Hansel, the Finnish government’s central procurement body, has included detailed requirements for the prohibition of forced labour, respect for freedom of association and reduction in the use of conflict minerals in to its procurement contracts for computers. Human rights criteria will also be used in the Finnish municipalities’ procurement of furniture.
– Our new Code of Conduct incorporates minimum requirements for social responsibility that we require from all companies that supply computers to the Finnish government bodies. It is great that through this joint project with Finnwatch we have been able to raise the bar on social responsibility, says Tero Lehtisaari, category manager in charge of IT purchases at Hansel.
The results of the pilot project and the materials produced can be applied to all public procurement. Finnwatch is hoping that other public procurement bodies will adopt the best practices that were identified into their own tendering processes.
– Co-operation between public buyers should be strengthened both within Finland and between Nordic countries. By combining their significant purchasing power, public buyers can address difficult issues in supply chains, such as a living wage, says Sonja Vartiala, executive director of Finnwatch.
Finnwatch, the Finnish government’s central purchasing body Hansel and the national joint procurement body for the municipal sector, KL-Kuntahankinnat, started preparing the pilot procurements in spring 2017. At the time of publication of the results*, the tendering of furniture for KL-Kuntahankinnat’s framework agreement was still pending. As such, information in the report on social criteria for the furniture tender is based on early drafts.
– Based on our work with Finnwatch, we decided to set requirements for social responsibility of the weaving mills of upholstery fabrics and the assembly plants of electric motors. In our supply chains, we identified a possibility for the production of these two components to be located in so-called risk countries, says Antti Tuukkanen, procurement specialist for KL-Kuntahankinnat.
Finnwatch, Hansel and KL-Kuntahankinnat first presented the results of the two procurement pilots at a seminar, organised by the Public Procurement Advisory Unit, on 20th March 2018.
*The Finnwatch report "From Words to Deeds – Pilot project on social responsibility with Hansel Ltd and KL-Kuntahankinnat Ltd” was published in Finnish in March 2018. The English translation was published in September 2018. The report was produced with the support of the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland SASK and Kepa.