Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

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VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Procurement (Mobilisation)
Best value for money (BVM) interventions
Provider identification and selection

Provider identification and selection


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

Suppliers may source materials sustainably or unsustainably. Their production methods may be sustainable or not. Their packaging, transport, and distribution methods may be sustainable or not.

All of these factors are impacted by local markets, local materials, locally available recycling facilities, availability of renewable energy, waste management facilities.

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications

Promote equality of opportunity and inclusion within supply chains.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Soil pollution
Water pollution
Climate change
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural Resource Depletion
Soil erosion

Summary of Impacts
Summary of potential environmental impacts

Environmentally unsustainable practices often include:

· Cutting of trees and other flora for sale to meet procurement demands
· Hunting of animals, birds, and insects for sale
· Scavenging for wild crops, honey, etc damaging ecosystems
· Use of inefficient, polluting manufacturing processes and equipment
· Over abstraction of water resources to meet production demand
· Air pollution from manufacturing processes, and from transportation of items not produced locally for markets or for humanitarian needs
· Lack of environmental policies and lack of assessment of environmental impacts.

Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

Where a humanitarian crisis impacts on top of existing poverty and a struggling economy, there may be low environmental standards or standards that may not be enforced. Without a policy, monitoring, or penalties, this usually leads to competition for the lowest price with little regard to the impacts on people’s health, wellbeing, or the environment. This often results in unsustainable cutting of trees, deforestation, and unsustainable extraction of other natural resources. This often results in harm to flora and fauna, ecosystems water resources, soil quality, air pollution, and disease spread. This can lead to local extinctions, soil loss and ultimately undermine the ability of the local environment to sustain local populations or production of resources.


Summary of environmental activities

Evaluate and plan (between teams and with partners) the appropriate procurement method according to context, donor, or organisation rules

Support suppliers in sourcing materials sustainably.

Support suppliers in developing sustainable/low impact production methods – modern energy-efficient equipment, renewable electricity, water conservation, greywater re-use; reducing waste and packaging.

Support local recyling initiatives and waste re-use livelihoods.

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities

Design procurement procedures and the documentation required for the different methods of supplier selection. Ensure these are appropriate to the market, local customs, and commonly accepted practices.

Consider adapting the process and the documentation that is required to encourage and support applications from local women-led businesses. This will help increase supplier participation and collaboration.

Emphasise BVM doesn’t mean cheapest or nearest; it means the optimum combination of cost, durability, quality, relevance/user acceptance, ability to be maintained locally, not creating local pollution, sustainably sourced, contributing to the local economy.

Environmental action: contract clauses with suppliers for environmentally sustainable sourcing; reduced packaging; reusable/returnable/repurposable /compostable/recyclable items.

Assess suppliers’ compliance with good practice working practices. For example, request evidence that they have no links of any kind with child labor, abuse or exploitation; sexual exploitation and abuse; human rights abuse; or unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.

Avoid suppliers who have links to actors taking part in conflicts or terrorist activities, or who have connections that might potentially impair humanitarian principles of neutrality and impartiality.

Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

Humanitarian agencies responding to the south east asia 2005 tsunami found that materials forecasts were difficult to make and suppliers couldn’t meet demand. They tried changing approaches and incentivising affected populations to source their own shelter, food, and NFI materials.

This led to the faster provision of items but also led to significant negative environmental impacts. This resulted in responders sharing databases of affected people and support given, and coordination of procurement.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

Percentage of supplier selection processes where protection and environmental criteria are considered

Activity Status
Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities

Prevention of environmental damage

Mitigation of environmental damage

Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

Time to assess the environmental sustainability of local providers.

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