Introducing the Minimum Environmental Criteria (CAMs)

The Minimum Environmental Criteria (CAM in italian) are guidelines established by the Ministry of Ecological Transition (MiTe) to promote the adoption of products and services with low environmental impact…

They represent the implementation in Italy of the Green Public Procurement (GPP) directives issued by the European Union in 1996.

Efficient resource management and circular economy are the two guiding principles of the MEC, as scientific studies demonstrate that the environmental impact of furniture is linked to 80-90% to raw materials and their transformation, especially the transformation of plastic materials.

The CAM approach requires public administrations to follow the following purchasing process:

  1. Evaluation of the State of Existing Furniture: Before proceeding with the purchase of new furniture, public administrations are encouraged to conduct an assessment of the existing furniture. This may involve checking the general conditions, functionality, and the possibility of reuse.
  2. Priority to Reuse: The CAM may stipulate that, whenever possible, priority should be given to the reuse of existing furniture. This means considering the possibility of refurbishing, updating, or renewing current furniture instead of purchasing new ones.
  3. Incentives for Recycling and Responsible Waste Management: The CAM may include criteria that encourage proper waste management resulting from existing furniture. This may involve promoting recycling practices and responsible disposal.
  4. Sustainability in the Disposal Process: The CAM may require that the disposal process of existing furniture be carried out sustainably, paying attention to reducing environmental impacts resulting from disposal.

Basic Criteria and Bonus Criteria

The CAM includes some Basic Criteria that must be met by all purchased products and also Bonus Criteria that offer additional scores in the tender competition.

A public procurement will be considered sustainable if it integrates at least all the Basic Criteria, otherwise exclusion from the tender is possible. Bonus Criteria increase the score for the award of the tender and are often required by contracting authorities.

According to the indications of the European Commission, to provide an appropriate signal to the market, contracting authorities should assign Bonus Criteria in an amount not less than 15%. This is especially true in cases where the procurement is awarded through the economically most advantageous offer form.

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