This section covers the official Government Buying Standards for sustainable procurement of furniture.
What does sustainability mean for furniture?
From office chairs and desks to seating in dining and communal areas, public sector buyers need to procure a range of furniture. The GBS were updated in 2014. The revised standard requires that Departments look to reuse furniture from within Government before any new furniture purchases are made. The website of Crown Commercial Service now facilitates this. All new purchases of standard furniture should be refurbished furniture if that is available, or from a core list of standard items designed to facilitate reuse and refurbishment, with manufacturers making available technical details e.g. CAD diagrams to facilitate the refurbishment of desk tops. The criteria on hazardous chemicals have been simplified to facilitate implementation. Many other criteria have not been re-evaluated and remain largely unchanged.
Any wood used must follow the government’s Timber Procurement Policy on timber – essentially meaning it must be from sustainable forests.
Forthcoming changes in this area
These specifications were published in July 2010 following stakeholder review. They were updated in 2014 to require reuse and refurbishment before purchase of new furniture.
- Download the specification as PDF
- Download the Procurers’ note: Applying the standards (PDF)
- Download the Value For Money note summarising the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of procuring to the new standards (PDF)
- Download the full impact assessment (PDF)
Page last modified: 5 June, 2014