A company is indirectly contributing to unethical behaviour, violation of human and labour rights and environmental impacts if it does business with a supplier that is not sustainable.
What is sustainable procurement?
We require that our suppliers have similar rules to the Maersk Third Party Code of Conduct for their own suppliers. Alternatively, suppliers should pass on requirements to their suppliers based on an internationally recognized standard within the areas of human rights, anti-corruption, environment and labour, such as, but not limited to, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). This enables our suppliers to carry out sustainable procurement, which is the “procurement that has the most positive environmental, social, and economic impacts possible across the entire life cycle and that strives to minimise adverse impacts.” 
Why this matters?
A company is indirectly contributing to unethical behaviour, violation of human and labour rights and environmental impacts if it does business with a supplier that is not sustainable. A company can make a positive shift if it manages its own risks in the supply chain and promotes sustainability throughout.
In addition, governments are placing increased focus on sustainability, drafting laws and regulations that businesses should follow to avoid penalties and fines. Proactively managing the sustainability issues in the supply chain gives a competitive advantage in the market.
Example of laws that require companies to manage a certain issue in their supply chain:
- the UK Modern Slavery Act 
- the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act 
General Sustainable Supply Chain Management is recommended by various guidelines. For example:
- OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises 
- United Nations Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights 
Example of a sustainable procurement policy
“[Company Name] promotes sustainable development and strives to address sustainability throughout its value chain and expects its suppliers to operate in the same way.”
“We use our influence wherever possible to promote good practice and raise awareness, not only among our suppliers and their employees, but amongst others along our value chain as well. We believe that working together in partnership is the best way we can make a positive difference.”
“In order to promote sustainable development, [Company Name] commits to collaborating with suppliers and partners that meet certain standards within environment, occupational health and safety, social responsibility and anti-corruption. [Company Name] procures goods and services at the best terms, assessing total costs, quality and sustainability.”
Click here to read Maersk Responsible Procurement Programme
Additional guidance on sustainable procurement
- ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement
Download the Supplier Sustainability Guidance-pdf here