City of Tampere: responsible procurement of protective gloves for healthcare

Original case:…


City of Tampere / Tuomi Logistiikka Oy

Object of procurement

Protective gloves for healthcare

Impact of procurement

City of Tampere

Background information

Through procurement, the City of Tampere seeks to promote global responsibility, the wellbeing of employees and the environment and a more balanced economy. The production methods of protective gloves for healthcare are known to involve problems, which have been pointed out by Finnwatch, a non-governmental organisation focusing on global corporate responsibility, as well as by other organisations. These problems are related to employees’ rights, working hours and working conditions, among other aspects. The production, use and disposal of protective gloves also involve many types of environmental problems. For example, vinyl gloves made from PVC used to be worn in healthcare. Because of the material, such gloves were complicated to dispose of.

Goal of procurement

The procurement aimed for cost savings, eco-friendliness and the consideration of social aspects. The goals also included creating a more sensible product selection, as nearly ten types of protective gloves used to be available for use. 

Parties involved in the procurement (client side)

Product group managers Nina Wihlman and Piia Räty at Tuomi Logistiikka Oy

Procurement methods used

Market dialogue

[To be added later]

Criteria / terms and conditions

Life-cycle costs are taken into account in the cost calculation. The tenderers were required to use responsible production methods. The tenderers/manufacturers were required to comply with the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The tenderers were requested to submit a sustainability report or a similar statement to examine their application of the declaration.


According to life-cycle costs calculations, the City of Tampere will be provided with considerably better products and protective qualities, while the cost will decrease by around EUR 100,000. In terms of unit price, nitrile gloves used to be more expensive than vinyl gloves. For this reason, they were used only for limited purposes. The life-cycle cost calculations revealed that, when the volume is high, the price of nitrile gloves decreases in relation to other types of gloves and that logistics expenses decrease to such a degree that a cost saving of EUR 100,000 is created. In addition, nitrile gloves have better protective qualities than vinyl gloves and are as good as latex gloves in terms of mechanical durability. Nitrile gloves are non-allergenic and can be disposed of by burning.

Possible further measures 

The implementation of corporate responsibility is monitored annually throughout the agreement period.

Customer’s comment / Lessons learned

“At a cost that is around EUR 100,000 lower than before, the City of Tampere is provided with much better products and is also able to reduce the environmental effects of procurement and pay attention to employees’ rights.” City of Tampere, 15 January 2016

Resourceful procurement

The City of Tampere is an excellent example of how the quality, cost-efficiency and environmental and social sustainability of procurement can be improved by paying attention to life-cycle costs instead of only taking the acquisition price into account.



  • Significant cost savings were achieved by paying attention to life-cycle costs.
  • This resulted in a more streamlined product selection and products of a higher quality.
  • The procurement promotes cleaner material cycles.
  • The procurement takes the social aspects of the production chain into account.