On 1 September 2015, the Swedish Competition Authority's procurement criteria were transferred to the National Agency of Public Procurement. The criteria were initially transferred from the Swedish Environmental Management Council to the Swedish Competition Authority on 1 July 2014.

The National Agency for Public Procurement's task includes developing and managing the criteria that address environmental matters in public procurement practices, and to provide support in the application of said criteria, as well as to provide information and training on such criteria. The criteria at issue are voluntary to use and aim to enable users to stipulate environmental standards of varying degrees.

The criteria comprise fully pre-formulated requirements with the associated motivations and proposals on verification. The requirements are intended to be proactive and progressive, meaning that they go beyond current legislation in the area. Requirements have been drafted for the most common fields of procurement.

Quality assured process

The criteria are drafted under an open and quality-assured process in collaboration with expert groups consisting of representatives from industry organisations, the business community, interest groups, the national government, county councils and municipalities. This gives the criteria a broad range of applications. The criteria are continuously being reviewed to ensure that they comply with technological and legal developments in the market, among other factors.

Adapted to public procurement

Drafting criteria begins with a preliminary study under which the most important sustainability aspects are identified. Based on the preliminary study, the criteria are subsequently drafted in collaboration with an expert group. Where applicable, the criteria that is used in environmental labelling is used as the touchstone. They are adapted along with the other materials for optimal use in public procurement.

The criteria are reconciled against the Swedish Public Procurement Act, EU law and legal standards. They are also adapted in accordance with the practical conditions that apply in public procurement. By involving the appropriate stakeholders form the private, public and non-profit sectors right in the development process, the criteria cover a broad range.

How to apply the requirements

Requirements can be stipulated in different ways in the tender documents:

  1. Mandatory requirements on the supplier (qualification requirements): These requirements are stipulated on the supplier’s technical and professional abilities and capacity.
  2. Mandatory requirements on the goods/services/contracting work (technical specifications): These requirements describe the object of procurement and can be designed as references to standards or as requirements on functionality and performance. 
  3. Award criteria (evaluation criteria): These criteria are for use in establishing which tender is to be awarded the contract when basing the award on the most economically beneficial tender. 
  4. Special contract terms: These requirements are stipulated on the supplier or product/service and are for use as conditions that must be met during the completion of the contract. 

The requirements are designed on various levels and are for voluntary use. Based on the available market information, their ambition and needs, the user independently determines the level or levels that are to be applied.

It is important to use the requirements correctly, so remember to:

  • Select a level: First select the basic, advanced or spearhead level, based on your ambition, needs, resources and preferences in the organisation.
  • Select requirements: Select the requirements associated with the chosen level for each product
  • Incorporate requirements: Correctly incorporating the requirements in your tender documents entails using the selected requirement in full without reformulating it.
  • Describe how you want the response to be structured: Indicate whether the tenderer should use any response templates that were developed along with the criteria, or whether they should respond in another way. List any verifications (official evidence) that must be submitted, or whether these will instead be requested in the event of a follow-up.

The requirements are ready for download in our requirement wizard. For areas in which no procurement criteria are available, the contracting organisation can formulate its own requirements.

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