Socially Responsible Public Procurement - Construction and landscaping materials (stone, wood and metal)

Here you find information about generalised risks of human rights breaches in the global supply chains for construction and landscaping materials.

Risks of human rights breaches

Risks normally increase early on in the supply chain, where raw materials are extracted and processed. As the supply chains are complex and fragmented across the world, traceability is limited and transparency is low, which increases the level of risk for human rights and environmental concerns. Level of risks in construction materials is highly dependent on the region or country where they are produced and where the raw materials are sourced. Re-occurring risks include occupational health and safety, negative impacts on livelihoods, violation of indigenous peoples’ rights, absence of trade unions/anti-union laws and practices, low wages, and forced labour. These risks are mainly associated with countries and regions where enforcement of law and protection of workers is low. 

Read the whole report on risk assement for human right breaches in the prodution of construction and landscaping materials:

Risk assessment for human rights breaches - construction and landscaping 2020
pdf 438.73 KB

The report is written by Swedwatch, in 2020.

Specific risk assessments

The table below gives a generalised estimate of the level of risk of human rights abuse in the main tiers of the supply chain of construction and landscaping materials (raw material extraction; refinement and processing).  Some products purchased by public procurers in Norway have been selected to exemplify the risk levels. 

Product Raw material extraction Refinement and processing
Stone High risk High risk
Wood Medium high risk Medium high risk
Metal High risk High risk

Guidance for use of SRPP instruments when purchasing construction and landscaping materials

The level of risk of human rights abuse for the products exemplified reveals that the the level of generalised risk of human rights abuse in the supply chains is medium high to very high in the production of construction and landscaping materials. As the risk level is high this suggest use of socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) instruments to promote human rights during the production process in the supply chain of construction and landscaping materials.

Disclaimer: Please notice that the level of risk for human rights abuses could vary for other types of products then the examples above. Furthermore, the risk assessments are based on supply chains for high risk products imported to Norway and the supply chain can look different for products imported to other countries/continents. 

1) Planning the purchase of a high risk product 

When using the SRPP instruments, consider the core principles of public procurement: transparency, equal treatment, open competition, and sound procedural management.

Having an open dialoge – communicating expectations on human rights due diligence - with the supplier market is essential to prepare suppliers on the SRPP requirements.

2) Writing the tender documents for the purchase of high risk products

The length of the contract and the financial value of the transaction should guide decision making towards investing main focus in the contracts with highest financial total value and the longest contract periods.

When having decided which tender documents that should be complemented with SRPP instruments. 

SRPP special contract clauses  should be added to the tender documents.

It could also be considered to use selection criteria  if the level of the market maturity is high (i.e several suppliers have human rights due diligence systems in place at the time of the writing of the tender documents).

3) Contract follow-up 

Using SRPP special contract clauses implies that the public entity shall follow up the contract. 

SRPP self-assessment guidance could be used as reference for contract follow-up.

Oppdatert: 3. juni 2022

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