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Government Buying Standards

The Government Buying Standards (GBS) are easy-to-use product specifications enable public authorities to develop tenders which procure sustainably. For example, the GBS on furniture supports the purchase of products which are easily repairable and made from sustainably sourced timber

Currently, there are around 50 standards in a range of product areas:

  • Construction and construction products
  • Cleaning products and services
  • Electrical goods
  • Food and catering services
  • Furniture
  • Horticulture and park products and services
  • Office ICT equipment
  • Paper and paper products)
  • Textiles
  • Transport
  • Water using products

GBS simplify sustainable procurement by:

  • Providing minimum and best practice standards;
  • Giving you straightforward specifications you can insert directly into tenders (with GBS increasingly being embedded in central and framework contracts);
  • Asking suppliers to prove their compliance with these standards;
  • Enabling more suppliers to develop products that meet the standards – so increasing competitiveness.

GBS have been endorsed by the Coalition Government. All central government departments and their related organisations must ensure that they meet these minimum mandatory specifications when buying products and services. The standards have been developed so that products which meet the criteria save more money over their whole life than products that do not.

Further information

Page last modified: 26 November, 2013