Sustainable purchasing

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO

When making purchasing decisions, you look at the price, quality and delivery time of a product. When you choose sustainable purchasing, you also pay attention to social and environmental aspects. Especially if you are dealing with foreign suppliers. Avoid risks that could harm your product or business.

Follow the checklist for socially responsible purchasing

The checklist for socially responsible purchasing (in Dutch) provides tips and guides you through the purchasing process step by step. Sustainable purchasing, or socially responsible purchasing (SRI), is different for every company. You know which sustainable themes are important to your company. And that determines the requirements you set for your supplier’s products or services.

Avoid purchasing risks

If you buy products abroad, it is important to know the origin. Production may take place in a different country than your supplier’s country. And under different circumstances than in the Netherlands. Avoid risks that could harm your product or business. For example, poor working conditions (in Dutch), corruption or discrimination.


Tip: gain insight into critical raw materials in your product

Raw materials necessary for your production may have limited availability. For example due to possible exhaustion, price fluctuations or social risks such as poor working conditions and environmental impact. Use the resources scanner to check whether the delivery of critical raw materials for your production process is at risk. And see what you can do to reduce these risks. For instance, trying to find sustainable alternatives.


Know your chain

Customers, governments and social organisations expect companies to do business with respect for people and the environment. Internationally, this is laid down in the OECD guidelines for corporate social responsibility (CSR). The government requires you to identify, prevent and mitigate CSR risks in your supply chain. This is called due diligence or CSR risk management. Not just your own company, but the entire chain it is part of should be socially responsible. Read more about your chain responsibility (in Dutch).


Tip: use the CSR Risk Checker

Use the MVO Nederland Risk Checker (in Dutch) to find out which international CSR risks you run with your trading activities. And learn what you can do to mitigate the risks.


Be aware of corruption abroad

If you trade with foreign countries, you may experience bribery. The OECD Guideline on Corruption is the only one that is not voluntary. Corruption is punishable under Dutch law. Even when the corrupt actions take place abroad. Read what you can do to avoid difficult situations in the brochure Fair business, without corruption (in Dutch). For example by using international model contracts like the ICC Model Contracts.

Government and socially responsible purchasing

The Dutch government engages in socially responsible purchasing (in Dutch) to set a good example. Other authorities, such as municipalities, provinces and regional water authorities, are also working on SRI. This way, the government challenges suppliers to deliver more sustainable products and services.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO