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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.

Consider which sustainability topics are important to you

Sustainable purchasing, or socially responsible investing (SRI), is different for every company. Consider which sustainability themes are most important for your company. That determines what 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.

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).

Be aware of corruption abroad

If you trade with foreign countries, you may experience bribery or corruption. 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.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
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