Navigation path

High level navigation

Page navigation

Additional tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Print version
  • Decrease text
  • Increase text


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

Ecolabels 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 online Green Store.

For more information: and 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 products OJ L/285 31.10.2009

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.


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 18.6.2010

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 Directive.


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

Environmental 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: /environment/emas/index_en.htm 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

The 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.

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.


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 Directive.


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)

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 website.


Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on energy end-use efficiency and energy services

This Directive aims at enhancing the cost-effective and efficient end-use of energy in Member States. It provides targets, mechanisms, incentives and institutional, financial and legal frameworks to remove existing market barriers and imperfections.

EU Member States are asked to adopt an overall national indicative energy savings target of 9 % for the ninth year of application of the Directive, to be reached by way of energy services and other energy efficiency improvement measures.

The Directive states in Article 5 that “Member States shall ensure that the public sector fulfils an exemplary role in the context of this Directive. To this end, they shall communicate effectively the exemplary role and actions of the public sector to citizens and/or companies, as appropriate.”

The Directive also encourages the exchange of best practice in energy-efficient public procurement between public sector bodies at the national and international levels.

For more information: Energy End-use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive.


Council Directive 89/106/EEC of 21 December 1988 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to construction products

The purpose of the Construction Products Directive (CPD) is to ensure the free movement of all construction products within the European Union by harmonising national laws with respect to the essential requirements applicable to these products in terms of health and safety.

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 of the EC website.


Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment

Member States must ensure that, from 1 July 2006, new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market does not contain any of the six banned substances: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, poly-brominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), in quantities exceeding the specified maximum concentration values.

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 website.


Directive 2004/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market and amending Directive 92/42/EEC

The energy-saving potential of cogeneration is currently under-utilised in the European Union (EU). The purpose of this Directive is to facilitate the installation and operation of electrical cogeneration plants (a technology allowing the production in one process of heat and electricity) in order to save energy and combat climate change.

Combined Heat and Power is one of the product groups covered by the second set of GPP criteria available on this website.

For more information: Energy Efficiency webpage of the EC website.


Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

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 of the EC website.


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:

Council Regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products (2007)

Commission Regulation laying down detailed rules for organic production and labelling (2008)


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.

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 the new 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.