Joint procurement for environment-friendly (recycled and without chlorine substances) paper for the Municipality of Amaroussion office needs.
The municipality of Amaroussion published in 2006 a request for tenders, inviting suppliers to submit a bid to supply the municipality with recycled paper for its office needs. The contract was to be awarded to the supplier offering the most economically advantageous tender and under the following criteria:
- At least 80% of the paper’s raw material should be from recycled paper fibre
- No chlorine substances during the manufacturing process (TCF – Totally Chlorine Free)
- The level of paper brightness should be greater than 80 according to ISO 2470
- Their compatibility should be according to the DIN 19309, AFNOR Q11-012
The procurement process did not go without problems. Public authorities experienced difficulties in identifying suppliers that were able to fulfil the defined environmental criteria. The results showed that the market was not mature enough and that the price for recycled material was 25% higher.
To overcome this barrier, the municipality collaborated with 6 other Greek public entities to increase the amount of purchased paper (430 packets in total) and therefore achieve a better price. Indeed, this approach managed to reduce the price significantly, resulting in paying only 6% more for the recycled paper. The tendering procedure was successfully implemented with one supplier complying with the environmental requirements.
The staff required for the tender was two committees. One led by the municipality of Amaroussion to set up the papers for the tender. And one to evaluate the submitted offers, where each public entity was represented by one person. The final cost of the tender was 1006€ (2.34€ per packet).
Evidence of success
The tendering procedure was successfully implemented with one supplier complying with the environmental requirements. The joint procurement approach was properly followed and allowed the price of the more expensive recycled paper to be closer to the price of the non-recycled paper.
The market was not mature since the number of suppliers that could provide recycled paper was low.
The cost for the recycled paper was bigger compared to non-recycled paper.
Potential for learning or transfer
In our opinion, this practice has a big potential for transfer and learning. It concerns office material which is a very common need in public authorities everywhere. In addition, it showcases the advantages of joint procurement tackling the (sometimes) increased cost of environmentally friendly products.
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