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Rule of law | 1 June 2012

‘Life-cycle characteristics’ explained
Rule of law
Access to Justice for a Greener Europe

PDF | 195 kb

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‘Life-cycle characteristics’ explained

Making a choice to use a more sustainable production process does not necessarily translate into a visibly different product or one that functions any differently – just think about ‘green’ electricity or fair trade chocolate. ClientEarth asserts that products produced in different ways are different and that choices made at the production stage (relating to both social and environmental aspects) are embedded as characteristics in the resulting product. Furthermore, contracting authorities who wish to procure more sustainably should be able to reference such characteristics.

Due to considerable legal uncertainty about whether characteristics which are not functional or physical can be referenced in procurement procedures, it is crucial that the revision of the Directive on public procurement clarifies this point. This concern was not satisfactorily addressed by the Commission’s proposal.

The concept of ‘life-cycle characteristics’ has been introduced in the various Parliamentary committee’s draft opinions and amendments to the revised Directive. In this short briefing ClientEarth explains why this notion is a useful and appropriate approach to resolve the uncertainty.

Read the briefing (Fr)