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)
Responsive and proportional response
Supplier performance

Supplier performance


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

Suppliers’ environmental performance is often affected by the humanitarian crisis.

This may leave them feeling compelled to either 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
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems

Summary of Impacts
Summary of potential environmental impacts

· Sourcing materials or manufactured goods, and services, from unsustainable sources, or using unsustainable practices
· Unsustainable resource extraction
· Damage to local flora, fauna and ecosystems
· Inefficient, polluting manufacturing processes and inefficient equipment
· Over abstraction of water resources to meet production demand
· Air pollution from manufacturing processes
· Air pollution from inefficient distribution vehicles and routes
· Lack of environmental policies and Lack of assessment of environmental impacts.

Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

Supplier performance can potentially have many negative environmental impacts, including 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.

Other impacts include air pollution from inefficient manufacturing processes as well as air pollution from inefficient distribution vehicles and routes. This is all exacerbated where there is a lack of environmental policies and lack of assessment of environmental impacts.


Summary of environmental activities

Ensure the organisation has sustainable and ethical procurement policies that inform both decision makers and suppliers about conditions for engaging in procurement opportunities. Whenever the operational context allows, include sustainability criteria in the selection processes for goods and services.

Ensure environmental policies address:

· Sustainable sourcing of materials or manufactured goods, and services
· Sustainable resource extraction or sustainable alternative raw materials
· Assessment of and mitigation of damage to local flora, fauna and ecosystems
· Assessment and reduction of inefficient, polluting manufacturing processes and use of inefficient equipment
· Avoids over abstraction of water resources to meet production demand
· Reduces air pollution from manufacturing processes
· Reduces air pollution from inefficient distribution vehicles and routes

This should all be supported by well written, pragmatic but ever improving environmental policies supported by regular assessment and reporting of environmental impacts.

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities

Assess supplier performance against agreed environmental criteria, including: sustainable natural resource usage; reduced packaging; re-useable durable items; energy efficient appliances; energy efficient vehicles used; sustainable manufacturing processes; efficient distribution; renewable energy use; reduced/no toxic materials; alternatives to plastics; item longevity; local sourcing; quality; ethical procurement; pollution scoring.

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 approach and incentivising affected populations to source their own shelter, food and NFI materials.

This led to 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 environmental sustainability is assessed

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 environmental sustainability of local providers.

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