Sustainability through procurement – Spotlight on Community

Here we shine a spotlight on one of the core subjects of the Standard to see how it could relate to your organisation.

What is Community involvement and development?

ISO 20400 describes community as residential or other social settlements located in proximity to an organisation’s sites or within an organisation’s areas of impact. It covers:

  • community involvement
  • education and culture
  • employment creation and skills development
  • technology development and access
  • wealth and income creation
  • eliminating negative health impacts
  • social investment

Having an impact…

Whether considering community in terms of where your goods and services are sourced or where you physically operate, most organisations can make some change whether grand or small, to help make a difference. For example:

  • while everyone uses electronic equipment not all would know that many consumer electronics companies completely stopped sourcing minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and surrounding countries following US Legislation around sourcing of ‘conflict minerals’. This consequently took income away from areas that were already struggling economically. However, over the past few years, some organisations have joined initiatives in these countries to encourage economic development and responsible mining practices where it is most urgently needed
  • from a local community perspective, organisations can and do give their support in many ways, for example by:
    • creating employment opportunities
    • establishing community partnerships and initiatives
    • providing community grants or sponsorships
    • supporting local and Aboriginal businesses
    • safeguarding the local environment

What to think about

Things to ask yourself:

  • do you know where the goods and services purchased by your organisation come from?
  • could your organisation benefit from contributing more to its local community?

Where to start

Why not try one of these as a starting point?

  • analyse local and Aboriginal supply options for your goods and services and how your organisation might benefit from leveraging these options
  • ask your suppliers about their supply chains; and, where possible, encourage support of companies and products that are supporting community development
  • when sourcing, consider the impact of your solutions on job creation or losses

Get started with sustainable procurement

What you will learn:

  • The applicability of ISO 20400 to your organisation
  • How implementing ISO 20400 has the potential to generate competitive benefits
  • How the adopting of Life Cycle Costing can assist in the decision-making process
  • Five things you can do to get started.