Setting verifiable environmental requirements - or 'on our honour'

A fundamental principle is that all environmental requirements must be objectively verifiable. A requirement is ineffective if it cannot be verified and followed up by the purchaser. Verifiable environmental requirements and their observance are prerequisites if procurement is to be a driving force towards sustainability. This is confirmed by the survey performed during this investigation. What we therefore need to know is: What requirements can be set and what evidence can the purchaser demand from suppliers? This report defines different categories of evidence, provides a general structure for how these should be used, and exemplifies their use with a case study. Further, it is established that the orderer must specify in the specification of requirement how verification is performed in order to uphold the principle of equal treatment. Fewer environmental requirements should be set but these must be followed up. Following up requirements raises the credibility of the procurement process and is an important part of contract fulfilment. Finally, it is concluded that if public procurement is to be a driving force, the environmental requirements must be relevant (i.e. concern proven significant environmental aspects) and whenever possible such requirements should be made award criteria that are given significant weight in tender assessment.

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