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BS 8903 sustainable procurement

Sustainable procurement processes.

BS 8903 provides a comprehensive framework and guidance on how to adopt and embed sustainable procurement principles and practices into any size and type of organisation.

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What is BS 8903?

This standard is written for managers and contractors in supply chain, procurement, personnel, sustainability and/or economic and environmental development. Covering all stages of the procurement process, the standard is applicable across both the public and private sectors.

BS 8903 focuses organisations on four main aims of sustainable procurement

  • minimising the demand for resources
  • minimising negative impacts
  • respecting ethical standards
  • promoting diversity and equality.

By setting out a comprehensive framework for sustainable and economic development, then sustainable procurement processes can be implemented across supply chains.

Whether the organisation is large or small, BS 8903 features a clear set of guidelines to aid in making ‘best practice’ decisions when buying goods, works or services.

This includes all areas of commerce, as well as the conditions of employment, contracting and risk analysis.

It is aligned with the themes within the Government’s Flexible Framework on Procurement, which provides a maturity matrix enabling improvement to be monitored.

Other recommendations include environmental management and consumer-supplier relations.

BS 8903 also helps organisations to implement measures for measuring and testing their sustainability.

Although intended for both public and private sector, buyers in the public sector should also read the latest directives, regulations and government policy, with their specific requirements for public procurement and considerations for tenders and contracts.

What are the benefits?

  • Uniform approach. Facilitate a uniform approach in reporting and measuring sustainable procurement, and cascading this through the supply chains.
  • Accurate benchmarking. Enable organisations to accurately benchmark their performance in sustainable procurement with others.
  • Competitive advantage. Provide organisations with an opportunity to raise their profiles and increase competitive advantage.
  • Market stimulation. Helps stimulate a marketplace for innovative sustainable products and services.

Why choose LRQA?


LRQA has been at the forefront of standards development and involved in sustainability assessment and verification for many years. We are therefore able to relate BS 8903 requirements to your existing management systems.


Although BS 8903 is guidance and not certifiable, we can provide a Gap Analysis against its requirements. Importantly, it is linked to a standard which is certifiable, i.e., BS 8900-2:2013 Managing sustainable development of organisations.

Proven track record

We have high-profile clients for whom we provide sustainability assessment and verification. And our assessors and verifiers have experience in management system assessment and verification across all industry sectors.

Contact us for more information.

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