Sustainable Procurement - Statement of Policy and Practice

Sustainable Procurement in NatureScot

This document is issued by Scottish Natural Heritage (acting under its operating name, and hereinafter referred to as, “NatureScot”), established under the Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 1991.

All goods, services and works bought by NatureScot must deliver best value, meeting all of our needs at an affordable price. Our needs include sustainability. Sustainability comprises environmental, social and economic aspects.

This statement explains what we mean by sustainability (in procurement terms), what our standards are, and how our Staff must use them when buying any goods, services or works for NatureScot. We make this available on our website for information and for potential suppliers to understand our sustainability standards. All goods, services and works bought by NatureScot must deliver best value, meeting all of our needs at an affordable price. Our needs include sustainability. Sustainability comprises environmental, social and economic aspects. If a project has sustainable/environmental outcomes the specification should clearly state the requirements and Project Managers can then include them in the evaluation criteria.

Contents

Introduction – What are we talking about?

By ‘sustainable’, we mean that the way we buy goods, service or works helps us to:

Many environmental sustainability benefits go hand in hand with cost savings. With the right approach to projects it is possible to encourage innovation in areas such as design, materials specification and reduction of waste and energy use. Maximum effectiveness is gained by a holistic perspective, considering environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainability.

We all need to think about our choices and NatureScot’s priorities when we want to buy something:

  • Do we need to have it at all? Might we have this already somewhere in NatureScot or elsewhere?
  • What are we buying? Can we achieve the desired results by buying the service rather than the goods?
  • Can we reuse or upgrade something we already have?
  • Can we lease or hire something instead of buying it outright?
  • How easy are the item and its materials to recycle?
  • How expensive is something to dispose of? (this is part of the cost)
  • How expensive is it to use, maintain or service? (this is part of the cost)
  • How natural or renewable are the materials? 
  • NatureScot is the operating name of Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Does buying and using this help reduce NatureScot’s CO2 emissions?
  • How does it help deliver NatureScot’s natural heritage objectives?
  • Does it help us deliver community, fairtrade, ethical, seasonal (etc.) benefits?

We need to know the answers to such questions and prepare thoroughly for any project design, business case and before we start to write the Statement of Requirements.

Anyone in NatureScot who buy goods and services must:

Government Policies

As a public body, NatureScot must comply with relevant legislation and government policies. Climate Change legislation requires all public bodies to reduce their own climate change emissions, adapt to climate change and do this in a way that is sustainable. Public Bodies are required to report to Government on how well we do this.

NatureScot Policies

NatureScot aspires to be a Low Carbon organisation, as set out in our Low Carbon Vision; this includes procuring sustainably. Climate Change is the biggest threat to the natural heritage, and is the result of unsustainable behaviours. Reducing our own impact on the climate helps nature, and helps NatureScot promote good practice to those who manage and use it. It can also save money and other resources.

NatureScot Practice

Anyone in NatureScot buying goods, services and works must use the NatureScot template Statement of Requirements (SoR), which is regularly updated to reflect changes in government and NatureScot policy.

All contracts with a value over £50,000 are supported by the Procurement team. Project Managers are expected to complete the Sustainability Test and may discuss the appropriate sustainability evaluation criteria with the Procurement team when drafting an Invitation to Quote/Tender.

Suppliers of all purchases below £50,000 are still expected to meet the mandatory government buying standards and any relevant NatureScot sustainability criteria. Project Managers are expected to follow this guidance and use best practice examples from within NatureScot to help them determine the sustainability information that is proportionate to the scale of the contract on offer, and discuss potential issues that may be ‘novel’ or ‘contentious’ with the Procurement team. For most contracts – especially of low value or low risk – requiring suppliers to meet Government Buying Standards will be sufficient.

Please note that NatureScot’s sustainability standards apply to all suppliers, including sub-contractors.

NatureScot Sustainability Standards

NatureScot Sustainability Criteria have been created for common NatureScot purchasing types to help buyers include the appropriate sustainability standards into their SoRs and make sure we can make the most out of our purchasing power to make Scotland a more sustainable place.

Where Government Buying Standards exist, these should be used. Where NatureScot buyers wish to add more criteria, or where they wish suppliers to have a broader understanding of our sustainability objectives, NatureScot buyers are required to use or adapt the Criteria shown below: these show Mandatory aspects and also Variants – higher standards that we encourage NatureScot buyers to ask suppliers for, that bring added sustainability value to the goods or services, all other aspects being equal.

Labels

We want to encourage our suppliers to become more sustainable. A buyer can ask for what they are buying to have been given an independently verifiable label which certifies that it meets specific environmental, social or other characteristics, for example Fair Trade or equivalent. The use of labels needs to be approached with care as if a buyer does ask for a label, it must be:

  • Linked to the subject of the contract (and all criteria must be relevant);
  • Clear to judge in an open and fair way which does not discriminate;
  • Open to anyone who meets the standards;
  • Certified by a third party. (The European Commission published a fully revised version of the Buying Green Handbook in April 2016 which contains guidance on using labels).
  • Recognised as acceptable if confirmed as meeting the equivalent label requirements.1

Public Sector Equality Duty

NatureScot recognises our duty to consider how our policies or decisions affect people who are protected under the Equality Act 2010. Our Sustainable Procurement guidance to NatureScot buyers has been screened through an Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA). For example, the EqIA for this guidance highlighted the need to consider equality when designing shared spaces.

The Scottish Procurement Policy Note and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) guidance sets out the implications of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012.

Legislation requires for contracts over the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) limits (please see below for limits) public bodies must consider equality elements in:

  • Contract award criteria
  • Contract performance criteria

The EHRC recommends this be considered as good practice for lower value contracts, contracts with a value of below the OJEU limit.

OJEU contracts – are contracts which require a European tendering exercise to be carried out. European tendering limits are set every 2 years.

The current European tendering thresholds since 1 January 2020 are as follows:

  • Goods and Services - £122,976.00 net of VAT
  • Works - £4,733,252.00 net of VAT

Points of Note NatureScot Project Managers Consider Identifying Need

  • Identifying need is the first stage of any procurement exercise.
  • Do I need to include equality award criteria or equality performance conditions in my procurement exercise?
  • You should consider equalities before you re-tender or let new contracts.
  • Deciding whether or not equality is related to the procurement exercise will require, you as the Project Manager, to carry out an equality assessment of how the subject matter of the contract or framework being let relates to the needs of the general equality duty.
  • Carrying out the EqIA prior to the procurement exercise will help you determine if equality criteria or performance conditions need or should be included in your SoR. Such assessments should be carried out on a case by case basis. Award criteria are appropriate where delivering the contract will help:
  • Eliminate harassment, discrimination or victimisation
  • Advance equality of opportunity
  • By removing or minimising disadvantage, meeting the needs of particular groups that are different from the needs of others and encouraging participation in public life
  • Foster good relations
  • Between people by tackling prejudice and promoting understanding.

Once NatureScot Project Managers have determined the need and decided the relationship of the procurement requirement to equality issues, they can set specific equality award criteria. The SoR is used to set out the equality award criteria and / or the performance conditions which state explicitly how we require the contractor to perform or what we require the contractor to do to ensure the successful delivery of the contract.

Sustainability Test

The Scottish Government provide a number of tools to aid all procuring organisations across the Scottish public sector.

The Sustainability Test2 was developed by Sustainable Procurement Limited on behalf of the Scottish Government to help highlight relevant and proportionate sustainability requirements during the development of frameworks and contracts. Also available is the Life cycle impact mapping,3 a way of assessing the sustainable risks and opportunities in the procurement process. This approach helps to identify the social, economic and environmental impact of individual procurements and the opportunities within the process to drive good working practices.

Annex 1 Government Buying Standards

UK Government buying standards have been developed for key product groups

These are the minimum bare-bones standards we expect our suppliers to meet for those products or services, the specific NatureScot Sustainability Criteria below are used where we wish to set higher standards or develop broader sustainability knowledge with suppliers.

Scottish Government Guidance

Scottish Government Guidance has also been prepared:

Annex 2 Generic Sustainability Criteria which apply to ALL contracts issued by NatureScot (as relevant to contract).

List versions of these tables are available below:

Avoid or reuse - Can the desired outputs be delivered without buying new? Remember - the most sustainable option may be not to buy something, but to do things another way and/or reuse what we already have.

Options should be assessed on whole-life cost – this means the purchase price plus running costs, maintenance & consumables, and the cost of end of life disposal.

Use as relevant  to contract

Variants (as relevant to contract)

Products have low Carbon emissions.

Choose the one with the lowest overall Carbon emissions.

Products have low resource use - e.g. materials, energy, transport, paper.

Contract specifies we will choose the one with the lowest overall resource use (e.g. materials, energy, transport, paper).

Products use recycled or reused materials.

Contract specifies e.g.: we will choose the one with the highest % of recycled and/or reused materials; the one that uses at least XX%

A specified % of Fair Trade and/or Ethically-produced products are provided, where such exist

A higher % of Fair Trade and/or Ethically-produced products are provided, where such exist.

A given % of the contract value is delivered by Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) including Minority Businesses, Third Sector enterprises and/or Supported Businesses.

Products produce less waste and are easy to recycle – including packaging and reducing single use plastics

Packaging will be taken back by  supplier for reuse or recycling. If packaging isn’t returnable to supplier then recycle. At our offices we do have recycling facilities and we can use these when and if appropriate. Avoid single use plastics where ever possible. Buy alternatives that are reusable or recyclable/compostable.

 

Sustainability criteria specific to key types of goods, services and works bought by NatureScot

Click on the links below to see the specific criteria for each type of contract -  

Note:  Some purchases will need elements from more than one of these sections.

 

Access, Interpretation & Visitor Management works: e.g. fencing, footpaths, boardwalks and signage

Criteria Mandatory Variants Avoid
Timber
  • Only timber and timber products originating either from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) partner can be purchased.4
  • Do not use tropical timber in any situation (deforestation leads to habitat destruction)
   
Whole Life Cost includes:
  • Extraction and transport of materials.
  • Construction and onsite waste.
  • Repairs and maintenance.
  • Recycling and/or waste disposal at end of life
 
  • Do not decide on cost price only.
Low Carbon emissions
  • Materials have low embodied energy and carbon.
  • Materials have low combined travel-related CO2 emissions (taking into account distance, mode of transport, weight etc.)
  • Consider solar photovoltaic, wind generators to power equipment (e.g. power tools, electric fencing)
  • Promote access to location by cycle/walking.
  • Concrete (high CO2 manufacture)
Recycled/reused material
  • Existing materials are reused where possible.
  • Boards, beams etc. are made from recycled plastic where appropriate (e.g. in wet or damage-prone locations) and where better than natural materials.
  • Encourage use of recycled materials.
 
Low waste and recyclable
  • Delivery and construction processes reduce waste.
  • Use natural materials where possible.
  • Use products that can be separated into single materials for recycling.
  • Site waste is reused on-site or recycled.
  • Avoid paints, stains etc. that prevent wood from being recycled easily.
Biodiversity
  • Paints, stains etc. have low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and lowest levels of toxic contents consistent with function.
  • Products for pest control, fertilisers, cleaning products etc. are biodegradable.
  • Construction doesn’t harm local biodiversity.
  • All paints, stains etc. are completely biodegradable.
  • Construction enhances local biodiversity.
  • No peat or peat-based products to be used.

 

Facilities Management and Office Services - general

Criteria Mandatory Variants Avoid
Government Buying Standards
  • Copying paper must have 100% recycled content.
  • Envelopes must have 100% recycled content for general use.
  • Envelopes for automated envelope stuffing must have 60% recycled content.
  • Furniture reduces VOC emissions and avoids certain hazardous substances in materials production and surface treatment.  
  • Timber – including for Furniture - must be purchased in accordance with UK timber procurement policy.  Only timber and timber products originating either from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) partner can be purchased
  • Meet standards for televisions, light bulbs etc.
   
Whole Life Cost
  • Purchase price
  • Operating costs
  • Consumables
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Recycling and/or waste disposal at end of life
 
  • Do not decide on cost price only.
Low Carbon emissions
  • White goods have energy use rating of A or A+.
  • All other electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations.
  • Electrical equipment to have ‘sleep’ or ‘power down’ functions where appropriate.
  • Electrical equipment to have timers where appropriate.
  • Low energy bulbs to be provided as standard.
  • Where available, equipment that can be fully switched off should be supplied, rather than equipment that cannot be turned off (e.g. fax machines where mains power is needed to retain memory).
  • Minimise numbers of vehicle journeys for deliveries, services and other routine call-outs.
  • Supplier can show measures to reduce CO2 emissions from their business.
  • Supplier can show use of sustainable travel for access to NatureScot sites, deliveries etc.
  • Electrical equipment has ratings above A+.
 
Low resource use
  • Equipment is designed to use consumables sparingly (e.g. paper, toner).
  • Set minimum standards (e.g. pages/toner container)
 
Recycled/ reused material
  • Copiers, fax machines must accept recycled paper (100% post-consumer waste) that is Total Chlorine Free (TCF).
  • Stationery products have high recycled content (e.g. envelopes, folders).
  • Toner cartridges have high reused or recycled material content.
  • At least 50% of Core office supplies (by cost) can be bought from ‘green’ or ‘environmental’ sections of office supplies catalogues.
  • All electrical equipment runs on mains power, solar power (e.g. calculators) or rechargeable batteries.
  • Furniture: produced from recycled materials and/or renewable materials.
  • Stationary products have a specified recycled content that is above standard.
  • 50-100% of Core supplies list can be supplied from ‘green list’.
  • No equipment to be supplied that requires use of disposable batteries.
Low waste and recyclable
  • Equipment parts can be repaired, refurbished and/or upgraded within the normal lifespan, rather than having to replace the whole product.
  • Drinking Water provided by plumbed-in supply.
  • Equipment has a long lifespan in normal use.
  • Supplier will remove all delivery packaging.
  • All electrical and electronic equipment has WEEE take-back arrangement in place at time of purchase.
  • Equipment and consumables can be recycled (state percentage – target is 80%).
  • All materials can be recycled.
  • All materials will be taken back by supplier for reuse or recycling.
  • Do not buy bottled water, especially where supplied in non-returnable containers.
  • Do not supply disposable cups.
Biodiversity
  • Paints, stains etc. have low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and lowest levels of contents toxic to humans, plants and animals consistent with function.
  • All paints, stains etc. are completely biodegradable.
 


Janitorial and Cleaning, Waste Management and Recycling

Criteria Mandatory Variants Avoid
Government Buying Standards
  • Tissue paper (kitchen and toilet tissue) must have 100% recycled content.
  • Meet standards for e.g. washing machines, dishwashers and water-efficient Industrial Cleaning Equipment.
  • Cleaning Products follow BACS/UKCPI Sustainable Cleaning Guide and EU Green Public Procurement comprehensive criteria
   
Whole Life Cost
  • Operating costs, Consumables,
  • Recycling and/or waste charges
 
  • Do not decide on cost price only.
Low Carbon emissions
  • Electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations.
  • Supplier can show measures to reduce CO2 emissions from their business.
  • Supplier can show use of sustainable travel for access to NatureScot sites, deliveries etc.
 
Low resource use
  • Provide hot air dryers rather than paper towel dispensers.
   
Recycled/ reused material
  • Recycled paper to be used for toilet paper, paper towels, and other janitorial products. 
 
  • Papers that cannot be recycled.
FairTrade/ethical products  
  • Contract specifies use of ‘Supported Factories’ or Small to Medium Enterprises.
 
Low waste and recyclable
  • Reduce waste by (e.g.) using concentrated products, bulk containers, minimal packaging.
  • Cleaning packaging can be recycled.
  • Dishwashers have water use rating of A or A+.
  • All waste produced by normal operations are segregated into types and mostly recycled.
  • Packaging can be returned to supplier for reuse.
  • Dishwashers have performance above A+.
  • 80% of waste products are recycled).
  • Products that come in small, non-fillable, and/or non-recyclable packaging.
Biodiversity
  • Cleaning products are biodegradable and demonstrate low levels of contents harmful to plant and animal life.
  • supplier to show measures to enhance biodiversity in their business
 

 

Catering (internal and external - e.g. meetings, training events, conferences)

Criteria Mandatory Variants Avoid
Govt Buying Standards
  • Meet standards for eg Fridges and Freezers, Commercial Service Cabinets (ie chill cabinets)
   
Whole Life Cost
  • Operating costs, Consumables.
  • Recycling and/or waste charges.
 
  • Do not decide on cost price only.
Low Carbon emissions
  • Catering equipment (where provided by supplier) uses energy efficiently, including thermostats, cut-off switches, timers.
  • Caterers manage equipment efficiently so as to minimise energy use.
  • Supplier can show measures to reduce CO2 from their business.
  • Supplier can show use of sustainable travel for access to NatureScot sites, deliveries etc.
 
Low resource use
  • Manage portion control and orders to reduce waste.
 
  • Don’t over-supply
FairTrade/ethical products
  • FairTrade and ethically-produced options make up a set % of the goods supplied.
  • Free-Range eggs and meats are available.
  • Set a specific (high) % of FairTrade, ethical and free-range products.
 
Low waste and recyclable
  • Minimal amounts of disposable items will be used. Where unavoidable, all disposable products must be recyclable.
  • Suppliers reduce waste by (eg) using concentrated products, bulk containers, and products with minimal packaging.
  • Catering packaging can be recycled/returned to supplier.
  • All waste materials are to be segregated by type and as much as possible recycled.
  • Avoid all use of disposable plates, cutlery, cups, straws, stirrers etc Compostable alternatives and paper straws only on request
  • 80% of food waste is recycled (onsite if facilities available, otherwise caterer provides evidence for offsite recycling).
  • Used oil can be uplifted for reuse or resale (eg for Biofuels).
  • In particular, avoid use of single plastic products.
Biodiversity
  • Specify food items that contribute to biodiversity where grown.
  • Seasonal, organic, unprocessed, free-range, fair-trade, ethical,  low-fat, low-salt and other healthy options will generally be positive to biodiversity where grown
  • Set standards – eg Marine Stewardship Scheme for fish.
  • Avoid products linked to overfishing/by-catch waste, and forest clearance.
  • Avoid tea bags that contain plastic.  Compostable alternatives are available.   
Other
  • Demand that seasonal (where used), organic, unprocessed, free-range, low-fat, low-salt and other healthy options make up a set % of the goods supplied.  
  • Set higher % of seasonal, organic, unprocessed, free-range, low-fat, low-salt, and other options.
  • It is not legal to specify local products.

 

Plastics: Recycling and Sustainability

Criteria Mandatory Variants Avoid
Government Buying Standards
  • Where waste management is included in the contract, facilities shall be available to staff and customers for recycling cans, bottles, cardboard and plastics.
  • Since single use plastics ban is approved by the European parliament, this includes plastic cups, containers, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, balloon sticks and cotton buds. This list was chosen as there are readily available alternatives, such as cardboard and paper straws etc.
  • Where no reasonable alternative is available - these items still have to be reduced by 25% by 2025.
  • Reducing at source – through changes in manufacturing and production and also reducing demand by changing behaviour of manufacturers, retailers and consumers.
   
Avoid/Reuse
  • Avoid single use plastics where alternatives are available, such as cardboard packaging and paper straws, compostable packaging etc.
  • Prevent waste by avoiding unnecessary packaging.
  • Reuse packaging – refill
  • If single use plastic has to be used - recycle the packaging
  • Avoid single use plastic.
  • Where no reasonable alternative is available - these items still have to be reduced by 25% by 2025.
  • Disposal of Waste to landfill is the worst outcome for the environment.
Whole Life Cost
  • Purchase price.
  • End of life disposal – including resale, recycling
 
  • Do not decide on cost price only.
Low Carbon emissions
  • Reduced food and consumer goods wastage due to the unparalleled protective properties of plastics packaging that can be used over and over again.
   
Low resource use
  • Cutting the use of plastic where possible (reducing) and not throwing away (possible reuse or recycling).
  • Packaging is designed to be recycled, composted or refilled and use again.
   
Recycled/reused material
  • Paper, cardboard alternatives.
  • Recovered, and processed materials that would otherwise become waste, turned into similar products.
 
  • No packaging, catering to be supplied that requires use single use plastic.

 

Grounds and Land Management

Criteria Mandatory Variants Avoid
Whole Life Cost
  • Equipment purchase/lease/contract price.
  • Operating costs. 
  • Consumables. Repairs and maintenance.
  • Recycling and/or waste disposal at end of life (EOL).
 
  • Do not decide on cost price only.
Low Carbon emissions
  • Electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations.
  • Minimise numbers of vehicle journeys for deliveries, services and other routine call-outs. 
  • Supplier can show measures to reduce CO2 emissions from their business.
  • Supplier can show use of sustainable travel for access to NatureScot sites, deliveries etc.
  • No peat or peat-based products will be used.
Government Buying Standards
  • Soil improvers and growing media must not contain peat. Organic ingredients must be derived from the processing & /or re‑use of waste materials.
  • Chainsaw Oil must pass, or equivalent, the OECD 301B - Ready Biodegradability, CO2 evolution test and re Ecotoxicity, must pass, or equivalent, the: OECD 201 - Alga, Growth Inhibition test, OECD 202 - Daphnia sp. Acute Immobilisation Test and Reproduction Test, OECD 203 - Fish, Acute Toxicity Test.
 
Low resource use
  • Equipment is designed for low use of consumables (eg paper, toner, filters etc)
  • Supplier can demonstrate measures to reduce material use in their business
 
Recycled/ reused material
  • Reuse existing materials on site where possible.
  • Use boards, beams etc made from recycled plastic where appropriate (eg in wet or damage-prone locations), where natural materials not suitable.
  • Use compost made on location for mulches and soil improver.
  • Specify % or reused and/or recycled materials to be used – eg gravel, stone, hardcore
 
Low waste and recyclable
  • Use natural materials (eg wood) for any construction work.
  • Use products that can be separated into single materials for EOL recycling.
  • Collect, treat (eg shred) and compost all appropriate organic matter (on-site or elsewhere) unless material is unsuitable (describe).
  • Specify minimum % of materials that must be recycled.
  • Avoid paints, stains etc that prevent wood from being recycled easily.
Biodiversity
  • Paints, stains etc have low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and lowest levels of contents toxic to humans, plants and animals consistent with function.
  • Salt or other road treatments must be managed to minimise harm to watercourses.
  • Products used for pest control, fertilisers, cleaning products etc must be biodegradable.
  • Manage grounds to enhance biodiversity of site by eg planting native species, careful management of grass, providing animal nests/homes, making habitat connections etc.
  • Supplier can show measures to enhance biodiversity in their business.
  • No peat or peat-based products will be used.


Publications and Research

Criteria Mandatory Variants Avoid
Government Buying Standards
  • Meet standards for recycled content of paper
   
Avoid/Reuse
  • Non-paper options to be considered (eg publication as web pages, PDF, or as CD/DVD).
  • Print minimum realistic numbers of copies.
  • Supplier to provide a ‘print on demand’ service.
 
Whole Life Cost
  • Design, Materials, Printing, Delivery and storage.
  • Recycling and/or waste disposal at end of life.
 
  • Do not decide on cost price only.
Low Carbon emissions
  • Electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations.
  • Minimise numbers of vehicle journeys for deliveries, services and other routine call-outs. 
  • Supplier can show they reduce CO2 emissions from their business or use of sustainable travel for job.
 
Low resource use
  • All commissioned reports to be printed double-sided.
   
Recycled/ reused material
  • Use recycled paper (ideally 100% post-consumer waste, Total Chlorine Free (TCF) wherever possible.
  • Use maximum percentage of recycled paper content consistent with operational necessities.
  • Use water-based and non-toxic inks unless operationally unavoidable.
  • NatureScot publications to state type and proportion of recycled paper, and type of inks used.
  • Request higher standards as variants.
 
Low waste and recyclable
  • Printed commissioned reports to be made so that they can be separated into single materials for recycling (eg comb-bound rather than glued).
  • All printed materials must be able to be recycled.
  • All NatureScot publications to include text asking people to pass on, recycle or return the publication.
 
  • Avoid plasticised papers, unless operationally essential (eg waterproof for field use)

 

ICT (computers, telecoms & videoconference, printers & consumables)

Criteria Mandatory Variants Avoid
Government Buying Standards
  • Meet standards for Office ICT Equipment
   
Avoid/Reuse
  • Repair or Upgrade where possible
   
Whole Life Cost
  • Purchase price.
  • Operating costs.  Consumables.
  • Repairs, upgrades and maintenance.
  • End of life disposal – including resale, recycling and other disposal (re WEEE).
 
  • Do not decide on cost price only.
Low Carbon emissions
  • IT and other electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations.
  • IT and other electrical equipment to have ‘sleep’ or ‘power down’ functions where appropriate.
  • IT and other electrical equipment to have timers where appropriate.
  • Where available, equipment can be fully switched off, rather than equipment that cannot be turned off (eg phone kit where mains power is needed to retain memory).
  • Minimise numbers of vehicle journeys for deliveries, services and routine call-outs.
  • Specify lowest energy use will be chosen from options meeting operational requirements.
  • Supplier can show measures to reduce CO2 emissions from their business or use of sustainable travel for job.
 
Low resource use
  • Equipment is designed to require low consumables use (eg paper, toner).
  • Specify minimum life, outputs (eg pages/toner cartridge.
 
Recycled/reused material
  • Printers and MFDs must accept recycled paper (100% post-consumer waste that is Total Chlorine Free (TCF)).
  • All electrical equipment runs on mains power, solar power (eg calculators) or rechargeable batteries.
 
  • No equipment to be supplied that requires use of disposable batteries.

 

Annex 3 EU Buying Standards

The EU also provide green public buying standards5  which provide helpful guidance on best practice.

 

Annex 4 ZeroWasteScotland – repair-reuse-remanufacture

ZeroWasteScotland have developed useful guidance6 for ‘circular economy’ public procurement for the following categories:

  • Electrical & electronic
  • Furniture
  • Construction
  • Textiles
  • Catering
  • Cleaning
  • Flooring
  • Power and hand tools
  • Vehicles and tyres
  • Outdoor playground equipment
  • Waste services
  • Medical devices

The guidance includes advice on the description of your procurement along with recommended wording for Statement of Requirements.

 

Annex 5 List versions of tables

Generic Sustainability Criteria which apply to ALL contracts issued by NatureScot (as relevant to contract).

Options should be assessed on whole-life cost – this means the purchase price plus running costs, maintenance & consumables, and the cost of end of life disposal.Avoid or reuse - Can the desired outputs be delivered without buying new? Remember - the most sustainable option may be not to buy something, but to do things another way and/or reuse what we already have.

Criteria: Products have low Carbon emissions

Variants: Choose the one with the lowest overall Carbon emissions.

Criteria: Products have low resource use

e.g. materials, energy, transport, paper.

Variants: Contract specifies we will choose the one with the lowest overall resource use (e.g. materials, energy, transport, paper).

Criteria: Products use recycled or reused materials

Variants: Contract specifies e.g.: we will choose the one with the highest % of recycled and/or reused materials; the one that uses at least XX%

Criteria: A specified % of Fair Trade and/or Ethically-produced products are provided, where such exist.

Variants: A higher % of Fair Trade and/or Ethically-produced products are provided, where such exist.

Criteria: A given % of the contract value is delivered by Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) including Minority Businesses, Third Sector enterprises and/or Supported Businesses.

Products produce less waste and are easy to recycle – including packaging and reducing single use plastics.

Variants: Packaging will be taken back by supplier for reuse or recycling. If packaging isn’t returnable to supplier then recycle. At our offices we do have recycling facilities and we can use these when and if appropriate. Avoid single use plastics where ever possible. Buy alternatives that are reusable or recyclable/compostable.

Government buying standards

Sustainability criteria specific to key types of goods, services and works bought by NatureScot

Note: Some purchases will need elements from more than one of these sections.

Access, Interpretation and Visitor Management works (e.g. fencing, footpaths, boardwalks, signage)

Criteria: Timber

Mandatory: Only timber and timber products originating either from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) partner can be purchased7 do not use tropical timber in any situation (deforestation leads to habitat destruction)

Criteria: Whole Life Cost

Mandatory: includes: Extraction and transport of materials.

Construction and onsite waste, Repairs and maintenance, Recycling and/or waste disposal at end of life.

Avoid: Do not decide on cost price only.

Criteria: Low Carbon emissions.

Mandatory: Materials have low embodied energy and carbon.

Materials have low combined travel-related CO2 emissions (taking into account distance, mode of transport, weight etc.)

Variants: Consider solar photovoltaic, wind generators to power equipment (e.g. power tools, electric fencing)

Avoid: concrete (high CO2 manufacture)

Criteria: Recycled/reused material

Mandatory: Existing materials are reused where possible. Boards, beams etc. are made from recycled plastic where appropriate (e.g. in wet or damage-prone locations) and where better than natural materials.

Criteria: Low waste and recyclable

Mandatory: Delivery and construction processes reduce waste. Use natural materials where possible. Use products that can be separated into single materials for recycling.

Variants: Site waste is reused on-site or recycled.

Avoid: Avoid paints, stains etc. that prevent wood from being recycled easily.

Criteria: Biodiversity

Mandatory: Paints, stains etc. have low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and lowest levels of toxic contents consistent with function. Products for pest control, fertilisers, cleaning products etc. are biodegradable. Construction doesn’t harm local biodiversity.

Variants: All paints, stains etc. are completely biodegradable.

Construction enhances local biodiversity.

Avoid: No peat or peat-based products to be used.
 

Facilities Management and Office Services - general (including Admin supplies)

Criteria: Government Buying Standards

Mandatory: Copying paper must have 100% recycled content. Envelopes must have 100% recycled content for general use. Envelopes for automated envelope stuffing must have 60% recycled content. Furniture reduces VOC emissions and avoids certain hazardous substances in materials production and surface treatment. Timber – including for Furniture - must be purchased in accordance with UK timber procurement policy.  Only timber and timber products originating either from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) partner can be purchased

Meet standards for televisions, light bulbs etc.

Criteria: Whole Life Cost

Mandatory: purchase price, operating costs, consumables, repairs and maintenance

recycling and/or waste disposal at end of life

Avoid: Do not decide on cost price only

Criteria: Low Carbon emissions

Mandatory: White goods have energy use rating of A or A+. All other electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations. Electrical equipment to have ‘sleep’ or ‘power down’ functions where appropriate. Electrical equipment to have timers where appropriate. Low energy bulbs to be provided as standard. Where available, equipment that can be fully switched off should be supplied, rather than equipment that cannot be turned off (e.g. fax machines where mains power is needed to retain memory). Minimise numbers of vehicle journeys for deliveries, services and other routine call-outs.

Criteria: Low resource use

Mandatory: Equipment is designed to use consumables sparingly (e.g. paper, toner).

Variants: Set minimum standards (e.g. pages/toner container)

Criteria: Recycled/ reused material

Mandatory: Copiers, fax machines must accept recycled paper (100% post-consumer waste) that is Total Chlorine Free (TCF). Stationery products have high recycled content (e.g. envelopes, folders). Toner cartridges have high reused or recycled material content.

At least 50% of Core office supplies (by cost) can be bought from ‘green’ or ‘environmental’ sections of office supplies catalogues.

All electrical equipment runs on mains power, solar power (e.g. calculators) or rechargeable batteries.

Variants: Furniture: produced from recycled materials and/or renewable materials.

Stationary products have a specified recycled content that is above standard.

50-100% of Core supplies list can be supplied from ‘green list’.

Avoid: No equipment to be supplied that requires use of disposable batteries.

Criteria: Low waste and recyclable

Mandatory: Copiers, fax machines must accept recycled paper (100% post-consumer waste) that is Total Chlorine Free (TCF). Stationery products have high recycled content (e.g. envelopes, folders). Toner cartridges have high reused or recycled material content. At least 50% of Core office supplies (by cost) can be bought from ‘green’ or ‘environmental’ sections of office supplies catalogues. All electrical equipment runs on mains power, solar power (e.g. calculators) or rechargeable batteries.

Variants: Furniture: produced from recycled materials and/or renewable materials.

Stationary products have a specified recycled content that is above standard. 50-100% of Core supplies list can be supplied from ‘green list’.

Avoid: Do not buy bottled water, especially where supplied in non-returnable containers.

Do not supply disposable cups.

Criteria: Biodiversity

Mandatory:

Paints, stains etc. have low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and lowest levels of contents toxic to humans, plants and animals consistent with function.

Variants: All paints, stains etc. are completely biodegradable.

 

Janitorial and Cleaning, Waste Management and Recycling

Criteria: Government Buying Standards

Mandatory: Tissue paper (kitchen and toilet tissue) must have 100% recycled content.

Meet standards for e.g. washing machines, dishwashers and water-efficient Industrial Cleaning Equipment. Cleaning Products follow BACS/UKCPI Sustainable Cleaning Guide and EU Green Public Procurement comprehensive criteria

Criteria: Whole Life Cost

Mandatory: Operating costs, Consumables,

Recycling and/or waste charges.

Avoid: Do not decide on cost price only.

Criteria: Low Carbon emissions

Mandatory: Electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations.

Variants: Supplier can show measures to reduce CO2 emissions from their business.

Supplier can show use of sustainable travel for access to NatureScot sites, deliveries etc.

Criteria: Low resource use

Mandatory: Provide hot air dryers rather than paper towel dispensers.

Criteria: Recycled/ reused material

Mandatory: Recycled paper to be used for toilet paper, paper towels, and other janitorial products. 

Avoid: Papers that cannot be recycled

Criteria: FairTrade/ethical products

Variants: Contract specifies use of ‘Supported Factories’ or Small to Medium Enterprises.

Criteria: Low waste and recyclable

Mandatory: Reduce waste by (e.g.) using concentrated products, bulk containers, minimal packaging.

Cleaning packaging can be recycled.

Dishwashers have water use rating of A or A+.

All waste produced by normal operations are segregated into types and mostly recycled.

Variants: Packaging can be returned to supplier for reuse. Dishwashers have performance above A+.80% of waste products are recycled).

Avoid: Products that come in small, non-fillable, and/or non-recyclable packaging.

Criteria: Biodiversity

Mandatory: Cleaning products are biodegradable and demonstrate low levels of contents harmful to plant and animal life.

Variants: supplier to show measures to enhance biodiversity in their business

 

Catering (internal and external - e.g. meetings, training events, conferences)

Criteria: Govt Buying Standards

Mandatory: Meet standards for eg Fridges and Freezers, Commercial Service Cabinets (ie chill cabinets)

Criteria: Whole Life Cost

Mandatory: Operating costs, Consumables.

Recycling and/or waste charges.

Variants: Operating costs, Consumables. Recycling and/or waste charges.

Avoid: Do not decide on cost price only.

Criteria: Low Carbon emissions

Mandatory: Catering equipment (where provided by supplier) uses energy efficiently, including thermostats, cut-off switches, timers.

Caterers manage equipment efficiently so as to minimise energy use.

Variants: Supplier can show measures to reduce CO2 from their business.

Supplier can show use of sustainable travel for access to NatureScot sites, deliveries etc.

Criteria: Low resource use

Mandatory: Manage portion control and orders to reduce waste.

Avoid: Don’t over-supply

Criteria: FairTrade/ethical products

Mandatory: FairTrade and ethically-produced options make up a set % of the goods supplied.

Free-Range eggs and meats are available.

Variants: Set a specific (high) % of FairTrade, ethical and free-range products.

Criteria: Low waste and recyclable

Mandatory: Minimal amounts of disposable items will be used. Where unavoidable, all disposable products must be recyclable.

Suppliers reduce waste by (eg) using concentrated products, bulk containers, and products with minimal packaging. Catering packaging can be recycled/returned to supplier.

All waste materials are to be segregated by type and as much as possible recycled.

Variants: Avoid all use of disposable plates, cutlery, cups, straws, stirrers etc Compostable alternatives and paper straws only on request 80% of food waste is recycled (onsite if facilities available, otherwise caterer provides evidence for offsite recycling). Used oil can be uplifted for reuse or resale (eg for Biofuels).

Avoid: In particular, avoid use of single plastic products.

Criteria: Biodiversity

Mandatory: Specify food items that contribute to biodiversity where grown.

Seasonal, organic, unprocessed, free-range, fair-trade, ethical, low-fat, low-salt and other healthy options will generally be positive to biodiversity where grown

Variants: Set standards – eg Marine Stewardship Scheme for fish.

Avoid: Avoid products linked to overfishing/by-catch waste, and forest clearance.

Avoid tea bags that contain plastic.  Compostable alternatives are available.  

Criteria: Other

Mandatory: Demand that seasonal (where used), organic, unprocessed, free-range, low-fat, low-salt and other healthy options make up a set % of the goods supplied.  

Variants: Set higher % of seasonal, organic, unprocessed, free-range, low-fat, low-salt, and other options.

Avoid: It is not legal to specify local products.

 

Plastics Recycling and Sustainability

Criteria: Government Buying Standards

Mandatory: Where waste management is included in the contract, facilities shall be available to staff and customers for recycling cans, bottles, cardboard and plastics.

Since single use plastics ban is approved by the European parliament, this includes plastic cups, containers, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, balloon sticks and cotton buds. This list was chosen as there are readily available alternatives, such as cardboard and paper straws etc. Where no reasonable alternative is available - these items still have to be reduced by 25% by 2025. Reducing at source – through changes in manufacturing and production and also reducing demand by changing behaviour of manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

Criteria: Avoid/Reuse

Mandatory: Avoid single use plastics where alternatives are available, such as cardboard packaging and paper straws, compostable packaging etc. Prevent waste by avoiding unnecessary packaging .Reuse packaging – refill

Variants: If single use plastic has to be used - recycle the packaging

Avoid: Avoid single use plastic. Where no reasonable alternative is available - these items still have to be reduced by 25% by 2025. Disposal of Waste to landfill is the worst outcome for the environment.

Criteria: Whole Life Cost

Mandatory: Purchase price. End of life disposal – including resale, recycling

Avoid: Do not decide on cost price only.

Criteria: Low Carbon emissions

Mandatory: Reduced food and consumer goods wastage due to the unparalleled protective properties of plastics packaging that can be used over and over again.

Criteria: Low resource use

Mandatory: Cutting the use of plastic where possible (reducing) and not throwing away (possible reuse or recycling). Packaging is designed to be recycled, composted or refilled and use again.

Criteria: Recycled/reused material

Mandatory: Paper, cardboard alternatives. Recovered, and processed materials that would otherwise become waste, turned into similar products.

Avoid: No packaging, catering to be supplied that requires use single use plastic.

 

Grounds and Land Management

Criteria: Whole Life Cost

Mandatory: Equipment purchase/lease/contract price. Operating costs. Consumables. Repairs and maintenance.

Recycling and/or waste disposal at end of life (EOL).

Avoid: Do not decide on cost price only.

Criteria: Low Carbon emissions

Mandatory: Electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations.

Minimise numbers of vehicle journeys for deliveries, services and other routine call-outs. 

Variants: Supplier can show measures to reduce CO2 emissions from their business.

Supplier can show use of sustainable travel for access to NatureScot sites, deliveries etc.

Avoid: No peat or peat-based products will be used.

Criteria: Government Buying Standards

Mandatory: Soil improvers and growing media must not contain peat. Organic ingredients must be derived from the processing & /or re‑use of waste materials.

Chainsaw Oil must pass, or equivalent, the OECD 301B - Ready Biodegradability, CO2 evolution test and re Ecotoxicity, must pass, or equivalent, the:
OECD 201 - Alga, Growth Inhibition test, OECD 202 - Daphnia sp. Acute Immobilisation Test and Reproduction Test, OECD 203 - Fish, Acute Toxicity Test.

Variants: Soil improvers comply with the EU Ecolabel

Growing Media Products comply with the EU Ecolabel Oil  EU Green Public Procurement

Criteria: Low resource use

Mandatory: Equipment is designed for low use of consumables (eg paper, toner, filters etc)

Variants: Supplier can demonstrate measures to reduce material use in their business

Criteria: Recycled/ reused material

Mandatory: Reuse existing materials on site where possible.

Use boards, beams etc made from recycled plastic where appropriate (eg in wet or damage-prone locations), where natural materials not suitable.

Use compost made on location for mulches and soil improver.

Variants: Specify % or reused and/or recycled materials to be used – eg gravel, stone, hardcore.

Criteria: Low waste and recyclable

Mandatory: Use natural materials (eg wood) for any construction work.

Use products that can be separated into single materials for EOL recycling.

Collect, treat (eg shred) and compost all appropriate organic matter (on-site or elsewhere) unless material is unsuitable (describe).

Variants: Specify minimum % of materials that must be recycled.

Avoid: Avoid paints, stains etc that prevent wood from being recycled easily.

Criteria: Biodiversity

Mandatory: Paints, stains etc have low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and lowest levels of contents toxic to humans, plants and animals consistent with function.

Salt or other road treatments must be managed to minimise harm to watercourses.

Products used for pest control, fertilisers, cleaning products etc must be biodegradable.

Manage grounds to enhance biodiversity of site by eg planting native species, careful management of grass, providing animal nests/homes, making habitat connections etc.

Variants: Supplier can show measures to enhance biodiversity in their business.

Avoid: No peat or peat-based products will be used.

 

Publications and Research

Criteria: Government Buying Standards

Mandatory: Meet standards for recycled content of paper

Criteria: Avoid/Reuse

Mandatory: Non-paper options to be considered (eg publication as web pages, PDF, or as CD/DVD). Print minimum realistic numbers of copies.

Variants: Supplier to provide a ‘print on demand’ service.

Criteria: Whole Life Cost

Mandatory: Design, Materials, Printing, Delivery and storage. Recycling and/or waste disposal at end of life.

Avoid: Do not decide on cost price only.

Criteria: Low Carbon emissions

Mandatory: Electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations.

Minimise numbers of vehicle journeys for deliveries, services and other routine call-outs. 

Variants: Supplier can show they reduce CO2 emissions from their business or use of sustainable travel for job.

Criteria: Low resource use

Mandatory: All commissioned reports to be printed double-sided.

Criteria: Recycled/ reused material

Mandatory: Use recycled paper (ideally 100% post-consumer waste, Total Chlorine Free (TCF) wherever possible. Use maximum percentage of recycled paper content consistent with operational necessities. Use water-based and non-toxic inks unless operationally unavoidable.

NatureScot publications to state type and proportion of recycled paper, and type of inks used.

Variants: Request higher standards as variants.

Criteria: Low waste and recyclable

Mandatory: Printed commissioned reports to be made so that they can be separated into single materials for recycling (eg comb-bound rather than glued). All printed materials must be able to be recycled. All NatureScot publications to include text asking people to pass on, recycle or return the publication.

Avoid: Avoid plasticised papers, unless operationally essential (eg waterproof for field use)

 

ICT (computers, telecoms & videoconference, printers & consumables

Criteria: Government Buying Standards

Mandatory: Meet standards for Office ICT Equipment

Criteria: Avoid/Reuse

Mandatory: Repair or Upgrade where possible

Criteria: Whole Life Cost

Mandatory: Purchase price. Operating costs.  Consumables. Repairs, upgrades and maintenance. End of life disposal – including resale, recycling and other disposal (re WEEE).

Avoid: Do not decide on cost price only.

Criteria: Low Carbon emissions

Mandatory: IT and other electrical equipment to have low energy use during normal operations. IT and other electrical equipment to have ‘sleep’ or ‘power down’ functions where appropriate. IT and other electrical equipment to have timers where appropriate.

Where available, equipment can be fully switched off, rather than equipment that cannot be turned off (eg phone kit where mains power is needed to retain memory).

Minimise numbers of vehicle journeys for deliveries, services and routine call-outs.

Variants: Specify lowest energy use will be chosen from options meeting operational requirements. Supplier can show measures to reduce CO2 emissions from their business or use of sustainable travel for job.

Criteria: Equipment is designed to require low consumables use (eg paper, toner).

Mandatory: Specify minimum life, outputs (eg pages/toner cartridge.

Criteria: Recycled/reused material

Mandatory: Printers and MFDs must accept recycled paper (100% post-consumer waste that is Total Chlorine Free (TCF)). All electrical equipment runs on mains power, solar power (eg calculators) or rechargeable batteries.

Avoid: No equipment to be supplied that requires use of disposable batteries.

 

 

Footnotes

1. Page 47 (44. (3), Public contracts (Scotland) Regs 2015 

2. Copyright Version: 'S TEST2018.3'. Developed by Sustainable Procurement Limited on behalf of the Scottish Government.

3. Produced by Barbara Morton and Philip Duddell, Sustainable Procurement Limited 

4. Guidance on sustainable timber purchasing 

5. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, various

6. Draft by Sustainable Procurement Limited: Philip Duddell Director ([email protected]) 2016

7. Guidance on sustainable timber purchasing 

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