on May 17.