Sustainable Procurement: environmental vs. technical performance requirements
When selecting a lubricant for a specific application, it is important to consider various aspects that influence the sustainability performance of equipment or installations (see picture 1). This may include:
- the optimisation of potential effects on the environment (toxicity, biodegradability and food chain accumulation);
- energy and climate (during production as well as its application);
- technical specifications (e.g. lubricating properties, stability and compatibility with system components);
- working conditions (noise, Health & Safety);
- (in)direct costs (purchase, maintenance/wear, waste and calamities).
Independent experts must be able to verify all these properties with standard methods. Sustainable Procurement challenges consumers and suppliers to use biodegradable products (their performance should at least be equal to conventional oils and greases) that, if possible, have high-quality lubricating properties and maintain a favourable price/quality .
Sustainability performance of products X, Y and Z (hypothetical example)