Case Study: Social and Environmental Considerations versus Upfront Product/Service Costs
The European Court of Justice made a landmark decision in the Helsinki Concordia Bus Case, when they determined that public authorities could spend more money on a product or service if it met key social and environmental criteria when awarding contracts for a public tender. The court supported Helsinki City Council’s choice of purchasing a fleet of low-pollution buses instead of cheaper buses from another bidder. Concordia Bus Finland which finished second in the tender, contested the City’s decision, made in 1998, on the grounds that the contracts should be given to the “most advantageous economic offer” according to EU procurement rules. The Court’s decision gives other public procurement agencies authority to award contracts to bidders that provide services and/or products that meet environment and social considerations, even if the upfront costs are more than what other bidders are offering. For more information, please visit the European Environmental Bureau website.