Extending the lifespan: EU released green public procurement criteria for furniture

548
Stühle im Besprechungsraum (Foto: © Rainer Sturm / http://www.pixelio.de)

Brussels — The European Commission has published new Green Public Procurement (GPP) Criteria for furniture, covering new furniture products as well as refurbishment and end-of-life services (such as collection and reuse), updating Criteria issued in 2008. The inclusion of refurbishment and end-of-life services aim at extending the lifespan of furniture purchased by public sector entities, and at the same time reinforce and contribute to the EU’s circular economy principles and policies.

In terms of environmental impacts, the dominant fraction (80-90 percent) is linked to furniture materials/components. While embodied energy in metals and plastics is higher than in wood, durability and recyclability are also important considerations. Good practice approaches for furniture have come from Denmark – furniture designed for disassembly – and from the Dutch cities of Venlo and Wageningen, both of which address maintenance issues, and make the fulfilment of stringent environmental requirements obligatory in recent supply contracts of office furniture.

The EU GPP Criteria are formulated in such a way that they can be easily integrated into tender documents. They are also split into core and comprehensive, enabling a choice between different levels of environmental performance, and are currently available in English (availability in all EU official languages in the months to come). They can be downloaded under ec.europa.eu.

Source: European Commission, Directorate-General Environment