FIDIC adds its backing to MDBs’ sustainable procurement pledge


International engineering federation FIDIC has warmly welcomed a new commitment on sustainable procurement from the global multilateral development banks.

FIDIC, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, has given its backing to an international commitment to sustainable procurement signed by the World Bank and 11 other multilateral development banks (MDBs).

In a recently signed joint statement, the MDBs have collectively declared their their shared commitment to integrating sustainable procurement into their development operations in a move which many observers believe will help the world meet its sustainability and net zero goals.

The MDBs are also committing to working with partner countries to implement national-level reforms in order to mainstream sustainability into domestic procurement activity. It’s been seen as a significant move as governments spend $13 trillion annually, around 15% of global GDP, which highlights the important role public procurement will play in achieving global sustainability goals.

Commenting on the signing of a joint statement on sustainable procurement initiatives by the heads of procurement (HoP) network of the MDBs, FIDIC CEO Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said: “FIDIC applauds this welcome development from the MDBs, who occupy a key and influential position when it comes to meeting the world’s sustainability goals and net zero targets.

“Procurement can be an important catalyst for change in the fight against climate change and it’s great to see the MDBs showing leadership on this issue by collectively agreeing to work with their clients to develop and implement the policies, plans and actions needed to drive the global sustainable procurement transition, which should lead to a more inclusive, resource efficient and greener world.”

Under the terms of the joint statement on sustainable procurement, the MDBs will work with partner countries to achieve a broad set of sustainability objectives, including achieving the goals set out in the Paris Agreement with a particular focus on decarbonising supply chains, closing gender gaps and increasing inclusion.

A working group established between the development banks will work together on a number of initiatives, focusing on awareness building, outreach, and partnership; building a common approach and identifying opportunities for harmonisation; training and development within the MDB community and for partner countries and monitoring and communicating impact.

The statement signed by the heads of procurement network of the MDBs highlights that sustainable public procurement is a strategic framework to integrate economic, social, environmental and institutional governance development objectives throughout the procurement cycle. 

By considering these factors in the project procurement process and by supporting national sustainability reforms, the heads of procurement say that “sustainable procurement can bring about transformational change on climate goals, improve environmental performance, improve social diversity, promote gender equality and women’s entrepreneurship, increase inclusivity, reduce inequality, support workers’ rights, enhance safeguard against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment and contribute to market innovation.”

Click here to read the MDBs’ joint statement on sustainable procurement initiatives.