Text blocks for tender requirements

in the procurement of Bio-based Products and Services

Introduction

The drawing of technical specifications for the public procurement of bio–based products and services is necessary to determine the subject-matter of the contract and to allow contracting authorities to award the contract. Contracting authorities must set out the technical specifications in the contract documents, such as contract notices, contract documents or any additional documents. Technical specifications must afford equal access for tenderers and not have the effect of creating unjustified obstacles to the opening up of public procurement to competition.

For the declaration of the needs and formulation of the technical specifications it is of importance to specify the environmental criteria which the administration (the public procurer) is aiming for in its climate and resource protection targets. The text blocks are separated as per the product categories identified by InnProBio as the most likely product groups for bio-based procurement in Europe (see InnProBio deliverable 3.2: State-of-the-art of standards, specifications and incentives for BBPS).

InnProBio has developed an informative selection of text for inclusion in the public procurement documents, such as contract notices, contract documents or any additional documents for the procurement of bio–based products and services. The text blocks are grouped per product category and can be found and copied from below.

Technical specifications in the selection and qualification process of public procurement must be formulated in the following manners:

Read more on how to formulate technical specifications...

(a) by reference to technical standards which are relevant to the subject matter of the contract and, in order of preference, to national standards transposing European standards, European technical approvals, common technical specifications, international standards, other technical reference systems established by the European standardization bodies, or when the above technical specifications do not exist, by reference to national standards, national technical approvals or national technical specifications relating to the design, calculation and execution of the works and use of the products. Each reference to technical standards must be accompanied by the words ‘or equivalent’;

(b) by reference to performance or functional requirements which may include environmental characteristics. Where contracting authorities lay down environmental characteristics in terms of performance or functional requirements they may use the detailed specifications, or, if necessary, parts thereof, as defined by European or (multi-) national eco-labels, or by and any other eco-label, provided that those specifications are appropriate to define the characteristics of the supplies or services that are the object of the contract, that the requirements for the label are drawn up on the basis of scientific information, that the eco-labels are adopted using a procedure in which all stakeholders, such as government bodies, consumers, manufacturers, distributors and environmental organizations can participate, and finally they are accessible to all interested parties.

(c) by reference to test reports from a conformity assessment body that performs conformity assessment activities including calibration, testing, certification and inspection accredited in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 as means of proof of specification compliance.

(d) by reference to certification by public or private law certification bodies as means of proof of specification compliance.

Text blocks per product category

Construction and infrastructure products

For example: construction structure materials such as insulation, sheet, façade panels and other temporary construction materials (pipes and plastics) and (indoor) coatings.

Building materials including wood products

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • The wood to be used comes from certified and/or self-assessed sustainable forestry/silviculture.
  • The proportion of renewable materials or the bio-based content of the end product is at least 85 %.
  • At least 50 % of the wood to be used consists demonstrably of secondary raw materials such as wood from industrial waste or other waste wood.

Insulation materials

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • In bio-based fibre insulating materials e.g. hemp, flax, wool, cork, coconut, in the form of sheets, felts, mats or bulk and blow-in goods) mandatory minimum requirement of bio-based content is 85 %;
  • Proof of origin of bio-based raw material required;
  • Bulk- or blow-in materials from wood chips and shavings: mandatory minimum requirement is at least 50 % of the used wood consisting demonstrably of secondary raw materials such as industrial residue wood or waste wood.
Wall colours

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • Advanced requirement/bonus points for resource cultivation: At the cultivation of the bio-based resources no synthetic pesticides with prohibited substances may be used;
  • Glues based on non-bio-based resources are permitted to be used as binders provided they comprise a maximum of 10 % of the volume within the final range of products
  • Mandatory minimum requirement of bio-based content is 80 %;
  • Proof of origin of all bio-based resources is required to obtain information about potential pesticide exposure;
  • Full declaration of ingredient content.

Gardening and landscaping

For example: geotextiles, erosion mats, shielding, plastic binders, plant containers and tree anchoring.

Plastic products for landscaping

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • For bio-based plastics, the carbon content as defined by reference to EN 16575, must be at least 40%, between 40 % and 60 %, between 60 % and 80 % or about 80 % of the final product (EN 16640, ASTM D6866 or equivalent);
  • The product must demonstrate biodegradability properties in line with EN 14987 and/or compostability in line with EN 14995, ISO 17088 or equivalent).

Cleaning, hygiene and sanitary

For example: cleaning detergents, cleaning of company clothing, domestic services, household waste management.

Sanitary paper

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • The fibre raw material originates exclusively from recycled paper;
  • Hazardous chemical substances are excluded.

Vehicles and mobility

For example: company cars, lubricants

Lubricants and oils

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • The product is made from at least 80 % renewable materials or its bio-based content is at least 80%;
  • The additives used to improve the technical properties contain no eco-toxical critical substances, in line with EN 16807;
  • The product has no adverse effects on the environment and on the ground during use;
  • The product has good biodegradability, in line with EN 16807 or equivalent.

ICT, offices supplies and paper

For example: office supplies and toner cartridges

Printing and copying paper
Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:
  • Content requirement of at least 70 % of total primary pulp must originate from sustainably managed forests;
  • Guarantee of origin of primary fibres used must be from recycled paper;
  • Content requirement of 100 % from recycled paper for writing paper for offices, computer paper "continuous paper" for impact printers, copy paper and paper for laser printers.
Paper products including envelopes

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • The pulp is made of 100 % recycled paper;
  • The pulp must have particularly low emissions and aging.

Furniture and indoor interiors

For example: office upholstery, especially carpeting, furniture.

Wall colours

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • Mandatory minimum proportion of bio-based content must be 80 %;
  • Proof of origin of all bio-based resources is required to obtain information about potential pesticide exposure;
  • Product must have full declaration of ingredient content;
  • Advanced requirement/bonus points for resource cultivation: At the cultivation of the bio-based resources no synthetic pesticides with prohibited substances may be used;
  • Glues based on bio-based resources are permitted to be used as binders provided they comprise of 10 % of the volume within the final range of products.
Textile floor coverings

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • Mandatory minimum content of bio-based resources must be 95%;
  • For the main components, proof of the origin of their resources is required.

Advanced requirement /bonus points:

  • The product must contain no plasticisers, formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds;
  • The product must guarantee renunciation of the use of synthetic pesticides for resource production and provide for appropriate reviews of the production areas;
  • The product must guarantee that cotton harvest is carried out without chemical defoliation;
  • The product must originate from irrigation of cotton fields without impairment of the local ecosystem.
Wooden floor coverings

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • The product must have at least 70 % minimum content requirement of solid wood which must demonstrably originate from sustainable forestry;
  • The product is required to have at least 40 % of wood material consisting of recycled materials;
  • The product must ensure exclusion of critical pollutants from its production, especially in coatings.
Resilient floor coverings

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • Obligatory minimum amount of bio-based resources must be at 98%;
  • Sustainable feedstock production and limits for pesticides and heavy metals must be adhered to in the production process.

Advanced requirement /bonus points:

  • The product must originate form sources where recultivation of cultivation areas is ensured.
Office and upholstered furniture

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • Products must consist more than 50 % in volume of renewable resources wood, e.g. solid wood, saw dust and / or other wood materials (chip boards, core-boards, fibreboards etc., treated or untreated);
  • Surface coatings such as oils and glazes must originate from bio-based products;
  • There must be a mandatory minimum proportion of 50 % in renewable raw materials or recycled materials in all non-metal parts used.
Upholstered furniture

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • No synthetic fillers must be used in the final product;
  • No bio-based fabric should be mixed with materials in a product.
Textiles

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • The product must contain organically produced cotton or other natural fibres;
  • Bidders must indicate the proportion of cotton or other natural fibres used in the textiles by weight deriving from organic production. To be considered as such, the fibre must be produced according to Regulation (EC) No 834/2007.

Verification:

  • The supplier must provide evidence of the origin of the fibres used and the organic nature of their production, such as the EU organic logo or approved national logos for organic production.
Wood furniture

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • Mandatory minimum proportion of 90 % of total weight in solid wood or wood material;
  • The wood used must originate from sustainable forests and demonstrably legal sources.
Wood and wood-based materials

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • All wood and wood-based materials shall originate from legally sourced timber.

Verification:

  • Certificates of chain of custody for the wood certified as FSC, PEFC or any other equivalent means of proof will be accepted as proof of compliance;
  • The legal origin of wood can also be demonstrated with a tracing system being in place. These voluntary systems may be certified by third party, often as part of ISO 9000 and/or ISO 14000 or EMAS management system. If wood stems from a country that has signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU, the FLEGT licence may serve as proof of legality. For the non-certified wood bidders shall indicate the types (species), quantities and origins of the wood used in production, together with a declaration of their legality. As such the wood shall be able to be traced throughout the whole production chain from the forest to the product. In specific cases, where the evidence provided is not considered sufficient to prove compliance with the requested technical specifications, contracting authorities may ask suppliers for further clarifications of proof.
Packaging materials

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • Packaging must consist of readily recycled material, and/or materials originating from renewable resources, or be a multi-use system;
  • All packaging materials must be easily separable by hand into recyclable parts consisting of one material (e.g. cardboard, paper, plastic, textile).

Verification:

  • A description of the product packaging must be provided together with a corresponding declaration of compliance with the recycle criteria.

Food, catering and events

For example: disposable cups, packaging materials and utensils

Plastic products for catering

Examples of wording text drawing technical specifications:

  • For bio-based plastics, the carbon content as defined by reference to EN 16575, must be at least 40%, between 40 % and 60 %, between 60 % and 80 % or about 80 % of the final product (EN 16640, ASTM D6866 or equivalent);
  • The product must demonstrate good biodegradability / compostability.


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