SWEDISH SUMMARY: Idag lanserades uppföljningsportalen.se av Miljöstyrningsrådet (MSR) och Sveriges landsting och regioner. Ett web-baserat verktyg som kommer att underlätta arbetet med hållbarhetsfrågan för såväl regioner och landsting som för oss som leverantörer in i hälso- och sjukvården.
The Swedish Environmental Management Council (SEMCo, with Lisa Sennström and Peter Nohrstedt) and the Swedish County Councils (with Pauline Göthberg and Thomas Wedegren) launched their follow-up web application (uppfoljningsportalen.se) for sustainability requirements earlier today. I have discussed the tool and the need for follow-ups of public procurement requirements several times here at the blog (e.g. Nov 30 2012 and Sept 26 2012). As you understand I am happy that the web application now has been launched. I hope that this will secure a professional follow up of the sustainability criteria present in the tender process.
After Lisa and Pauline described the tool, I gave mine and industry's view. As I have already said I/we welcome the initiative and the tool. Hopefully it will enable county councils to award the good companies in the sector. It is of course crucial that the questions in the tool are relevant and with an appropriate level of detail. I also stressed the importance of understanding that several of the requested information may have to be managed by the county councils and the web application with confidentiality. If that fails - competetivness may be hurt! Part of the information is important intellectual property to a company. I also tried to be very clear that county councils cannot expect this to be "free of charge". Quality costs and should be allowed to cost! Professional follow-up procedures will also be quite resource intensive, which will add additional costs for the county council organizations.
After my presentation Ardalan Shakarabi, member of the Swedish parliament, described the political interest of using public procurement to reach political sustainability goals. Ardalan described the present situation where lack of knowledge may still exist when it comes to how sustainability requirements should be managed in county councils and in municipalities, but was very happy to see these strong ambitions. He hoped that this tool would be part of a learning process.
The launch meeting was concluded with a panel discussion with me, Pauline and Ardalan, led by Parul Sharma (today's moderator). My summary would be that we had good discussions and are well aligned. Everybody seem to understand that this is a fairly big initiative taken by MSR and the County Councils, but we all of course see the benefit if managed correctly. In the end of the day government of course need to secure that products used in health care, procured with tax money, are manufactured according to "good sustainability practice".