The practice relates to the delivery of vending concession services of food and drink for students and staff (around 70,000 people) for the University of Turin.
The University of Turin (UNITO), Italy, has many buildings and offices in the city of Turin and in Piedmont Region. This practice, realised whithin the SPP Regions project by UNITO Green Office (, relates to the delivery of vending services for students, staff and visitors (around 70,000 people) at different UNITO premises.
A comprehensive needs analysis has been complemented by a process of community engagement. The location, quantity, type, model and energy consumption of all the existing vending machines have been identified, and an overview of the status of the various vending machine contracts has been carried out.
A stakeholder engagement process was realised to define a more circular approach. Several professionals at UNITO collaborated in the design of the awarding procedure by including experts in legal, economic, environmental, energy food and health issue, by identifying selection and award criteria inspired by environmental innovation, eco-design, circularity, impact reduction, introducing also tap water dispensers along with an improvement of the energy efficiency of the vending machines. Green and circular criteria have been included in the contract model and the offers were also evaluated taking into account criteria related to improved waste management (for instance recovery/reuse of coffee dregs from the hot drink distributors), sustainable delivery and awareness raising.

Resources needed

Personnel: a dedicated project manager from Green Office cooperated for 6 months with 15 administrative, technical and research experts of UNITO in the definition of selection and award criteria for the best public contract strategy.
The value of the contract awarded is 1.105.765 € for 5 lots.

Evidence of success

The awarding procedure centralised the service and optimised the number of vending machines - reducing them from 279 to 235 in over 60 UNITO offices. This contract is estimated to save 33.8 tCO2 per year, as well as 99,000 plastic bottles.
This practice won a National award as the “best GPP” at the ‘Compraverde Green Buy Fair 2019’ event.
This practice permitted also to develop a specific expertise in the food sector, which is being exploited for new awarding procedures.

Difficulties encountered

The main challenges was to carry out an accurate need analysis taking into account the needs of 60 different offices having different characteristic. The engagement of technical and environmental expert was crucial for identifying the right approach and solutions.

Potential for learning or transfer

Lessons learned:
- given the complexity of the tender the procurement process requires a minimum of 12 months;
- market engagement is fundamental to ensure transparency and the confidence of suppliers, and to understand the potential challenges of certain solutions;
- engagement of technical and environmental experts is crucial. In fact, the vending machine sector is very complex and therefore a wide range of in-house expertise related to energy, food, waste, legal issues, mobility and other technical aspects is needed;
- it is fundamental to structure the tender on the basis of a needs analysis involving the user community (on-line surveys and on-site visits to understand the features of the various locations);
- the introduction of healthy food should be accompanied by an educational campaign and the price must be competitive with traditional products;
- promote accessibility to SMEs subdividing the tender into several lots.

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Main institution
Università degli Studi di Torino
Start Date
April 2017
End Date
January 2019


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