On 3 March 2010, the European Commission launched the Europe 2020 Strategy: A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The EU's new strategy for sustainable growth and jobs in some of its flagship initiatives mentions also GPP. More information...
The Roadmap (published in 2011) will identify the changes needed to achieve this transition and set out a range of policies to improve resource-efficiency for 2020, defining the plans for introduction of these policies at EU and Member State level. This aims at an absolute decoupling of resource use from economic growth; and of environmental degradation from resource use. The Roadmap mentions also the need for encouraging wider use of GPP.
Source: DG ENV
The Communication "Energy 2020 - A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy" defines the energy priorities for the next ten years and sets the actions to be taken in order to tackle the energy-related challenges.
The Communication also insists on the key role of public procurement, calling for public authorities to lead by example. Among other it says public procurement rules should insist on efficiency conditions to increase energy savings and spread innovative solutions, notably in buildings and transport.
The Innovation Union is key to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020. It aims to improve conditions and access to finance for research and innovation in Europe, to ensure that innovative ideas can be turned into products and services that create growth and jobs. It identifies key areas where greater investment in innovation and policy cohesion can achieve gains in terms of competitiveness and sustainability. The initiative addresses the role of public procurement and GPP as one of the means of reaching these goals.
Public procurement practices foster market uptake of innovative products and services and raise the quality of public services in markets where the public sector is a significant purchaser. Public authorities can promote the use of innovation-friendly procurement practices and stimulate innovation on the supplier side. This can either be through pre-commercial procurement or through regular procurement, specifying user needs in such a way that suppliers are stimulated to come forward with innovative products and/or services.
More information about the innovation in public procurement:
The European Commission’s Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy (SCP/SIP) Action Plan was launched on 16 July 2008. This document presents the EC strategy for an integrated approach to further sustainable consumption and production and promote its sustainable industrial policy. The core of the Action Plan is to improve the energy and environmental performance of products, foster their uptake by consumers and make production cleaner and leaner.
The Plan draws on the EcoDesign Directive (Directive 2005/32/EC) and a number of related schemes in the area of product policy:
The Action Plan states “the energy efficiency and environmental criteria under the above schemes will be used to establish a harmonised base for public procurement and incentives provided by the EU and its Member States.”
To date each of the above legislative documents has been revised or extended to help meet the objectives of the SCP/SIP Action Plan.
The Retail Forum established under the Action Plan is also gaining in importance as retailers and producers are increasingly recognising sustainability as a considerable opportunity for their businesses to grow, compete and innovate.
For more information: /environment/eussd/escp_en.htm.
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, a lead market initiative for Europe, 2007
The Lead Market Initiative is the European policy for 6 important sectors that are supported by actions to lower barriers to bring new products or services onto the market. The European Commission, Member States and industry work together to carry out the action plans for the 6 Lead Markets: eHealth, protective textiles, sustainable construction, recycling, bio-based products and renewable energies.
As the public sector is a significant purchaser in each of these Lead Markets, specific resources have been funded under this Initiative to assist in the procurement of innovative and/or more sustainable solutions from these markets.
For more information: Lead Market Initiative on the EC website.
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, European Commission, 2004
The Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) aims to address the barriers – such as the complexity of switching from traditional to new technologies and insufficient access to capital – that hinder the development of environmental technologies.
The Action Plan refers to the role of GPP in improving market conditions to promote eco-innovation.
For more information: ETAP website.
On 18 June 2003, the European Commission adopted a Communication on “Integrated Product Policy: Building on Environmental Life-Cycle Thinking.”
On the public consumer side, the IPP Communication underlines the importance of GPP and initiates several actions to stimulate this:
For more information: /environment/ipp.
The SDS is an overarching strategy for all EU policies which focuses on seven key challenges: climate change and clean energy; sustainable transport; sustainable consumption and production; conservation and management of natural resources; public health; social inclusion, demography and migration; global poverty.
In June 2006 the European Council adopted an ambitious and comprehensive renewed SDS for the enlarged European Union. The Commission completed a review of this strategy in 2009 which assessed the progress in respect of the seven key challenges and made recommendations for the further implementation and monitoring of the SDS, and co-ordination with other policies.
To promote sustainable consumption and production patterns, one of the objectives set out in the SDS is “to achieve by 2010 an EU average level of Green Public Procurement (GPP) equal to that currently achieved by the best performing Member States”.
For more information: /environment/eussd.
The 6th EAP is a decision of the European Parliament and the Council adopted on 22 July 2002. It sets out the framework for environmental policy-making in the European Union for the period 2002-2012 and outlines actions that need to be taken to achieve them. Four priorities have been identified: climate change, nature and biodiversity, environment and health, natural resources and waste. The 6th EAP has been reviewed and the European Commission adopted its mid-term review report on 30 April 2007.
Article 3 presents the strategic approaches to meeting environmental objectives, one of which is “promoting a green public procurement policy, allowing environmental characteristics to be taken into account...”
For more information: /environment/newprg/index.htm.