Sustainable Procurement: A Guide to Ethical Purchasing

A primer on positive impact through your organization's spending

4.40 (12 reviews)


3 hours


Jul 2021

Last Update
Regular Price

What you will learn

Course participants will learn about the social and environmental impacts of their organization's purchasing by conducting a sustainable purchasing audit using a template provided in the course.


Astrapto means to illuminate and this course sheds light on the social and environmental issues organizations encounter in their supply chains and offers recommendations for ethical procurement. Every organization purchases something so every organization has an opportunity to make a positive impact on people, planet, and profit through responsible sourcing.

This course is perfect for any one in any type or size of organization who wants to learn more about how to improve environmental and social performance in daily operations. No expertise or experience in sustainability is required. It is ideal for general managers, small business owners, corporate procurement staff, sales teams, and anyone who wants better understand sustainability and take practical steps in the right direction.

Participants will learn to engage stakeholders, conduct a sustainable procurement audit, create ethical purchasing policies, and set goals to improve social and environmental performance. The course does not require any specialized skills or knowledge in procurement or sustainability. It invites learners to consider the implications of the purchases they can influence and offers practice steps forward.

The course includes information on sustainability topics such as circular economy, plastics and single-use items, toxic chemicals, carbon emissions, humane working conditions, supplier diversity, and buying local. There are several handouts you can download with additional resources and worksheets and guidance for preparing for and performing a sustainable procurement audit.

Course outcomes

  • Recognize the social and environmental impact of procurement through supply chain research.

  • Develop a research process for finding purchasing data needed to make informed decisions.

  • Conduct a sustainable purchasing audit.

  • Establish sustainable purchasing goals, policies, and practices.


Sustainable Procurement: A Guide to Ethical Purchasing
Sustainable Procurement: A Guide to Ethical Purchasing
Sustainable Procurement: A Guide to Ethical Purchasing
Sustainable Procurement: A Guide to Ethical Purchasing


Course Introduction

Welcome to the course

Course Context and Application

Sustainable Procurement Foundations

The Triple Bottom Line of Procurement

Environmental and Social Implications of Procurement

Some Reality and Trade-offs

The Stakeholder Imperative

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Materials Management and Circular Economy

Plastics and Packaging

Paper and Other Single or Limited Use Items

Carbon Emissions in Supply Chains

Social Impact in Supply Chains

Chemicals and Human Health

Humane Supply Chains

Supplier Diversity

Buy Local Strategies

Sustainable Procurement Management

The Role of Certifications

Preparing for Your Sustainable Procurement Audit

Perform a Sustainable Procurement Audit

Sustainable Procurement Policies and Practices

Impact Goals, Metrics, and Reporting

Next Steps and Bonus Material

Next Steps


Chris31 March 2021

Loved all the thought and reference materials that went into the course. I walked away with a lot of knowledge and ways of using this new knowledge. Thank you!

Joseph4 March 2021

Wow! This course was perfect for someone who doesn't really know where to begin. The instructor does a great job walking me through the how and why for each procurement decision.


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