Over the past two decades there has been a push by a range of companies, communities, and governments for a higher level of sustainable infrastructure. However, to achieve sustainable development in infrastructure, you must first procure sustainable goods and services. The International Organization for Standardization defines sustainable procurement as positive environmental, social, and economic impacts possible over the entire life cycle. Considered a business best practice, sustainable procurement enhances risk management, lowers life-cycle costs, spurs innovation, improves the project owner’s reputation and credibility, and supports long-term development.
A new report from ASCE’s Committee on Sustainability, Sustainable Procurement for Infrastructure, edited by Nancy Kralik, P.E., ENV SP, F.ASCE, and Jeremy Chrzan, P.E. M.ASCE, presents an overview of the implementation of sustainability principles in the procurement process. Consisting of four chapters, the book begins with a background on the concept of sustainable development. It also details recommended procurement language for specific aspects of sustainability, as well as commentary and references that engineers and procurement personnel can use to further understand the sustainable procurement of services and goods. The book concludes with several case studies that depict projects exemplifying sustainable procurement. Designed to provide contractual language, project owners can use “as is” or modify to address those issues of primary concern.