- Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
- Part of:
- Sustainable procurement: the Government Buying Standards (GBS), Buying for schools, and Sustainable development
- 1 July 2014
- Last updated:
- 27 March 2015, see all updates
Official Government Buying Standards (GBS) for food and catering services
PDF, 75KB, 9 pages
PDF, 29.4KB, 2 pages
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Sustainable procurement is the process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that benefits not only the organisation, but also society and the economy, while minimising damage to the environment.
The Government Buying Standards (GBS) are set at 2 levels.
Mandatory standards: for central government procurement
All central government departments and their related organisations must ensure that they meet the GBS when buying goods and services for those product groups covered. The mandatory standards are encouraged for the wider public sector to specify in tenders.
Best practice: voluntary standards for any organisation
Best practice standards have more or stricter criteria. They’re for any organisation concerned about sustainable procurement to follow or to specify in tenders.
When setting the GBS, the following were considered:
- energy in use
- water in use
- end of life costs:
- hazardousness of materials used
- resource efficiency - quantities of scarce materials used and recycled content
Published: 1 July 2014
Updated: 27 March 2015
- Buying Standards document has been updated to clarify the best practice criterion for sugar sweetened beverages – the criteria have not changed.
- First published.