MEP calls for more emphasis on sustainability in procurement rules

11 May 2012

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13 May 2012 | Paul Snell

Public purchasers should have greater power to make sustainability demands on the production processes of potential suppliers, and not just the product they purchase according to a Swedish MEP.

A draft opinion produced by the Swedish MEP Åsa Westlund for the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, said there should be greater focus in the European Commission’s proposed revised procurement rules on supporting environmental and social goals.

The document recommends making it more explicit that purchasers can make demands on the production process or provision of products to encourage the procurement of environmentally and socially beneficial goods and services.

It also said buyers should have the ability to impose sustainability demands not only on first tier vendors, but also their sub-contractors and throughout the supply chain.

The opinion forms a series of amendments to the current proposed directive The ideas will then be voted on by the Committee and put forward in a draft report. The deadline for further amendments before the report is 7 July.

Westlund also proposed making it clearer in the legislation that purchasers can go further with their sustainability demands than the EU recommendations. She also raised the possibility of giving buyers the right to exclude or penalize bidders that do not follow social or labour laws from tender processes.

The opinion also called for procurement to be used as a tool to purchase more innovative products.

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