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UK Government Focuses on Sustainable Public Procurement

Posted 6 December 2008 by admin to Ecolabel News.

What can make an eco-labelling organisation happy? International recognition is definitely rewarding. The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) commissioned a research report aimed to strengthen governmental sustainable procurement.

The results pleased not only European (EU flower, Blue Angel) labels that closely reflect European Union policies, but also Environmental Choice in New Zealand. The report looked into 207 established environmental standards and labelling schemes; then selected nine product categories relevant to governmental procurement.

The study classified the labels and standards into three classes; “Class 1” reflected those of the labelling schemes that are most robust in terms of measuring sustainability, use of whole-life-cycle considerations, the range of criteria applied, frequency of updating them, the methodology used, as well as open and thorough consultation in developing standards/criteria.

Since the study was to benefit the UK public sector, a lot of attention was paid to “off-the-shelf” applicability for UK and potential for use in this particular country. A moral is that the study indicates procurers’ need to have a comparative platform for different labels, and not every country / organisation can afford to carry out such investigations.

Our database will enable you to outline and develop your green purchasing strategy by navigating through it, and deciding what labels you would trust.