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News article18 January 2024

GPP Helpdesk webinar: “Social and environmental considerations and the link with the subject matter”

Image of a desk with a computer on, a cup and a notebook with a pen and notes taken.

This webinar discussed the use of social and environmental considerations throughout the procurement cycle and their link with the subject matter. Professor Roberto Caranta reminded the general principle that criteria must be specific to the goods, services or works which are being purchased and cannot concern general corporate policies or practices of tenderers. He also recalled the distinction between mandatory requirements and requirements that go beyond the mandatory requirements, to which the link with the subject matter applies. He informed about new mandatory requirements, such as the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms.

Representatives from two contracting authorities shared their concrete experience on this topic. First, the experience of integrating sustainability and social requirements in award criteria in the context of a tender on the provision of food to prisoners in The Netherlands. Second, the experience of the city of Copenhagen, in Denmark, of how they ensure the respect of the mandatory labour clause in all contracts and of education clauses in construction contracts.


  • Welcome and introduction from the EU GPP Helpdesk, European Commission.
  • Social and environmental considerations and the link with the subject matter: how to avoid common mistakes, prof. Roberto Caranta, full professor with the Law Department of the University of Turin (Italy) and Coordinator of Sustainability and Procurement in International, European, and National Systems – SAPIENS Horizon 2020 project.
  • Wolter van der Vlist, Procurement Policy & Strategy Team, Judicial Institutions Department, Ministry of Justice and Security (NL).
  • Karsten Skjellerup, CSR Consultant, Socially responsible procurement team, City of Copenhagen (DK).

All presentations, the recording and additional material are available in this resource.