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Related EU Legislation


Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC. OJ L 315, 14.11.2012

The new Directive entered into force on 4 December 2012 and must be implemented by the Member States by 5 June 2014. It establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the Union in order to ensure the achievement of the Union’s 2020 20 % headline target on energy efficiency.

According to the new directive the public sector must lead by example by renovating 3% of buildings owned and occupied by the central governments starting from 01 January 2014 and by including energy efficiency considerations in public procurement – insofar as certain conditions are met (e.g. cost-effectiveness, economic feasibility) – so as to purchase energy efficient buildings, products and services.

For further information: Energy Efficiency webpage


Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings. OJ L 153, 18/06/2010 P

The recast EPBD introduces or strengthens a number of measures related to the energy performance of new and existing buildings.

Of particular relevance for public authorities is the requirement set out in Article 9 of the EPBD which requires Member States to ensure that "after 31 December 2018, new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities are nearly zero-energy buildings."

For more information: Energy Performance of Buildings webpage


Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products. OJ L/153 18/06/2010

The recast Energy Labelling Directive extends the scope of the energy labelling regime and establishes new efficiency classes for the most energy-efficient products. Relevance for GPP.

The Directive states that, in concluding public contracts, public authorities "shall endeavour to procure only such products which comply with the criteria of having the highest performance levels and belonging to the highest energy efficiency class." Member States are also empowered to set minimum criteria for the procurement of energy-related products.

For further information: Energy Labelling website


Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the EU Ecolabel, OJ L 27, 30.1.2010

EcolabelEcolabels are placed on certain products to enable consumers to choose those which have been recognised as less harmful to the environment. They are voluntary public schemes based on specific scientific environmental criteria, open to all businesses in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner. Since 1992, the EU Ecolabel regulation has set the legal framework, while Commission Decisions establish the requirements that the products have to meet in order to be awarded with the EU Ecolabel.

Purchasers and suppliers can easily identify environmentally-friendly products with EU Ecolabel flower. The EU Ecolabel scheme is fully compatible with the principles of the Internal Market. Updated information on all products bearing the EU Ecolabel for every established product group, in European Member States and abroad, can be found in the Ecolabel webpage.

For more information: FAQs section.


Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 Establishing a Framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related product. OJ L 285/10 31.10.2004

The Ecodesign Directive aims to reduce the environmental impact of products, including life-cycle energy consumption, by providing EU-wide rules for the design of energy-related products.

The Directive is of specific relevance to the development and application of technical or performance-based specifications by public authorities in their procurement. It should be noted that the Directive applies not only to energy-consuming products but also to those which have an impact on energy consumption during use, for example windows and insulation material.

For more information: Ecodesign website.


Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the voluntary participation by organisations in a Community eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS). OJ L 342,22.12.2009

imagesEnvironmental Management Systems (EMS) are tools for any organisation – enterprise or public authority – to manage the impact of its activities on the environment. An EMS integrates environmental management into an organisation’s daily operations, long-term planning and other quality control mechanisms. EMAS is the EMS created by the EU to provide the highest quality instrument for the voluntary evaluation, reporting and improvement of environmental performances.

Suppliers can use EMAS as a way of demonstrating compliance with an environmental selection criterion related to the capacity of bidders to apply environmental management measures during the performance of the contract. Public authorities wishing to apply green public procurement can also use EMAS to clearly organise and monitor their environmental policy objectives.

For more information: EMAS webpage and FAQs section.


Regulation No 106/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Community energy-efficiency labelling programme for office equipment (recast version). OJ L/039, 13/02/2008

eslogo2010_70pxThe EU ENERGY STAR programme follows an agreement between the Government of the US and the European Community (EU) to co-ordinate energy labelling of office equipment. It is managed by the European Commission.

The Energy Star performance and technical requirements provide a useful reference point in the development and application of GPP criteria for many products.

It is mandatory for central public authorities to buy products at least complying with the Energy Star requirements.

For more information: EU Energy star website.


Directive 2009/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles. OJ L 120, 15.5.2009

This Directive aims at the broad market introduction of environmentally-friendly vehicles and specifically addresses the role of public procurement in this regard.

The Directive requires that energy and environmental impacts linked to the operation of vehicles over their whole lifetime are taken into account in all purchases of road transport vehicles. Two options are offered for public authorities to meet the requirements: setting technical specifications for energy and environmental performance, or including energy and environmental impacts as award criteria.

For more information: Clean Vehicles Directive website.


Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). OJ L136/3 29/05/2007

The REACH Regulation35 came into force on 1 June 2007 and deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances. It provides an improved and streamlined legislative framework for chemicals in the EU, with the aim of improving protection of human health and the environment and enhancing competitiveness of the chemicals industry in Europe.

REACH places the responsibility for assessing and managing the risks posed by chemicals and providing safety information to users in industry instead of public authorities, promotes competition across the internal market and innovation.

Manufactures are required to register the details of the properties of their chemical substances on a central database, which is run by the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki. The Regulation also requires the most dangerous chemicals to be progressively replaced as suitable alternatives develop.

For more information:  REACH webpage


Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products and repealing Council Directive 89/106/EEC. OJ L 88, 4.4.2011

The purpose of the Construction Products Directive (CPD) is to ensure reliable information on construction products in relation to their performances. This is achieved by providing a "common technical language", offering uniform assessment methods of the performance of construction products.

The public sector should set the example by requiring construction products that fulfil all the requirements defined by the Directive for the construction of public buildings.

Further information can be found on the Construction Products webpage


Directive 2011/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. OJ L 174, 1.7.2011

EU legislation restricting the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC) and promoting the collection and recycling of such equipment (WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC) has been in force since February 2003. The legislation provides for the creation of collection schemes to increase the recycling and/or re-use of such products and requires heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium and flame retardants such as polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) to be substituted by safer alternatives.

In December 2008, the European Commission proposed to revise the directives on electrical and electronic equipment in order to tackle the fast increasing waste stream of such products. The RoHS Recast Directive was published in 2011 with the aim to increase the amount of e-waste that is appropriately treated and to reduce the volume that goes to disposal.

The public sector has to make sure that the hazardous substances identified in the Directive are removed from public buildings and are not contained in any electrical or electronic equipment purchased.

For more information: RoHS webpage


Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. OJ L 140, 5.6.2009

This Directive establishes a common framework for the use of energy from renewable sources in order to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to promote cleaner transport. To this end, national action plans are defined, as are procedures for the use of biofuels.

Each Member State has a target calculated for the share of energy from renewable sources in its gross final consumption for 2020. This target is in line with the overall '20-20-20' goals for the Community.

The share of energy from renewable sources in the transport sector must amount to at least 10% of final energy consumption in the sector by 2020.

Public buildings are expected to fulfil an exemplary role under the Directive and Member States may establish specific standards for the inclusion of renewable energy sources in public or mixed public-private buildings.

For more information: Energy webpage


Standardisation is the voluntary process of developing technical specifications based on consensus among all interested parties (industry including Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), consumers, trade unions, environmental Non Governmental Organisations (NGO), public authorities, etc). It is carried out by independent standards bodies, acting at national, European and international level.

While the use of standards remains voluntary, the European Union has, since the mid-1980s, made an increasing use of standards in support of its policies and legislation.

Public authorities should be aware of the available EU standards and make use of these as appropriate in their procurement.

For more information: European standards webpage of the EC website.


There are many European regulations and directives related to food production and trading. Some focus on animal welfare, some on feeding substances, others on fishing practices, several aim at controlling food quality to avoid the presence of substance residues or other toxic elements and finally there are regulations aimed at correct food labelling and identification.

In setting environmental criteria for food, there are two regulations which are particularly relevant:


Public authorities need to be aware of their obligations with regard to waste management when specifying and purchasing goods, services and works. A number of EU measures apply in this regard, including specific Directives relating to packaging, electrical and electronic equipment, disposal of certain chemicals and oils, and end-of-life vehicles.

A useful overview of the relevant legislation is available here.


Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market.OJ L 295, 12.11.2010

The European Parliament and Council have approved a new Regulation on the placing of illegal timber on the EU market. The new legislation will take effect from March 2013, and includes:

  • A prohibition on placing illegally harvested timber or timber products on the EU market;
  • A obligation on traders to ensure the traceability throughout the supply chain of all timber and timber products;
  • A requirement for operators to implement a due diligence system for all timber produced in or imported into the EU. This includes an obligation to identify the source of all timber, attest to compliance with legislation and provide for risk management and audit procedures.

The competent authorities of Member States must carry out official checks and require operators to take corrective measures where the Regulation is not properly applied. Due diligence systems may be put in place by monitoring organisations, the Regulation sets out the conditions for recognising monitoring organisations. A list of these organisations will be published in the Official Journal.

Click here for further information on Timber Regulation.

An Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) was adopted by the Commission in 2003, with a subsequent Regulation creating a timber licensing system based on Voluntary Partnership Agreements between timber-producing countries and the EU. A number of such Agreements have been put in place or are being negotiated with the relevant countries. Timber and timber products which meet the requirements of the FLEGT licensing scheme will be considered to be legally harvested for the purpose of the new Regulation.

Further information on FLEGT is available here.