Corporate Social Responsibility in the context of procurement
The global value of public procurement spending is enormous. Just the OECD countries alone spend a total of €1000 billion per year. In the EU over 250 000 public authorities each year spend around 14-19% of GDP on the purchase of services, works and supplies. In many sectors such as energy, transport, waste management, social protection and the provision of health or education services, public authorities are the principal buyers. Within specific industry sectors, the sheer scale of public procurement spending and their supplier selection decisions, can literally create and shape a market and impact lives of citizens across the country at large
Over the last decade procurement experienced wide spread modernisation across the globe, both including local and international levels. With the revamp of UN Model law on Public Procurement, introduction of new Public Procurement Directives (Europe) as well as introduction of several policy developments (Sustainable Public Procurement Program, UN Principles on Business and Human Rights) procurement understanding has changed. It is not anymore understood as a process of solely buying for a cheapest price but something beyond that. Procurement gain recognition as a part of strategic development of organisation – whether that is private or public one – as well as a tool that allows delivering aspects beyond savings.
These include ensuring that governments and private companies do business responsibly, take a leadership position in community and consider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues relevant to their own business operations (including those of its supply network), and are transparent about their actions in these areas.
Governments’ actions in procurement have potential to streamlining socially responsible trade by not only mandating the minimum standards for business performance but also facilitating through incentivizing companies to engage with the CSR agenda or to drive social improvements. However, there are several challenges when considering social criteria in procurement.
On 4-5 May 2017 Centre for Enterprise Liability (CEVIA) will host a two-day international conference at the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen, where researchers from the CSR Legal Research Network, the SMART project and other renowned specialists discuss timely developments relating to the field of procurement, sustainability and CSR.
We would like you to join us for a fruitful two days of sharing knowledge, best practices and experiences.
Please register till 20th April here:
Marta is Assistant professor at Centre for Enterprise Liability, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen.
Marta’s interest of research: Public Procurement Law, Government Contracts, EU Law and Sustainability/CSR.