Europe's public authorities are major consumers. By using their purchasing power to choose environmentally friendly goods, services and works, they can make an important contribution to sustainable consumption and production – what we call Green Public Procurement, or GPP.
Although GPP is a voluntary instrument, it has a key role to play in the EU's efforts to become a more resource-efficient economy. It can help stimulate a critical mass of demand for more sustainable goods and services which otherwise would be difficult to get onto the market. GPP is therefore a strong stimulus for eco-innovation.
To be a success, GPP needs clear and verifiable environmental criteria for products and services. A number of European countries already have national criteria, and the challenge now, as GPP becomes more widespread, is to ensure that the criteria are compatible between Member States. A level playing field will boost the single market, ensuring that what is good for the EU is also good for the environment.
Engaging the market was the topic of the EU GPP Helpdesk’s most recent webinar. The event took place on 24 November 2015 and consisted of a series of presentations from across Europe. The webinar looked at how market engagement is a tool increasingly used in green public procurement (GPP), helping procurers to purchase more sustainable goods and services.
Market engagement allows procurers to engage the market before launching a public tender, and develop a better understanding of what sustainable solutions are currently available. The webinar looked at a number of key legal issues which need to be considered before, during, and after a market engagement process, including a presentation from a public authority on how market engagement enabled them to purchase a particularly sustainable service, and how market engagement can help suppliers to foresee the future needs of public authorities, and meet these needs with more sustainable solutions.
Presentations and the webinar recording are available here.
The European Commission (Directorate General for Energy in cooperation with the Directorate General for Environment) is currently revising the EU GPP criteria for renewable electricity. In the framework of this work, a survey is being carried by Oeko-Institut e.V., ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and Imug to better understand the state of play regarding procurement of green electricity across the EU.
Public authorities are kindly invited to participate in this survey which takes 20-25 min to complete. Deadline is 10 November 2015.
The Commission’s GPP Helpdesk organised a webinar on 9 June 2015 on Life Cycle Costing (LCC) tools for public procurement. In order to increase the use of LCC approaches in public procurement, the European Commission is developing a calculation tool for public authorities that aims to facilitate the application of common LCC methods for purchasing certain products. The tool will be available during the second half of 2016. The webinar served to obtain feedback on the concept behind the LCC calculation tool so to ensure that the final tool meets the expectations of its potential users. The experiences from the developers of similar tools on LCC were also presented and debated during the webinar. Agenda and presentations are available here.