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Sustainable Procurement: A Practical Guide for Businesses


To help businesses understand the importance of procurement and how to implement sustainable procurement practices, we are pleased to present our new guide, Sustainable Procurement: A Practical Guide for Businesses. 

- Every single step in the value chain counts, from sourcing to the end customer. We need to work hand in hand to create a sustainable supply chain that optimizes efficiency, minimizes waste, and prioritizes responsible practices at every stage. This guide compiles advice, best practices, and case studies from several of our member companies, highlighting their sustainable procurement initiatives and the benefits they've achieved. It also provides practical recommendations for businesses seeking to improve their procurement practices and contribute to a more sustainable future, says Arni Oddur Thordarson, CEO of Marel and Chair of the Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future

Increased focus on sustainable procurement worldwide

Businesses have a vital role in achieving a sustainable future, and procurement is a key area where they can make a significant impact. At Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future, we firmly believe sustainable procurement practices are essential for creating a more sustainable and equitable world.

Thordarson points to several reasons for increased focus on sustainability in supply chains.

- There is an increased customer awareness of suppliers' social and environmental footprint, a stronger regulatory focus on various sustainability topics, and improved access to emissions data and transparency through reporting. Consequently, this guide is highly relevant to many companies both in the Nordic region and globally, says Thordarson.

As significant purchasers of goods and services, companies have a substantial impact on what their suppliers prioritize (customer influence). This impact can be achieved through the selection of suppliers and through dialogue or engagement. Being transparent about our procurement priorities also affects how customers perceive our credibility regarding sustainability. It's important not just to focus on what we offer but also on the input factors and partners involved.

Third publication from Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future

This guide is the third publication from the Nordic CEOs. In 2021, we launched a guide for businesses on climate risk management (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, TCFD). The guide aims to inspire companies to commence their process of integrating the TCFD recommendations. In 2022, we launched a Diversity & Inclusion Guide to help companies get started with diversity work.


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The new guide is divided into six chapters:

  • Introduction and about the Nordic CEOs
  • How to prepare your organization
  • How to implement a sustainable procurement practice
  • How to report and follow up
  • Case studies
  • A message from the CEOs and our procurement teams

Additionally, you will find relevant reference documents from all companies.



Do you have questions about the paper? Please do not hesitate to reach out to