International, multilateral and other intergovernmental organizations with useful information about SPP

International Organisations

  • UN Environment

United Nations agency that coordinates environmental activities. It has websites containing useful information and resources, Principles of Sustainable Public Procurement, its SPP approach, etc.

Central procurement resource for the UN system and its partners. It has published Information and tools about SPP at UNOPS and UN System

Website on sustainable procurement in the system of United Nations.

The common procurement portal of the United Nations system of organizations. It has information about SPP, including tools and training

Voluntary initiative based on private companies’ commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals. It is an initiative to commit companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals. Several issues that are relevant to SPP are addressed by the UN Global Compact, including the environment, social aspects, governance, supply chains, anti-corruption, etc.

Multilateral organizations

  • Inter-American Network on Government Procurement -INGP

Network of governments of Latin America and the Caribbean represented buy its public procurement agencies. The Organization of American States is the technical secretariat of the INGP, and the INGP produces, among others public procurement subjects, specific SPP content

An intergovernmental organization that works to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, which includes sustainable development. Its site contains resources related to sustainable public procurement and SPP themes.

International financial institutions, which finances development projects in countries of the world.. World Bank has produced a website with several information and resources pertaining SPP

Multilateral agency with a joint mandate with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations through the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Through its work, the ITC contributes directly to 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals


Other international or multilateral organizations, and non-governmental with useful information about SPP


Website created by the members of ISO/PC 277 – Sustainable Procurement, which developed the international standard ISO 20400 Guidance on Sustainable Procurement – Guidance. This website has information about sustainable procurement in general and some related resources.

  • The International Institute for Sustainable Development – IISD

Research organization founded in 1990 focused in sustainable development. It has a program on SPP with SPP projects around the world and has produced research, tools and guidance documents

NGO focused in sustainable procurement, that convenes buyers, suppliers and public interest. It has produced several information and resources, such as benchmarks, case studies, models etc.

A network of local governments focused on sustainable development, which has information and resources on SPP, a sustainable procurement platform, a resource centre and a forum. It created a European network of European public authorities, to connect, exchange and act on sustainable and innovation procurement.  

ICLEI has been publishing information regarding global context and specifically for the South American context.

  • Procura+


European project focusing on Innovation and SPP.

European project in partnership with ICLEI and six European organisations including cities, local governments, national and international expert organisations, focusing in promoting socially responsible public procurement.

An initiative of public authorities of seven regions in Europe, supported by ICLEI, to connect, exchange and act on sustainable public procurement


Means of verification

It encompasses several subjects, such as conformity assessment in general, technical standards, sustainability voluntary standards, third party certification, ecolabelling and other forms of claims and labels.

Below there are links to several websites with relevant information about these subjects and its relation with SPP.

Although standardization, conformity assessment and accreditation are distinct activities, which imply different roles, frequently the same organization is involved with more than one of these.

More resources about Voluntary Sustainability Standards – VSS, click here.

More resources about Means of Verification, click here.

On International Standards in general:

  • ISO – International Organisation for Standardisation

International organization that develops voluntary standards. Its website includes information on the international standards published or under development, links to the national standards bodies, as well other information about standardization and its use.

ISO includes a specific page about conformity assessment (CASCO) and also another with links to their members, the national standards bodies:

The international standardization body for the electrical, electronic and related technologies. Its website includes information on the international standards published or under development on the field of electrical, electronic and related technologies, including energy efficiency, links to the national standards bodies as well other information about standardization and its use.

IEC website includes a page with links to their members, the national standards bodies for electrical, electronic and related technologies.

Voluntary Sustainability Standards - VSS

Voluntary Sustainability Standards is a generic description that encompasses a wide variety of documents and references, included in a wider concept: those of private standards, in this case focused on sustainability issues. There are several organizations involved with VSS having relevant information and resources on the subject.

  • UNFSS – United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards

A joint initiative of FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO, with the aim of being a Platform of International Dialogue on Voluntary Sustainability Standards

Organization that promotes the development and use of VSS and the associated certification (or other means of verification) according to those standards. This is one of the references on the subject of VSS. It has several information about VSS, means of verification and its use.

  • ITC

A multilateral agency dedicated to promote international trade. It has several information and resources on VSS.

  • Standards Map

Website about VSS and the corresponding means of verification. In this platform, the searches can be filtered by countries, products or services, among other possibilities.


The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has produced some studies on VSS. Its site has several information and useful resources about the use and impact of VSS.

Conformity assessment and Means of verification

There are other webpages with relevant information and resources related with conformity assessment.

  • ISO/CASCO (generic information)

CASCO is the conformity assessment technical committee within ISO that develops international standards in the field of conformity assessment, including accreditation. The majority of the initiatives that use conformity assessment procedures follow ISO/CASCO normative references.

An international specialized body dedicated to provide accreditation services for voluntary sustainability standards and initiatives around the world. It is the accreditation body of several voluntary sustainability standards certification schemes, such as FSC, ASC, MSC, among others.

  • the International Accreditation Forum - IAF

World association of national accreditation bodies

International accreditation body, acting in several fields, but with focus on VSS, particularly in the organic field.

  • Social Accountability International - SAI

NGO dedicated to the promotion of Social Responsibility worldwide. It published a Standard and runs an accreditation program.

  • Public Sector Assurance

 Initiative of six organisations acting in Conformity Assessment (ISO, IEC, IAF, ILAC and IIOC – the Independent International Organization for Certification – an organization of international certification bodies and the IQNet - the International Certification Network, a network of 40 national certification bodies). It has several information and real cases on the use of Accreditation and conformity assessment by the public sector, around the world.


There are several types of ecolabels and other claims, besides conventional certifications:

  • GEN

International network of Type I ecolabelling programs. It includes links to each of national ecolabelling programs that are members of the network, as well as other resources including links to the criteria used to award the ecolabels.

  • Ecolabelling Index

Website that, ran by a private company, is an inventory with information about more than 450 ecolabels worldwide.