31 October 2022 The Winner of the 2022 UN Procurement Award is...

United Nations Office of Project Services’ (UNOPS) project “Procurement of Medicines and Medical Supplies in Mexico.” The winner was announced on Thursday, 13 October 2022 at the High-Level Committee on Management’s Procurement Network’s (HLCM-PN) meeting at The Haag.

Five teams from across the UN system were shortlisted for the Sustainable Procurement and Supply award category, which “recognizes successful and value-adding Sustainable Procurement and Supply projects,” and “rewards procurement and supply chain initiatives that are compatible and in favour of the protection of the environment, of social progress and in support of economic development” (UN Procurement Awards Concept Note).

All the shortlisted teams’ projects demonstrate important learnings and good-practices in sustainable procurement, which all UN entities can benefit from, adapt, and scale-up, as was noted by Torben Soll, Manager (FCIPS), United Nations Development Program, and Chair, Professional Development Working Group, HCLM-PN at the meeting where he commented: “we are therefore not here to only celebrate one winner, but to recognize the diversity and magnitude of sustainable procurement identified in all projects.”

In determining UNOPS’ project “Procurement of Medicines and Medical Supplies in Mexico” as the award winner, the Evaluation Panel made the following comments:

  • “Example of project procurement designed from the very beginning with sustainable procurement best practices, covering several SDG and national plan objectives. Well presented, with detailed quantitative and qualitative benefits, high impact of the project, potentially benefitting the whole population of the country.”
  • “Implementing sustainable procurement practices, developing diverse suppliers and delivering real benefits. Great to see an open sharing of the best practices so others can learn and follow them”
  • “This is an excellent example because sustainability was priority from the outset. Also, all criteria were respected: social, environmental and economic.”
  • “This is a great example for size, impact and innovation.”

The project includes sustainability criteria in tenders, promoting gender and social inclusion and building the capacity of governmental institutions and suppliers.

The UNOPS project team was pleased the Evaluation Panel recognized that from the beginning the project’s procurement was designed using sustainable procurement best practices, as Laura Klarreich, Senior Project Manager, UNOPS – Mexico notes:

Embedding sustainability to impact the 2030 Agenda from the beginning of the project was a non-negotiable matter for the Project, Latin America, and Headquarters leaders...and this was by conviction, not by imposition. When we look back and then see the present results, we cannot be prouder of the journey we went through, and it motivates us to go for more.

Commenting on the size of the project and as a result its impact on procurement, Marcus Mckay, Sustainable Procurement Manager, UNOPS- Copenhagen, had this to say:

As a Sustainable Procurement Manager supporting a project this large, it was important to realise the impact that procurement can have as a process when it comes to sustainable development. We worked very hard on using the procurement process to drive improvements and change in the market. Coordinating procurement activities is not only about what we buy – but also who we buy from.

Speaking to what it meant for UNOPS to win this award, Giuseppe Mancinelli, Deputy Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, UNOPS commented:

We’re proud this public procurement initiative of Mexico has been recognized with first place for its excellence in procurement. The project is being recognized for its impact, sustainability, timely implementation, benefits demonstrated through indicators, best practices, added value in favour of the environment, relevance in the lives of people, and contributions to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Anne-Claire Howard, Procurement Director, UNOPS – Copenhagen, added on the importance of winning the award that:

This award represents the culmination of 10 years of effort and improvements that UNOPS has made in embedding sustainability into the DNA of its procurement process. I have admired the tenacity of the project team and their incredible efforts to ensure that a sustainability lens was applied to the project.

To learn more about the winning project and to watch the announcement, please use the following links:

For more information about the UN Procurement Awards, please see https://www.ungm.org/Shared/KnowledgeCenter/Pages/UNProcurementAwards2022

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