Ecolabel logo with various plastic building products

Austrian Ecolabel as a guideline for public procurement in the building sector

When awarding construction contracts, public authorities can do a lot to raise awareness of the issues of climate protection and the circular economy, while at the same time reducing environmental impacts.

In summer 2021, the Federal Government renewed its voluntary commitment to sustainable public procurement (naBe), which has been in place for over 10 years, and expanded it to include 16 product groups. These are made available in a compact catalogue of criteria on the naBe platform ( naBe-Kriterien - naBe ).

The Austrian Ecolabel plays an important role in this, especially in the building sector. This is because a "centrepiece" of the naBe procurement criteria for building construction is the chapter "Low-emission building materials". Public clients also want to lead the way in the use of ecological building materials. The aim is to construct or renovate school, service and office buildings to a standard that has above-average low emissions and, as a result, optimal indoor air for productive learning, research and work.

In order to achieve this, a product and chemical management system is planned which, among other things

  • the consideration of building chemical requirements in the call for tenders
  • testing and approval of the building materials intended for use before they are used on the construction site, and
  • site control (i.e. whether the products tendered for and approved are/were actually installed)


The naBe building construction criteria provide building chemical specifications or limit values for 21 building material groups. These also include eco-labelled product groups such as interior wall paints, cleaning agents, wood and wood-based materials, floor coverings made of wood (materials), textile floor coverings, elastic floor coverings, insulating materials, plastic pipes or PVC-free cables, wires, switches, boxes for electrical installations.

A central point for both procurers and offering companies is the simplest possible proof of compliance with the criteria or limit values. Here, products with the Austrian Ecolabel meet the requirements in any case. This is an enormous advantage for all Ecolabel products that can be used in construction!