- Europe and Central Asia
Sectors of activity
Environmental Services, Waste, incl. Chemicals, Public Procurement
Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Policy Frameworks & Tools
Type of lead actor
Government / public sector
The healthcare sector consumes large amounts of textiles: staff uniforms, bed linen, patient clothing and operation room gowns. Placing green criteria in procurement contracts can increase the demand for greener textiles and textile services. This in turn should stimulate
green innovation in supply.
However, not all healthcare procurers have resources or knowledge available to apply green criteria in an optimal way. This project and the resulting guide aimed to provide assistance to these procurers, regardless of whether they're working in the public or private sector.
The following activities were carried out:
- an online questionnaire survey of procurers in heathcare services and their purchases of textiles and textile services and their use of sustainability criteria
- development of fact sheets summarising the findings for each Nordic country
- establishment of a network of healthcare textile and textile service procurers and suppliers from Nordic countries
- running of two network workshops to investigate needs and examine what green procurement means in healthcare textiles and how it can be implemented
- development of a guide for procurors in close cooperation with the network
- holding a final seminar in Stockholm to present the final guide and identify opportunities for
continuing the activities of the Network
Impact and Results
The key output of the initiative was a guide for procurers in hospitals, regions and other authorities responsible for procuring textiles and textile services for healthcare. The Guide provides procurers with information on the environmental consequences of textile purchases, which aspects of the textile lifecycle are important to address, information on ecolabels and a set of ready-to-use sustainability criteria addressing a range of sustainability aspects. The guide includes interesting cases, thoughts on how to select the right fibre and the advantages of Total Cost of Ownership calculations.
It also provides links to other useful documents. Some of these are specific to the Nordic countries but others are of interest to any procurer regardless of where they are working.
The Guide is already assisting a wide range of procurers in Nordic healthcare services, and has potential to help even more procurers in Europe an further afield.
Next steps and how to get involved
If you are responsible for procurement of textiles and textile services for use in a hospital or other healthcare services and need help with developing sustainability criteria for use in tenders then read the guide. It provides assistance in a wide range of aspects.
If you wish to develop your own country specific guide on green procurement in healthcare the use the Guide here as inspiration.
If you are a procurer or supplier of sustainable solutions for healthcare in any product or service area and wish to meet others to share experiences then write to the Nordic Center for Sustainable Healthcare and join their network: http://sustainablehealthcare.se/