Sustainable Procurement Tools

Specification development and award criteria

Sustainable requirements need to be incorporated into the specification and must be relevant to the particular procurement. If for instance the buyer wishes to ensure that the marine protection areas are avoided the following example can be used in a specification to highlight the requirement to meet sustainability criteria (taken from Government Buying Standard for Food and Catering Services): 

 ‘All fish are to be demonstrably sustainable with all wild-caught fish meeting the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (includes Marine Stewardship Council certification and Marine Conservation Society ‘fish to eat’) and from outside any registered Marine Protection Areas (MPA)’ 

Alternatively for restoration work to an historic building: 

‘'The refurbishment of this historic building shall be in accordance with relevant requirements specified and all materials used shall be in keeping with the age and heritage of the property and shall be previously agreed with XXX.’ 

‘The contractor shall, in the delivery of the service [project], enhance the accessibility to, educational value and enjoyment of heritage sites by the public of the area in which the service [project] is delivered through planned tangible positive impacts.' 

Award criterion must be proportionate and relevant and there must be a clear methodology to evaluate responses. It must also relate to the particular services being procured, for example: 

‘Please provide a copy of your Environmental Policy and highlight how it relates to protecting and enhancing the public access to the heritage site which is the subject of this tender.’ 

Some other examples of criterion have been provided above at Supplier Selection. These could be re-worded to relate to the particular services being procured and be used for contract award. The exact wording of the criteria and the particular procurement requirement will dictate at which stage they are appropriate. Some issues may be addressed at either stage (but not at both).