If there is one constant in the world of procurement, it’s change. Between the digitalization of purchasing strategies and the trend of lowering Simplified Acquisition Thresholds (SATs), government agencies are finding more ways to improve the complex practices of the past.

The move towards sustainable procurement is yet another step in the efforts to modernize the public sector, but… what does that even mean, and how can it help your agency?


Defining ‘Sustainable Procurement’

Over the last decade, the word ‘sustainability’ has been featured in headlines within just about every business industry in the United States—but it’s not a new concept. First used in ‘The Limits to Growth’ in 1972, the term refers to any practice that takes environmental and economical impact into consideration. Because environmentalism is on the rise, more and more businesses and agencies are working to shrink their ecological footprint. But what does this mean for the future of purchasing?

Sustainable procurement is considered one of The Institute for Public Procurement (NGIP)’s Global Best Practices. To say that your procurement processes are sustainable, however, you must consider all three sides of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental. This means driving purchasing efforts with strong, defined leadership; measuring the cost and impact of each transaction; and reviewing potential suppliers to ensure their supply chain has a positive impact and reputation for sustainability.


How Technology Can Help

Online tools like GovQuote are at the forefront of these sustainability efforts. When an agency makes the transition to eQuotes, they may leave behind outdated procedures that require file-cabinets-worth of paper. Because small purchase methods (i.e., quotes, piggybacking, p-cards and others used below the RFP threshold) make up 80% of government purchases, eQuotes can often result in a significant drop in paper waste.

Digital procurement can also introduce agencies to an expanded pool of vendors—many of which, they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to work with. Buyers can peruse a larger selection of quotes and communicate with vendors in real time. Now, it’s easier to make the most economical and sustainable decisions for their state, county or student population.

Using these methods and more, sustainable procurement practices will help both your agency and your community by creating a stable, long-lasting process and by supporting a positive impact on your neighbors.


GovQuote is the first fully web-based platform to connect government agencies and private companies on the largest, fastest, and most user-friendly request for quote (RFQ) marketplace. GovQuote is revolutionizing public procurement by providing an online marketplace where State, Local, and Education (SLED) agencies obtain quotes by reaching thousands of qualified companies competing for government business. Using powerful smart technology to cut out costly and outdated procurement methods, GovQuote saves organizations countless hours and millions of dollars, all with full compliance, facilitating crystal-clear transparency in the public sector while leveling the playing field for small and disadvantaged businesses.