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 (GPP) or green purchasing.
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 effective, GPP requires the inclusion of clear and verifiable environmental criteria for products and services in the public procurement process. The European Commission and a number of European countries have developed guidance in this area, in the form of national GPP criteria. The challenge of furthering take- up by more public sector bodies so that GPP becomes common practice still remains. As does the challenge of ensuring that green purchasing requirements are somewhat compatible between Member States - thus helping create a level playing field that will accelerate and help drive the single market for environmentally sound goods and services.
Webinar on GPP Textiles criteria
The first webinar for 2017 organised via the EU GPP Helpdesk will take place on Wednesday 28 June (14:30-16:00, CEST) and will focus on the newly updated EU GPP Criteria for Textile Products and Services. Details about the European Commission’s new GPP guidance (scope, environmental ‘hot spots’, proposed solutions, etc.) for this product area will be up for discussion, and will be complemented by a selection of good practice experiences. Participation is free of charge. Find out more and sign up today.
New Criteria for green textile products and services
The Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for textiles products and services, an area with a high annual spend by public authorities in the area of military, police and fire fighter uniforms as well as for hospital staff. A major change from the existing GPP criteria for textiles (dating back to 2012) is the introduction of textile services, an emerging market with a high potential to reduce environmental impacts.
The draft criteria have the potential to help considerably reduce environmental impacts of textiles and their costs. Some of the most likely impacts are the following:
• Purchase textiles that contain recycled materials or are made from fibres which are produced using less fertilisers, hazardous pesticides and production chemicals
• Purchase fabrics that do not shrink during use, that are constructed to be more durable in use and which have longer lasting functional coatings
• Purchase textiles or textile services which minimise the energy used to wash, dry and iron textiles
• Contract services which maintain textiles in order to extend their lifetime
• Contract services which maximise the potential for re-use and recycling of textiles at the end of their service life.
The new criteria are available in English; the other official languages will follow soon.
GPP criteria for Computers and Monitors translatedThe EU GPP criteria for Computers and Monitors, published in October 2016, are now available in 23 languages.
GPP criteria for Roads translated
The EU GPP criteria for Road Design, Construction and Maintenance, published in June 2016, are now available in 23 languages.
Inter-institutional GPP Helpdesk – open call for tenders
The European Parliament has launched an inter-institutional open call for tenders with the aim to purchase the services of a Green Public Procurement Helpdesk.
A Framework contract should be awarded in March 2017, providing all 8 participating EU Institutions/Bodies an essential tool to green their contracts.
The participating Institutions/Bodies are:
The deadline for submitting offers is 10 January 2017. Tender documents are to be found at the following link:
New green purchasing criteria for computers and monitors
Public procurement commands a large share of European consumption and thus has a key role in influencing the circular economy. The European Commission is encouraging this through its actions on green public procurement (GPP), by placing special emphasis on aspects relevant for the circular economy, such as durability and reparability, when developing or revising GPP recommendations (specifically, GPP Criteria) for public sector purchasers.
The new EU GPP guidance for the purchase of Computers and Monitors, were published today. The use of the criteria is voluntary. The Criteria were developed through an extensive stakeholder process and address the various procurement and contracting situations which take place on the market, including contracts for renewal of old equipment, and end-of-life management services. Product lifetime extension through improved durability, upgradeability and reparability has, as a result of life cycle assessment evidence and market analysis, been given specific attention in the newly published criteria. The GPP Criteria for Computers and Monitors complement the existing GPP Criteria for Imaging Equipment (published in 2014).
The Criteria are available in English. Translations into the other official EU languages shall follow soon.
GPP criteria for Office Building Design translated
The EU GPP criteria for Office Building Design, Construction and Management, published in May 2016, are now available in 23 languages.
Study on a Life Cycle Costing tool published
Following the new rules of the public procurement reform on Life Cycle Costing, the Commission had commissioned a first study to develop a life-cycle costing tool for a number of electricity-using products, covering Office IT equipment, Office & Street Lighting, White Goods, Vending Machines and Electrical Medical Equipment. The study was conducted by Studio Fieschi and the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna. The deliverables of the study include a Life Cycle Costing Tool, a user guide and technical specifications, the latter detailing the background of the proposed tool.
New Buying Green! Handbook now available in all EU languages
The new edition of the European Commission’s Buying Green! Handbook has now been translated in all the 23 EU's languages.
The documents in different languages are available here.
EU GPP Helpdesk Webinar – Sustainable Procurement of Food and Catering Services
The first EU GPP Helpdesk webinar of the year took place on Thursday 23 June 2016 and focussed on Sustainable Procurement in the Food and Catering sector. The status of the revised European GPP criteria on food and catering were in the spotlight.
More specifically, the webinar included presentations on:
The presentations and a recording of the webinar are available here.
New Criteria for Green Office Building Procurement and for Road Design, Construction and Maintenance
The Commission has now published two new voluntary construction-related criteria sets, the EU GPP criteria for Office Building Design, Construction and Management and the EU GPP criteria for Road Design, Construction and Maintenance.
The construction and use of buildings in the EU accounts for a large share of environmental impacts: approx. 50% of energy use and total extracted materials, and a third of water use and waste generated.
Public authorities are responsible for about 30% of expenditure in the construction sector. Therefore, reducing the impact of public construction can have substantial benefits for the circular economy.
The newly published EU GPP criteria aim at helping public authorities willing to procure greener construction or renovation works in a cost-effective way. In addition to criteria ensuring high energy efficiency for buildings, the criteria promote a number of circular economy aspects such as the inclusion of recycled construction materials and the reduction of demolition waste. The criteria are accompanied by a Procurement practice guidance document aimed at facilitating the use of the criteria in the different stages of procuring a building or a road.
The new criteria are available in English; the other official languages will follow soon.
New Buying Green! Handbook now available
The new edition of the European Commission’s Buying Green! Handbook has now been published. The third edition of the Handbook has been fully revised to detail the possibilities of how contracting bodies can put their green public procurement (GPP) policies into practice under the 2014 Procurement Directives.
Buying Green! is the European Commission’s leading publication for assisting public sector entities to purchase goods and services that have a lower impact on the environment. Given the importance of public sector spending in Europe, GPP is an important tool to help achieve environmental policy goals relating to climate change, resource use and sustainable consumption and production.