Environmental criteria will soon take higher priority in Hamburg’s annual expenditure of around EUR 250 million on goods, cargo and services. A senate resolution has established a 150-page catalogue of criteria with environmental standards for purchasing and contracting – from printer paper, light bulbs, cleaning agents and wall paint – right up to company cars. The directive also contains a list of products, for instance coffee machines with aluminium caps, mineral water in disposable bottles, disposable dishes or chlorinated cleaning agents that the administration cannot purchase in future.
Signal to economy
Environmental criteria such as life cycle costs, repair and recycling capability, packaging, climate impact and use of resources are set to play a more important role in the city’s selection. Together with the price, they will soon be binding in any award decision. Environment senator Jens Kerstan said: “Hamburg’s administration will soon play a leading role in Germany in terms of procurement and contracting.” This sends an important signal to commerce and citizens to be more aware of their purchasing decisions and the story behind a product. The city’s purchasing power of several hundred million euros annually could lead to a reduction in the sale of environmentally harmful products and boost the acceptance of sustainable products on the market.
Promoting climate protection
Under the new criteria for procurement, 50 per cent of cars in the vehicle fleet used by Hamburg’s core administration must be electric-run by 2020. The share of recycling paper used in Hamburg’s authorities is to increase as well. So far, the use of recycling paper has meant that 285 tonnes of CO2 were avoided. Some 51.9 million litres of water and 10.65 million kWh of power have been saved by choosing recycling paper instead of fresh fibre paper.
Kerstan added: “The environment friendly procurement will also help in terms of climate protection. It promotes energy saving, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy and helps reduce climate harming CO2 greenhouse gases. Environment friendly products are usually durable and less energy is required in their production and consumption.”
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