Commission adopts a Communication clarifying the possibilities provided by Community law for environmentally responsible procurement
The Communication stresses the importance of taking environmental concerns into consideration early in the public procurement process.
- Even though authorities are not allowed to use environmental criteria to choose between several offers to a tender, they can still take the environment in account when making the decision on the subject matter of the contract. For example, they can specify into a tender for paper supplies that they only want recycled products to be offered to them.
- Authorities can also decide to purchase environment-friendly products or services by stipulating the raw materials and the production processes to be used in the contract.
- While public purchasers may not use eco-labels, they can “copy” some of the criteria used by these labels in their tender requirements.
In the end, the contract should be awarded to the cheapest or to the “most economically advantageous offer”. Still, environmental elements can help to identify the most economically advantageous tender, as energy-efficient products often have lower life-time costs.