Ethics and Sustainability

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I. Introduction

“Sustainability,” “environmental,” “social,” these are few of the buzz words that are deemed important in discussions of corporate obligations that go beyond the traditional means of doing business. Being in public procurement allows empowerment to influence such obligations not just between a customer and a vendor, but also on how the vendor treats its employees and how things like packaging and dumping of waste can hinder a potential business transaction.

Sustainable purchasing is a growing global trend. Increasingly businesses, governments, non-profits and other organizations are integrating social and environmental objectives into the purchasing process as a means to reduce their environmental footprint,
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Addressing employment diversity by providing equal opportunity regardless of gender and race, this will help increase employment and raise income 5. Reduce whole life cost through use of products with longer life and greater upgradeability

III. Supplier Code of Ethics – Benefits

The supplier code of ethics provides a minimum set of ethical and environmental standards that suppliers must meet. This will only not benefit the government on its ethical procurement objectives but will also benefit the supplier. With a supplier code of ethics fair cost comparisons are ensured. The suppliers must meet minimum local or internationally accepted standards for wages, overtime, labour rights and legal compliance so that any cost advantages between competing suppliers are not at the workers’ expense. Suppliers who offer products or services with sustainability benefits at a commercially competitive cost will be recognized during the supplier selection process for competitive bids. The preference for green and ethical products helps promote innovation for sustainable products and helps encourage a market for green and ethical purchasing.

Setting standards for suppliers in the public sector discourages corruption and attracts best suppliers to compete for bids and projects. It promotes continuous improvement and providing value added not just in terms of cost but also in consideration with quality, social responsibility and sustainability.
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