This report demonstrates that mainstreaming innovative, green, and social criteria requires above all policy vision and political ownership.

Both UK and EU public procurement regulations allow certain flexibilities for the inclusion of sustainability criteria (eg. environmental and labour standards, special treatment for SMEs) to be balanced with the regulatory requirements of equality of opportunity, transparency of process and relative value for money. Moreover, the regulation at UK level allows procurement teams additional flexibility in setting out a number of award criteria which are related to social and environmental sustainability. However, these are not mandatory and taking this approach requires political or organisational leadership-and procurement expertise. As this report highlights there are useful guidelines and case studies demonstrating different approaches to incorporating sustainability criteria. UK law does not restrict the use of innovative approaches to sustainability.

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