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Green and Sustainable Public Procurement

Green Public Procurement

Green Public Procurement (GPP) means that public authorities seek to purchase goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life-cycle compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function which would otherwise be procured.

Sustainable Public Procurement

Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) is a process by which public authorities seek to achieve the appropriate balance between the three pillars of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental - when procuring goods, services or works at all stages of the project.

Many public authorities in the EU are implementing GPP as part of a broader approach to sustainability in their purchasing, which also addresses economic and social aspects.

The current Procurement Directives (2014) provide new opportunities to promote social inclusion through the public procurement process. More information is available on the website of DG GROW. Including social requirements at various stages of the procurement process is addressed in detail in the Buying Social: A Guide to Taking Account of Social Considerations in Public Procurement (based on the 2004 directives).

Further information on socially responsible public procurement in the EU context is available on the website of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.  

The United Nations has developed detailed guidance on sustainable procurement for the UN system, which addresses all three aspects of sustainability: "Buying for a Better World".

Further useful information regarding SPP can be found in the "Recommendations for the Swiss Federal procurement offices"