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Buy Smart+ Green Procurement in Europe (BUY SMART+)

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Through Buy Smart+, green procurement in 7 EU Member States could be consolidated and mainstreamed. Expertise on Green Procurement, in addition, could be transferred from these countries to further 8 Member States where Green Procurement was still at an earlier stage. The focus was on energy related technologies.Buy Smart+ established Green Procurement helpdesks in the 15 participating countries, delivering consultation, training, good practice, and well-tested tools. The latter include technical guidelines on several product groups, life cycle cost calculation tools, and training material. The involved product groups were building components, lighting, office equipment, household appliances, green electricity and vehicles.Through assisting pilot projects, successful Green Procurement cases were accompanied by the project partners’ expertise. 70 pilot projects received expert assistance through Buy Smart+. The results of the pilot projects have been collected and evaluated. In total investments of 24,158,121 € have been made in the procurement processes promoted by Buy Smart+. The savings achieved by the procurement of energy efficient products and green electricity, however, outrun these costs. The purchasers saved 88,830,145 € in total. The energy consumption is reduced by 552,492 MWh/year and 3,059,950 MWh over the lifetime of the products. This leads to the reduction of CO2-emmissions of 99,548 t per year and 532,305 t over the lifetime of products.


The most concrete impact of Buy Smart+ certainly could be achieved by the 70 pilot projects implemented in total. 63 of these pilot projects could be evaluated in detail, concerning the savings of energy, CO2, and costs. In addition, the investments have been regarded, if available. The total primary energy savings sum up to 3 Mio. MWh, leading to CO2-savings of 532.000 t by 2020. The total cost savings sum up to 89 Mio. €. From 39 of these projects the consortium knows both the investment and the savings in €: In total 24 Mio. € lead to cost savings of 56 Mio. €.The helpdesks including large parts of the project’s output and results will stay available for two more years, until September 2016 on the website. In most countries, the established contact points will be accessible even longer. The guidelines and calculation tools developed will be of further use in consultation activities after the end of Buy Smart+ and will be used in other projects. As they have been developed for concrete procurement actions, many institutions will certainly deploy them in future procurement activities. In addition, the dissemination measures will be sustained as far as possible.  

Lessons learned

The consortium partners through their intensive work within the project gained a very close insight into the procurement activities of municipalities, political institutions, companies and organisations. In order to give recommendations to policy and decision makers on the further promotion of Green Procurement, a detailed analysis of the barriers and opportunities for Green Procurement was carried out in each participating country.In the following we name some of the strongest barriers:
  • Higher initial investments and the lack of consideration of life-cycle-costs
  • The general lack of available capital in the public sector
  • A lack of awareness, information and expertise on possible procedures and their potential energy and cost savings
  • The presence of several decision-making levels within a company or institution makes the definition of green criteria and their implementation in the organisation’s procurement process very time consuming.
Some measures to overcome these barriers and to identify the opportunities for Green Procurement can be found in the following:
  • Designation of an administrative unit within the central government responsible for the promotion of green public procurement
  • Adopting the principle that achieved savings on operational costs (e.g. energy, water, materials) can remain in the budget of the institutions having implemented the GPP action.
  • Monitoring the fulfilment of the applicable legislative measures supporting the introduction of green public procurement

Partners and coordinator

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Berliner Energieagentur GmbH
Contact point: 
Gunnar Betz
+49 30 293330-13
Ms Sabine Piller
Eva Marx
Ms Vanessa Schmidt


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In brief

15/03/2012 to 14/09/2014
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