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Written by Marijn Overvest | Reviewed by Sjoerd Goedhart | Fact Checked by Ruud Emonds | Our editorial policy

Sustainable Government Procurement —  Shifting to Sustainability

Key take-aways

  • Sustainable government procurement aims to procure goods and services with minimal impact on the environment, aligning with sustainability principles.
  • The procurement process involves five key steps, listed below!
  • Best value procurement emphasizes acquiring the most value for the lowest price, leveraging supplier expertise, and minimizing requirements.

Sustainable government procurement is the commitment of the government to achieve sustainability in its purchases. However, what is it?

In this article, we will discuss what sustainable procurement means. We will tell you the 5 ideal steps in the procurement process and how the best value procurement can help them achieve sustainability. 

Once you are done reading this article, you will know how governments procure their needs. Additionally, you will have an idea of what best value procurement is which will allow you to also use it in your procurement process. 

Sustainable Government Procurement: What is it? 

When we say sustainability, we already have an idea that it refers to the protection of the environment and society by reducing the negative impacts of business operations. 

Thus, when we relate it to procurement, it is about the purchasing of goods and services in an environmentally-friendly manner for the daily needs of a business. 

Sustainable procurement aims to mitigate the effects of the purchases of a business to support its sustainability initiatives. 

Along the same line, sustainable government procurement is a strategic approach that integrates the pillars of sustainability. Government institutions seek to procure goods and services that have less impact on the environment. 

5 Steps of the Procurement Process

No matter what industry you are in, these 5 steps are always present in every procurement process of any industry and institution.

procurement process

1. Market Research

Of course, market research is done by almost all institutions as it involves recognizing the need for supplies or services and developing market research for the said supplies and services. 

Usually, market research covers sourcing for new available suppliers. Depending on the business, a sourcing specialist can help them in identifying new sources of supplies. 

2. Request For Information (RFI)

The second step is to ask for information from all the stakeholders of an institution that needs the supplies. 

Of course, how will you know what they need if you will not ask? Additionally, you will not be able to create a purchase order if you do not know the supplies or services that each department in your institution needs. 

Information such as the number of available supplies and the pricing per supply are just some that you can ask when making the request. 

3. Requisition For Quotation (RFQ)

The request for quotation is part of the procurement process where you ask suppliers for the initial pricing of their materials or services. 

In government procurement, this usually involves public bidding where suppliers are vying to get the contract. Commonly, in this situation, the lowest price bid is the one that the government will select to do its project. 

4. Negotiation Phase

Perhaps, the negotiation phase is the most challenging yet exciting part of the procurement process.

In this phase, the business will negotiate its position regarding the supplies or services that it will procure from its potential supplier. 

Negotiations can also extend in offering concessions to the supplier in the hopes of doing more business in the future.

5. Contracting Phase

The final step of the procurement process, the contracting phase, is where the business takes care of all contracts, invoices, receipts, and documents that were signed and are needed during, before, and after the entire procurement process.

These five steps in the procurement process are always present in every industry and institution as it enables them to acquire their supplies efficiently. To know more about the procurement process, click here

Best Value Procurement: What is it?

The best value procurement is a procurement methodology in which tenders are valued according to the principle of acquiring the most value for the lowest price. 

In best value procurement, the expertise of the supplier is used to the maximum to acquire more value. With this approach, the business limits the requirements as much as possible. Suppliers are given the chance to substantiate how they use their expertise to achieve the best result. 

The fewer the requirements are set, the more scope there is for suppliers to make a difference in terms of quality. Thus, according to the principles of this methodology, quality pays for itself at low costs. 

Due to this, best value procurement is ideally suited for sustainable procurement in the public and private sectors. After all, with sustainable procurement, it is important to look beyond just the purchase price and to take into account the costs and effects of a purchase over its entire lifespan. 

Do you want to learn more about when and how to use the best value procurement methodology? Then try our Sustainable Procurement Course that will teach you everything you need to know in integrating best value procurement that will help you to achieve sustainability in your procurement process. Enroll now!

Conclusion

In conclusion, sustainable government procurement is a strategic approach adopted by government institutions to procure goods and services in an environmentally-friendly manner, aligning with the pillars of sustainability. The aim is to reduce the negative impacts of purchases on the environment and society.

The procurement process involves five essential steps: market research, request for information (RFI), requisition for quotation (RFQ), negotiation phase, and contracting phase. These steps are fundamental in efficiently acquiring necessary supplies.

Best value procurement, a methodology that emphasizes acquiring the most value for the lowest price, is well-suited for sustainable procurement. In this approach, the expertise of suppliers is maximized, and requirements are minimized, allowing suppliers to demonstrate how their expertise can achieve the best results.

Best value procurement is particularly relevant for sustainable procurement, considering the need to look beyond purchase prices and consider costs and effects over a product’s entire lifespan.

Frequentlyasked questions

What is sustainable procurement?

It refers to the purchasing of goods and services in an environmentally-friendly manner for the daily needs of a business.

What is sustainable government procurement?

It refers to the procedures of the public sector in procuring their needed materials or services sustainably to reduce their negative impacts on the planet.

What is the best value procurement?

It is a procurement methodology in which tenders are valued according to the principle of acquiring the most value for the lowest price.

About the author

My name is Marijn Overvest, I’m the founder of Procurement Tactics. I have a deep passion for procurement, and I’ve upskilled over 200 procurement teams from all over the world. When I’m not working, I love running and cycling.

Marijn Overvest Procurement Tactics