The cabinet is to draw up sustainability criteria for all products purchased by the government. This manual will serve as a guideline for the various authorities' purchasing policy.

As announced earlier, the cabinet wants 100 percent of central government purchasing and spending to be sustainable by 2010. For other government authorities, the target is at least 40 percent. This year, sustainability criteria will be drawn up per product group.

"The cabinet wants to make these criteria as ambitious as possible in order to reward front-runners and encourage innovation," the environment ministry reported Friday. The cabinet sent a report to the Lower House Friday on the sustainability rating of government authorities' operations. This showed that "supplementary initiatives are necessary."

The report shows to what extent ministries, provinces and municipalities have undertaken to make their operations more sustainability-oriented. This includes for example catering, electricity usage and transport. The report shows that there are big differences between the organisations. The high scores of some organisations show that it is also "very possible" for organisations with low scores to make their operations more sustainability-oriented.