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Target 12.7

Sustainable Public Procurement

target 12.7

Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Indicator 12.7.1

Number of countries implementing sustainable public procurement policies and action plans.

Public procurement wields enormous purchasing power: it represents an average of 12% of GDP in OECD countries and 14.5% in low-income countries, and offers a valuable opportunity to gear public expenditures towards green growth and contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals. Currently, public procurement – which is generally guided by the principles of fairness, transparency, openness, and non-discrimination – is evolving into a strategic instrument aimed at fostering sustainable development and contributing to market transformation .It can therefore play a critical role in promoting the inclusive and sustainable economic growth upheld by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and contribute to SDG 12.

The number of countries implementing Sustainable Public Procurement policies and action plans is measured by assessing the level of implementation of sustainable public procurement (SPP) in countries (whose national or federal government submitted a report on their SPP activities) through the appraisal of 6 different parameters:

  • Existence of a SPP policy or action plan; 
  • whether the Public procurement legal framework is conducive to SPP implementation; 
  • what are the means undertaken to support public procurement practitioners’ practice of SPP, 
  • whether specific criteria have been developed to support SPP, 
  • whether SPP is monitored, and 
  • whether data on SPP implementation is collected.

The appraisal of reports and relevant evidence submitted by national or federal governments then allow for the classification of those countries into 4 different levels of SPP implementation through the following maturity model: 

  • Low-level implementation
  • Lower-intermediate implementation
  • Upper-intermediate implementation
  • Advanced implementation

Global and Regional Progress

Custodian Agencies

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has been promoting the shift to Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) patterns for the past two decades. It is the custodian agency responsible for 8 out of 12 indicators under SDG 12.

UNEP guides policy development for SCP through its global frameworks, networks, programmes and partnerships, through knowledge-sharing and facilitating access to science, policy guidance, technical tools and best practices.

UNEP contributes to SDG 12.2, “achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources”, by strengthening and communicating the knowledge and scientific base for resource efficiency and SCP. This includes scientific information on natural resource use and “decoupling opportunities” as a basis for evidence-based policymaking.

Additionally, UNEP works on strengthening the sound management of chemicals and waste by supporting parties to the multilateral environmental agreements to meet their respective obligations. This work supports SDG 12.4 ‘achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.’ UNEP also hosts the secretariats for several waste and chemicals-related multilateral environmental agreements and implements initiatives targeting various types of waste, including food waste and hazardous waste and chemicals.

As part of its actions towards SDG 12.6, “Encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.”, UNEP collaborates with the private sector in partnerships promoting innovation, technological solutions and financing to tackle our most pressing global environmental challenges. UNEP fosters partnerships with business and industry to promote green investments and apply sustainable business practices across value chains. It also promotes and builds capacity in corporate sustainability reporting.

UNEP Sustainable Public Procurement

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

UNEP Science Division

  • SDG Unit
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Guidance material


Metadata 12.7.1

External source

SDG Indicator 12.7.1 - SPP Index Calculation Methodology & Guidelines


Online Course: Environmental SDG Indicators

External source

12.7.1 Excel questionnaire

External source

12.7.1 Technical Guidance & Instructions

External source

12.7.1 List of National Focal Points

External source

Related resources