HCWH's co-founder Gary Cohen is a recipient of the prestigious Skoll Award. This video, chronicling the evolution of HCWH's work, premiered at the 2009 Skoll World Forum. enlarge video
- A Comprehensive Green Purchasing Programme
- Green Purchasing: Lower Life-Cycle Costs
- Our Advocacy Work
- Green Purchasing Issues
A Comprehensive Green Purchasing Programme
A comprehensive green purchasing programme is one of the most effective strategies a hospital has at its disposal for systematically greening its operations. By deploying green purchasing strategies, such as placing environmental criteria into tender documents, hospitals aren't just making ad-hoc environmental improvements, but are managing their way towards change.
Particularly important for green purchasing success is management structure: somebody has to be made answerable for improving environmental performance, and empowered to introduce environmental criteria into the purchasing process.
Multidisciplinary teams are also very important — savings identified in, for example, excess use of cleaners can be reinvested in greener cleaners to allow cost-neutral implementation of greener healthcare.
Green Purchasing: Lower Life-Cycle Costs
Our Advocacy Work
Public procurement is one of the key expenditure for contracting authorities in Europe and falls under the European Single Market. This means over a certain threshold authorities have to publish a call for tender in the Official Journal of the European Union to enable companies across EU borders to compete for contracts. In 2009 for example, the value of calls for tender published was approximately €420 billion for the 27 Member States.
Currently the European Union is overhauling the directive on public procurement of 2004. HCWH Europe thinks that the legislative draft text needs to drive standards and quality upwards and needs to allow the quality of the supplier to be taken into account at the selection stage. It is also important to recognise that production characteristics can be included as technical specifications.
Below you will find our position papers and statements as the draft text will be discussed in the Parliament and Council. If you are working on public procurement and want to be involved in shaping our future European law than contact us.
- 10 Myths About Sustainable Procurement
- Access of Third Countries to the EU's Public Procurement Market
- Response to the Green Paper on the Modernisation of EU Public Procurement Policy
Green Purchasing Issues
Almost all products and services used in healthcare can be greened. Since most of these are not even unique to healthcare, there is little need to reinvent the wheel — many purchasing guides and specimen criteria exist which can help hospitals. See our Tools and Resources page for specimen documents and more information.
Some specific things hospitals can look at include:
- Phasing out PVC and phthalates. Kaiser Permanente is well-known for its work to buy carpet without PVC backing; over 80 hospitals in Europe have made substantial moves to eliminate PVC from neonatal care.
- Mercury, flame retardants and cleaning chemicals are among the many harmful substances hospitals can reduce their dependence on. A systematic programme at Vienna Hospital Association has reduced detergent use by 23% and costs by 10%.
- Careful evaluation of the food procurement process and cooperation with local suppliers allowed the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust in the UK to source significantly more fresh, local food. There is more information about this in our report Fresh, Local, and Organic. (pdf)
- Download Buying Green, the EU's manual on implementing green purchasing.
- For a more detailed overview of how to implementing green purchasing, download our factsheet Green Purchasing in Healthcare. (pdf)
- Download Ökokauf Wien (Ecobuy Vienna) (pdf), HCWH's translation of the guide the City of Vienna designed to be used by anyone wanting to make their purchasing more environmentally-friendly.
- Environmentally Preferable Purchasing in the Health Care Sector (pdf)
- Buying Green (pdf)
the EU's manual on implementing green purchasing
- Choosing Environmentally Preferable Food Service Ware (pdf)
- Disposables and Their Alternatives (pdf)
Going Green Factsheet with information on types of reusable products
- Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: How-To Fact Sheet (pdf)
- Food and Food Purchasing: A Role for Health Care (pdf)
- Fresh, Local, and Organic: Fresh, Local and Organic: A Successful Recipe for Improving Europe's Hospital Food (pdf)
- Green Purchasing in Healthcare (pdf)
Green Purchasing in Healthcare
- Guide to Choosing Safer Chemicals and Products
- ÖkoKauf Wien (Ecobuy Vienna): Specimen Procurement Guidelines to Help Healthcare Institutions Protect the Environment (pdf)
- Sample Letter to GPOs (pdf)
- Sample Policy for Purchasing Reusable Products (pdf)
information for purchasers
- Sustainable Hospitals database of alternative products