Key international organisations recognise public procurement as a means of changing current unsustainable patterns of consumption and production.
The 10YFP Programme on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) is a global platform that supports the implementation of SPP around the world. It brings together a variety of stakeholders, building synergies & leveraging resources to achieve the following objectives:
A significant achievement of the SPP Programme was the adoption by the Multistakeholder Advisory Committee of the Sustainable Public Procurement Principles, which were publicly released in March 2015. To learn more, click here.
The work areas currently being implemented are:
While Work Area 1 is meant to directly support SPP implementation on the ground, work areas 2, 3 and 4 offer indirect support through studies, research, improved information tools, capacity building tools, etc. A number of publications are already available on the SCP Clearinghouse E-library.
The 10YFP Programme on SPP further amplifies and extends the impact of the Sustainable Public Procurement Initiative (SPPI), which was launched in June 2012 at the Rio+20 Conference). The SPPI was itself a continuation of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement, led by the government of Switzerland from 2005 until 2011.
The OECD is an intergovernmental organisation which acts as an arena for exchange and shares its expertise on democracy and market issues in order to:
The OECD supports the establishment of links between greener public purchasing and other policy areas such as general environmental policy, public expenditure management, trade law and competition policy. It publishes reviews and recommendations based on its actions in this area.
For more information: OECD Greener Public Purchasing page.
The WTO provides a negotiating forum, a set of rules and a place to settle disputes in the field of trade. It works towards trade liberalisation and is the frame for international trade agreements.
The WTO has no specific agreement dealing with the environment. However, the WTO agreements confirm governments’ right to protect the environment, provided certain conditions are met, and a number of them include provisions dealing with environmental concerns.
A Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) entered into force in 1996, as an Annex to the WTO Agreement. It is a plurilateral agreement, characterised by a narrower group of signatories than general WTO agreements.
The GPA itself does not contain any reference to environmental protection. However, the Preamble to the WTO Agreement recognises the need to act in accordance with the principle of sustainable development and to protect and preserve the environment. Therefore, it is broadly accepted that the GPA allows contracting entities to take into account environmental considerations when defining technical specifications (including process and production methods), selection and award criteria, on condition that they are not discriminatory, and are sufficiently objective and verifiable.
For more information: WTO Government Procurement Agreement.