For many bidders, the environmental section of a PQQ or tender document can invoke feelings of uncertainty and fear. Even organisations with ISO 14001 certification might start to sweat when faced with probing questions about their policies and how their goods or services impact on the environment. In a state of frustration, bidders might ask themselves “why do I need to provide all this information anyway?”
However, public procurement serves the unexpected purpose of helping Europe in the battle against environmental degradation. Bear in mind that the public sector is the largest buyer in the EU, accounting for a fifth of GDP. The demand from the public sector has the potential to drive the development of innovative new practices. This is clearly something that the EU is keen to encourage.
A revised public procurement directive, approved earlier this month, allows buyers to integrate environmental management, energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions more closely into their decision-making process. A bidder offering energy-efficient goods will enjoy a competitive advantage due to their strong sustainability performance. Buyers are encouraged to consider not only the upfront cost but the life-cycle cost of a product; how much it’s going to cost in the long-run.
Even when bidding to provide goods that have no environmental impact during use, the revised directive encourages a greater focus on the environment. Buyers will be encouraged to take the production process into account. A bidder who can produce furniture using green methods will again have a competitive advantage.
As always, environmental management will touch heavily on aspects such as transport and waste, so even when providing services rather than tangible goods an organisation will have to display a commitment to the environment.
The result of buyers placing a great weighting on environmental considerations when issuing a PQQ or an invitation to tender leads to a reduction in energy consumption, reduced energy bills and an overall increase in competitiveness throughout Europe. When the revised directive is incorporated into national law, these effects will only become stronger.
What Does This Mean?
But what does this mean for the business owner bidding for a public sector contract? Firstly, it’s important to spell out clearly your organisation’s commitment to environmental management. Tenders aren’t won on the basis of the price that you quote alone. Compelling and convincing narrative is a must if you want to demonstrate your organisation’s duties with respect to the environment.
Even with good policies in place, organisations might struggle with the tender writing process. Time constraints and lack of experience in writing tenders could prevent a business owner from properly communicating the workings of their environmental management system. At Executive Compass, our experienced bid writers have an in-depth knowledge of what the evaluators are hoping to see, and can bring to the forefront those assets of your organisation that give you the best chance of success. To find out more about how we can help you to start winning, call us today on 0800 612 5563.