Government Buying Standards for Furniture approved
Lord Henley, the Defra Parliamentary Under-Secretary, has approved the new Government Buying Standards for Furniture.
Government Buying Standards (formerly known as Buy Sustainable Quick Wins) are designed to make it easier for government buyers to adopt sustainable procurement practices.
They set out the sustainable criteria that must be followed when buying a range of different products and services and have been also designed to ensure that products which fulfil the criteria provide better value for money over the whole life of the product than products that do not.
All central government departments and their related organisations must ensure that they meet at least the mandatory Government Buying Standards when buying goods and services in the product groups covered.
In terms of furniture specifications, buyers must purchase items that minimise the use of harmful and hazardous substances in production and surface treatment. This includes substances that do not biodegrade effectively.
Any wood used must follow the government policy on timber – essentially meaning it must be from sustainable forests.
Where possible, good practice in furniture buying looks to maximise the use of recycled and renewable materials.
The new Furniture specifications have now been published on the Government Buying Standards website and can be viewed here.
A lead in time will be used to allow the market to adjust and the standards will be applied from the 1st October 2010.