ASU Center for Organization Research and Design

Assessment of Criteria Development for Public Procurement From a Strategic Sustainability Perspective

by Cecilia Bratt; Sophie Hallstedt; K.-H. Robèrt; Göran Broman; Jonas Oldmark

Aug 1, 2013

Green public procurement has emerged as a policy instrument with a significant potential to steer procurers' and producers' decisions in a sustainable direction. The purpose of this study is to assess the process for development of green public procurement criteria at a Swedish governmental expert body from a strategic sustainability perspective, i.e. to identify strengths and weaknesses from such a perspective as a basis for making this process more supportive of sustainable product and service innovation. A previously published framework for strategic sustainable development is used for the assessment. The assessment shows that the criteria development process is transparent, well-documented and that it encourages a high level of participation by the members of the working groups. However, the assessment also points to several weaknesses of the process. These include, e.g., a limited impact perspective and lack of a clear definition of sustainability objectives. The development process therefore results in criteria which mainly concern a selection of current environmental impacts outside the context of long-term objectives and consequently there are no strategies to prepare for future processes. The conclusion is that the current process may result in improvements as regards some known environmental problems, but to allow for a strategic approach that could more significantly promote innovative product-service system solutions in support of sustainable development, process changes are needed. Essential process changes are proposed in this paper.

Assessment of Criteria Development for Public Procurement From a Strategic Sustainability Perspective