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Compare GPP criteria and Government Buying Standards
Government Buying Standards are the Government’s vehicle for introducing EU Green Public Procurement criteria to the UK. But how do they compare?
1. Mandatory or Voluntary?
- Mandatory Government Buying Standards must be used by Central Government Departments and their related organisations;
- Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria are for voluntary use by the wider public sector, but Member States (including the UK) have agreed that 50% of all tendering procedures should be green, where “green” means “compliant with endorsed common “core” GPP criteria;
- Government Buying Standards and Green Public Procurement are set at two main levels;
- The first level (mandatory / core) shows what should be achieved now and the second level (best practice / comprehensive) shows what should be achieved in future / the future market direction.
2. Are there different levels of standards / criteria?
- Government Buying Standards and Green Public Procurement are set at two main levels
- The first level (mandatory / core) shows what should be achieved now and the second level (best practice / comprehensive) shows what should be achieved in future / the future market direction
3. Which products are covered?
Both the UK Government Buying Standards and the EU Green Public Procurement criteria cover the same 10 priority product groups. However, there are sometimes differences between them depending on the product group.
- Cleaning Products
- The current GBS is under revision. This process will be informed by the corresponding GPP criteria which cover a wider range of products than the existing GBS.
- GBS is based on an established and widely-used method of assessing the overall environmental impacts of construction projects. The criteria are more flexible and wide-ranging than the EU GPP criteria, but otherwise largely comparable.
- GBS also covers a wider range of construction products with significant environmental impacts, many of which are not covered in EU GPP criteria.
- The second batch of EU GPP criteria include wall panels, windows, hard floor coverings and thermal insulation. GBS have not yet been developed for these (they are under review), but a link is provided to the BRE Green Guide, which covers a wide range of such solutions that contribute to the overall performance of the building.
- Electricity / Electrical Goods / Energy-using Products
- EU GPP contains criteria for energy, which is not covered in GBS.
- GBS includes criteria for a range of electrical goods and (under construction products) other energy-using appliances. These are not covered in GPP.
- GBS does not include criteria for electricity, whereas this is covered in EU GPP.
- Work is under way to develop GBS for food and catering, which is already covered in EU GPP criteria.
- Goes beyond the GPP criteria where practical. These criteria include eco-design to enable easy repair/reuse, components to be available for 5 years after purchase and encouraging procurers to reuse at least 5% of their own furniture.
- Gardening Services / Horticulture
- EU GPP covers a much wider range of issues than GBS, which currently only address peat and chainsaw lubricants. Work is under way to review
- Office ICT Equipment
- The current GBS is aligned with GPP and the EU Ecolabel scheme. Revised criteria are expected by March 2011.
- The current GBS go beyond the GPP criteria where practical and takes account of forthcoming revisions to the Ecolabel criteria.
- Current mandatory GBS is aligned with GPP and in the voluntary best practice criteria goes beyond the GPP requirements to cover themes such as innovative end of life criteria and ethical standards.
- The current GBS is aligned with GPP but also includes additional recycling and reusability considerations to further environmental benefits.
- Cleaning Products
Page last modified: 30 March, 2011