Significant environmental and social impacts can occur throughout a supply chain and can be reduced through procurement strategies. Some projects require particular environmental standards from service providers or particular environmental credentials in goods to be used. An important aspect of the contracting authority meeting its sustainability objectives is the early identification of specific requirements and standards in the development of a procurement strategy.
Suppliers need to be able to meet the environmental and social requirements of projects, for goods and services. In addition, good practice and the provision of information on these issues in relation to the goods and services by the suppliers will help the contracting authority meet and measure progress against its sustainability objectives and should therefore be encouraged.
When developing a procurement strategy, contracting authorities can use the following checklist to make sure measures are in place to minimise negative and maximize positive environmental and social impacts within the procurement process:
Checklist 2-2: Minimizing negative and maximize positive environmental and social impacts
|•||Ensure the procurement process complies with current and potential future environmental legislation such as the use of certain materials or the labeling requirements on goods.|
|•||Ensure that procurement supports the specific environmental and social objectives and targets of programmes such as the energy efficiency of new buildings and equipment.|
|•||Ensure that service providers have the capability to meet the technical environmental aspects of projects.|
|•||consider how goods are to be used and ultimately disposed of or recycled and request that suppliers aid the contracting authority in minimising the use and disposal impact|
|•||As far as is practical and reasonable, request information from suppliers on the environmental and social impacts of the products and services being supplied, and how these have been minimised. In particular look for evidence of good practice such as certification like “fair trade”.|
|•||Encourage suppliers to minimise the environmental impacts of their operations, products and services by asking questions and thereby demonstrating the importance that the contracting authority places on these issues. One straight forward way to do this is for a contracting authority to specify the minimum standards (e.g. ISO) and then evaluate if these can be met by the supplier. (It would be impossible to evaluate a range of different environmental standards in an EU contract that can only be awarded on the lowest price or MEAT). |
|•||Demonstrate to suppliers the contracting authority’s own commitment to environmental and social issues through its own activities and explaining its importance to its stakeholders.|
When awarding contracts it is important that environmental criteria (such as exhaust emissions and noise levels when acquiring vehicles) and social criteria (such as accessibility for people with disabilities when constructing a new building) form an integral part of the requirements as set out in the specification, (discussed in more detail in section 2.7.3).