Joint commitment on sustainable healthcare

The SPHS Task Team members UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UNOPS, WHO (as a convener), GAVI - the Vaccine Alliance, The Global Fund and UNITAID co-signed on 7 December 2016 a Statement of Intent to align and “green” procurement of health commodities, in an effort to protect the environment and contribute to sustainable development.

“We need to make sure that when international organizations procure health commodities, we promote responsible consumption and production patterns and support the Sustainable Development Goals,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan in signing the joint statement at WHO Headquarters in Geneva.

With the Paris Agreement recently having entered into force, the Statement comes at an important time for human and planetary health, and clearly represents the joint SPHS commitment to lower the environmental and social impact of the global health procurement, with a final aim of improving human health and well-being.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark released a video statement, highlighting the importance of mounting a successful and responsible response to current environmental and development challenges through sustainable supply chains in healthcare.


Joint Statement on Engaging with Suppliers and Manufacturers to Promote Environmentally and Socially Responsible Procurement on Health Commodities

Engaging with suppliers and manufacturers to promote environmentally and socially responsible procurement of health commodities

Statement of intent

07 December 2016
Recognizing the importance of “leading-by-example” as UN and international health development agencies and other organizations that are engaged in procurement of health commodities in the development sector (‘the Signatories’) in enacting policies and practices that promote sustainable development;

Cognizant of existing international agreements, declarations, and commitments that reaffirm the above;

Understanding that procurement can contribute to sustainable development, particularly where it promotes responsible consumption and production patterns, as called for in Sustainable Development Goal 12, and where it positively influences the application of environmental and social standards to products and services, including the health sector;
Aware that in leveraging our collective positioning and purchasing power in the international health development sector, we can help advance environmentally and socially responsible procurement principles and practices, including through our engagement with suppliers and manufacturers of health commodities;

Mindful that such engagement is part of our collective commitment to ensuring environmental and social commitment to ensuring environmental and social responsibility of our own procurement practices;

We, the undersigned Signatories, agree to align our approach to engagement and communication with suppliers and manufacturers of health commodities in our efforts to collectively advance environmentally and socially responsible procurement;
The approach we will take to this engagement will:
  • Take into account compliance by manufacturers with applicable national and international legislation and regulations addressing environmental issues associated with manufacturing;
  • Be supportive of wider principles of value for money and effective competition based on equal treatment, transparency, and accountability;
  • Balance important environmental, social, health, and economic priorities;
  • Recognize the different mandates of the Signatories, and opportunities for engagement with suppliers and manufacturers available to each;
  • Build upon existing good practice, including relevant ongoing interagency efforts to advance environmentally and socially responsible procurement.
We further agree to make efforts to reflect this common commitment to advancing environmental and social responsibility as part of our engagement with suppliers and manufacturers in our respective, related institutional (or organizational) strategies and policies, as applicable.


Source: SPHS