Sustainability as a competitive advantage in public procurement

This blog by Christopher Gleadle advances an argument not often associated with justifications for sustainability, namely that the sustainability of a business can be an indicator of the operational efficiency and effective management of that business in the eyes of professional investors.

Sustainability can, therefore, be both a social policy in public procurement and also an operational evaluation indicator for procuring authorities.

4 thoughts on “Sustainability as a competitive advantage in public procurement

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  2. The key wording is ‘ . . in the eyes of . . .’; the whole picture of sustainability and that equally mystical beast carbon footprinting is founded upon the principle enshrined in that ancient story of the Emperor’s clothes. For those who have forgotten, the story is essentially that an Emperor is conned into believing that some non-existent clothing is in fact made of the rarest of cloth – in fact ‘invisible’ cloth. Because he is conned his advisers do not want to reveal his foolishness (the ‘messenger’ is almost invariably blamed) and thus join in with collective pretence – and retaining their jobs. Today we have ‘sustainability’ for which there is no universal definition but whose use as a ‘title’ in any venture provides a way into government funding, and having gone down that highly trumpeted road the Government will not quickly withdraw (although the fall in tariffs for self-generated domestic electricity indicates that when the maths do not add up the Government will backtrack); so, ‘ . . in the eyes of investors . . ‘ a label of ‘sustainability’ is likely to be viewed as a ‘positive’ but as an indicator of efficiency? No!


    • John, thanks!

      Do you not think that there is a pragmatic argument that it only needs to be “in the eyes of investors” for it have real value?

      Whether or not “sustainability” is in fact a nebulous concept is, to some extent, beside the point if businesses which are held to operate “sustainably” attract investment and economic growth and development ensues?

      Sentiment is, after all, a massive (though in itself nebulous) influencer of market bouyancy.

      I don’t necessarily advance those arguments for myself, more from the perspective of devil’s advocate….


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