Feature Stories



Gross National Happiness Model for Pursuing Sustainable Public Procurement

Challenge(s) Addressed

The GNH has addressed the following challenges:

  • Scarce supply of sustainable goods through sustainable and green procurement;
  • Inadequate professional knowledge capacity development;
  • Inconsistency in public procurement processes caused by lack of explicit policy and regulatory framework; and
  • Lack of adequate knowledge and budgetary constraints in capacity development.


The GNH principles strengthen many policies including but not limited to:

  • Bhutan Public Procurement Framework 2015;
  • Bhutan Development Philosophy of GNH;
  • Economic Development Policy (EDP) 2010 geared towards "Green Procurement";
  • Cottage, Small and Medium Industry (CSMI) Policy 2012, that has the vision to develop a dynamic competitive and innovative CSMI in harmony with GNH philosophy;
  • Institution of NGOs (Green Public Procurement in Bhutan) 2014;
  • Institution of Government Procurement and Property Management Division (GPPMD) under Ministry of Finance; and
  • The e-GP system of Bhutan is based on the GNH pillars and helps achieve value for money and sustainability in public procurement.
Level of Innovation/Good Practice

The GNH provides for holistic approaches towards achieving sustainable procurement by systematically integrating Social, Economic and Environmental sustainability in public procurement policy while achieving value for money. It is worth noting here that the e-GP system of Bhutan is based on GNH pillars.

Replicability and Sustainability

The standard scheme, code of practice and procurement procedure, and framework guidelines with the GNH model ensure setting higher benchmark for quality, safety and environmental protection in realizing the organizational policies and practice in achieving national goals in the supply chain. GNH embodies a holistic approach and a guiding philosophy, which are globally accepted approaches aimed at enhancing regional trade and cooperation. Therefore, the approach is easily replicable.

Lessons Learned
  • It is important to create sustainable laws and policies to ensure sustainable procurement process in supply chain under the leadership of good governance stewardship of political leaders;
  • The GNH model in public procurement process ensured a balance between economy and environment benefits while achieving value for money; and
  • Gross National Happiness is one of the internationally accepted innovations for sustainable development and serves as a catalyst for moving towards sustainable public procurement in supply chain.