08 January 2004
Purchasers in the European public sector must clearly state the environmental and social criteria that will be applied at the start of the tender process.
An update to the European Union public procurement directives has adopted the European Court of Justice ruling in the so-called "Finnish bus case".
In 2002, the ECJ ruled in favour of Helsinki when the city stipulated nitrogen oxide emission levels for new buses in a 1997 contract. A supplier had claimed the stipulation curbed competition because only one supplier could meet it.
The procurement update demands that environmental and social criteria are expressly stated in tender documents. The criteria must also be directly relevant to the contract.
Contracting authorities will also be allowed to require specific environmentally friendly production methods.