Incorporating sustainability criteria into the contracts for the supply and delivery of Catering Consumables and Disposable Products
In February 2017, the procurement of Catering Consumable and Disposable Products by several public sector bodies began. During the research phase, it became clear that the product specifications should focus on altering the current state of non-recyclable, non-biodegradable and non-compostable product nature. Based on the new green targets, the Facilities Management Portfolio of the OGP formulated an RFT Strategy that encouraged tenderers to submit an alternative compostable product for each and every item on the tender pricing schedule.

Resources needed

Legal expertise during the application phase and regarding the integration of environmental criteria into the tender procedures, competent public procurement officers, the private sector’s environmental culture and availability of relevant suppliers.

Evidence of success

Manufacturing compostable products generally require 50% less energy (corn-based bio-plastics), 40% less water (bio based plastics) and emit up to 73% less CO² (compared to the production of Styrofoam), The public sector bodies that used the contract now have direct access to compostable products where previously this was unstructured. Therefore, the cost price of the compostable products is now significantly lower. Ultimately, the award works as an incentive for the industry to innovate.

Potential for learning or transfer

This example shows that engaging with suppliers early in the research phase of the project gives valuable insight into market trends and product development that may not be publicly known otherwise.
Main institution
Office of Government Procurement
Border, Midland and Western, Ireland (Éire)
Start Date
February 2017
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Monika Zielińska

Lodzkie Region