Case Study

Sustainable procurement with the UN Global Compact


twentyfifty worked with participants of the UN Global Compact’s Decent Work in Global Supply Chains Action Platform to develop a comprehensive open-source toolkit for businesses to use to embed decent work into their procurement practices.  The Toolkit helps both suppliers and buyers to identify gaps in working conditions and supports them with the necessary tools and conversations to help develop their approaches. The Decent Work Toolkit for Sustainable Procurement is available for all businesses and stakeholders to use.

The challenge

It can be extremely challenging for businesses to understand and operationalise the link between the Sustainable Development Goals, human rights and decent work in their supply chain, yet often the root cause of many workplace issues for workers can be caused by procurement practices further up the chain.  Until the development of this toolkit, there had been very few practical tools available for businesses to use in order to improve their procurement processes, acknowledge the role of procurement colleagues in advancing decent work globally and ultimately create positive change in supply chains.  We were commissioned to create the toolkit due to our expertise in Human Rights and Responsible Business.

Our approach

We reviewed existing sustainable procurement resources and quickly identified that there was little available to support businesses.  We therefore developed the concept of a sustainable procurement toolkit containing:

  • The case for decent work in supply chains
  • How to communicate basic concepts to buyers and suppliers
  • How to conduct quality stakeholder engagement
  • Embedding decent work practices into corporate processes
  • Good practice examples

We engaged with different companies and job roles to get to the root of how commercial needs could align with a decent work improvement agenda, focusing our expertise on creating a practical, simple-to-use, results-oriented toolkit.


We have demonstrated that positive open and transparent relationships are at the heart of achieving better working conditions in supply chains. The Toolkit has been used widely within the UNGC membership and feedback has been extremely positive.

What our clients say
Mari-Lou Dupont, Senior Manager, Decent Work and Social Sustainability, United Nations Global Compact

“twentyfifty did a fantastic job at understanding the challenge faced by procurement professionals, engaging our member companies in the development of a truly collaborative toolkit. They made complex content engaging and practical. The toolkit has been well received and is proving very popular with our signatories, Global Compact local networks and the wider business community.”

Project details
Client UN Global Compact
Sector Cross-sector
Services provided Embedding Due Diligence
Functions involved Sustainable Procurement and Sustainability teams of companies within the UNGC Decent Work in Global Supply Chains Action Platform
Duration 6 months
Key success factors

Stakeholder engagement

Leadership of Change

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