Sustainability criteria in the RFP process

What is an RFP?

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a document sent to potential suppliers at the beginning of the procurement process. It is designed to gather information about goods or services required so that competing bids can be assessed against specific criteria.

Why is the ITP interested?

In recent years, environmental and social sustainability issues have been moving further and further into the mainstream business agenda. With this has come the development of corporate social responsibility programmes, and guidelines for the “greening” of supply chains. In the corporate marketplace, that equates to the addition of a wide, complex and growing range of sustainability questions into RFP’s. This allows buyers to become aware of the environmental and social impact of their purchases and for suppliers to outline the work that they have done in reducing the impact of their operations.

ITP has researched sustainability criteria in the RFP process because we want to understand whether this increasing focus on sustainability criteria is actually influencing commercial decisions. ITP firmly supports the goal of creating a transparent and credible marketplace in which the “green” or sustainability credentials of different suppliers can be meaningfully assessed, measured and compared. Therefore we are interested in making the sustainability elements of an RFP as useful and comparable as possible.