Provision of safe collection, transportation and disposal of hazardous and non-
hazardous hospital waste, for all hospitals and institutions.
INTERCENTER (central purchasing authority for all public administrations in the Emilia-Romagna region) identified the need to handle the waste produced by the main regional health institutions in a sustainable manner. This resulted in a call for tenders regarding the sustainable management of healthcare waste. In particular, the procured services covered the entire waste management process, including the handling/collection, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of non-hazardous waste. INTERCENTER decided to establish a joint procurement initiative, involving the region’s health institutions in the tendering process, due to the economic value and the level of complexity of the procured services. The primary objective was to capitalise on financial savings and make a significant contribution to reducing the amount of healthcare waste in the Emilia-Romagna region.
Five companies applied for this tender with two suppliers being awarded a framework agreement (one supplier winning each lot). Both winners were able to fulfil the environmental criteria included in the call. The tendering procedure created several economic and environmental benefits. The final value of the awarded contracts was much lower (€37.2 million) than the initial estimated value (€54.5 million), leading to significant financial savings for the public, amounting to €17.3 million.
Evidence of success
From an environmental perspective, the sustainable management of hospital waste helped to avoid serious environmental hazards (e.g. air, water, ground pollution) that might occur if hazardous waste ends up in the environment without appropriate treatment/processing.
This particular tendering process proved that it is possible not only to get a good price offer but also to ensure that all environmental requirements are fulfilled.
Potential for learning or transfer
The procedure did not face any significant problem during its implementation, but for an initial doubt/concern for the integration of sustainability criteria into the call for tenders. This was due to the lack of previous experience in applying green criteria for non-standardised products or services (i.e. waste management). INTERCENTER examines to implement a similar contracting approach in other public sectors (e.g. food waste) to further promote sustainable waste management. The main elements that make it transferable is the experience acquired from the healthcare sector and that the needs are common among sectors and organisations.
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