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Green procurement

Green procurement tips

Green products are items that are environmentally friendly.

When possible buy products that are:

  • less toxic
  • minimally polluting
  • energy efficient
  • safer and healthier for patients, workers and the environment
  • easier to repair
  • easier to recycle
  • using less packaging
  • more durable (have a longer life time)
  • locally produced (travel short transport distances)

High environmental-impact products and services

Products and services that have the highest environmental impacts are:

  • transport
  • energy
  • construction
  • food and catering services
  • cleaning products and services
  • textiles and uniforms
  • IT equipment
  • paper

Read the Green procurement guidance for the public sector. This outlines your statutory obligations when buying these products.

Quick wins when procuring green products

  • Ask your supplier if they have a sustainable alternative to your standard supplies.
  • Buy from local suppliers where possible to reduce impacts from transport.
  • Select lower-energy-use equipment like A-rated or EU Ecolabel.
  • Replace standard paper for FSC certified or recycled paper.
  • Avoid single-use products unless there is a clinical requirement.
  • Do a review when renewing contracts and replace standard products for sustainable alternatives.

Resources

Guidance

Green Procurement Guidance for the Public Sector

Green Tenders Action Plan on GPP (PDF, 803KB, 74 pages)

Buying Green! - A Handbook on green public procurement

Public procurement for a better environment (PDF, 65KB, 12 pages)

Sustainable Public Procurement in European Healthcare

Case studies

Supply of locally grown produce to the catering department at Cork University Hospital (PDF, 122KB, 1 page)

Related topic

Energy supply contracts