Find sustainability criteria
In our criteria service, you will find sustainability criteria for purchasing with a focus on environmental and social sustainability. You can use these criteria in the design of a procurement. Setting requirements for sustainability in procurement can contribute to achieving several societal goals within environmental, social and economic sustainability.
No matching criterias
About the criteria service
Through the filtering function, you can find criteria in several areas at different levels.
- Use the plus sign (+) next to a heading to see which areas are under each category (when you enter the start page for the criteria service, the areas are unfolded).
- By selecting an area, you will land on an overview page where you can see all related sustainability criteria.
- You can choose to further limit your selection by selecting a criteria group, get a quick overview of each criterion or click on the respective criteria page where all the necessary information is gathered.
All criteria in the service are in line with the procurement laws, current case law and the practical conditions that apply to public procurement. Relevant stakeholders from the private, public and non-profit sectors have participated in the process of developing the criteria.
About our criteria
The National Agency for Public Procurement develops and manages sustainability criteria that take into account environmental and social considerations in public procurement. The criteria consist of pre-formulated requirements with associated information. In order to push the market towards more sustainable product and services, the criteria are more ambitious than the current legislation.
The criteria are developed in an open and quality-assured process in collaboration with reference groups. The reference groups include representatives from both the public and private sectors, such as purchasers, suppliers, industry associations, environmental organizations and authorities. This makes the criteria broadly based.
The work of developing and managing procurement criteria is done in three different processes:
- phasing out
Development involves work on a new criteria area. Together with the reference group, we develop requirements in three levels if possible: basic, advanced and spearhead level. All stakeholders, even those who are not part of a reference group, have the opportunity to comment on the proposals. During the process, the criteria also undergo a quality assurance.
Once our criteria are published, we manage them. This means, among other things, that we regularly check that they are current and follow developments in the market. If necessary, we also make updates to the criteria. In the event of major updates, we will meet the reference group again and take in external views on the criteria.
In some cases, we discontinue our criteria, for example, if they are not used or for some other reason are no longer relevant.
Our criteria can be used in different ways in the procurement documents:
- Qualification requirements (mandatory requirements for the supplier): These requirements are imposed on the supplier's technical and professional ability and capacity.
- Technical specification (mandatory requirements for the product / service / contract): These requirements describe the procurement object and can be designed as references to standards or as functional or performance requirements.
- Award criteria (evaluation criteria): These criteria shall be used to determine the tender to be awarded the contract when the award basis for the most economically advantageous tender is applied.
- Special contract terms: These requirements are imposed on the supplier or the product / service and are conditions that must be met during the performance of the contract.
The criteria are developed in up to three levels: basic, advanced and spearhead. The user decides, with the help of available market information, ambition and needs, which level or levels to use.
- Basic level: The basic level consists of criteria that are focused on reducing most of the environmental / sustainability impact that is linked to the specific product area. The idea is that it should be possible to carry out a sustainable procurement without excessive resources and specialist competence. Basic level is more ambitious than current legislation. The requirements are easy to use. There is often a good supply of goods and services that meet these requirements.
- Advanced level: Advanced level goes beyond the basic level and may require a greater effort in following up and review evidence. Market availability may be lower, and it may require a greater effort to evaluate the criteria.
- Spearhead level: At this level, you demand the best available alternative on the market in terms of environmental and other sustainability aspects. This means that the supply of goods and services is less than for basic and advanced requirements. The spearhead requirements mean that you as a procurer may need more specialist expertise and may need to devote more time to the verification work.
The user decides with the help of available market information, ambition, resources and needs which level or levels are to be used. It is important that the criteria are selected based on the conditions in the individual procurement. Other requirements and conditions in the procurement may affect market availability. That is why it is important to always do a market analysis. We do not recommend making changes to our text suggestions or using the criteria for products other than those for which they are developed.
It is important to use the criteria correctly, so keep this in mind:
- Select level: First select the basic, advanced or spearhead level based on ambition, needs, resources and wishes in the organization.
- Select criterion: Select the criteria that belong to the selected level for each product. Select criteria according to need and follow-up ability. Using many criteria does not automatically lead to a more sustainable procurement. Do not select more criteria than the organization can follow up.
- Insert the criterion: We recommend using the entire text without reformulation.
- Indicate what the answer should look like: Indicate whether the supplier should use the possible answer form that has been produced together with the criteria or whether the answer should be given in another way. Indicate which possible evidence must be submitted, or whether these will instead be requested in a possible follow-up.
The requirements are gathered in our criteria service. For those areas where procurement criteria are lacking, the contracting organization can formulate its own requirements.