What does the term “public procurement” refer to?
Public procurement is the “process by which public authorities purchase works, goods, or services from companies”. It concerns government departments, regional and local authorities, or bodies governed by public law that contract with private entities.
What does it mean for it to be “green”?
In light of the climate crisis that we are facing and the strengthening of legislation and policies concerning environmental protection, Green Public Procurement (GPP) refers to the adoption of clear and ambitious environmental criteria for products and services. More precisely, it concerns “a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function that would otherwise be procured”.
GPP addresses the environment when looking for environmentally friendly products and services at reasonable prices, and it promotes sustainable procurement in general, which includes human health and economic issues.
When did the term first appear?
The recognition of GPP as a policy instrument has taken place at the EU and international level, with recommendations and the promotion of GPP practices since 2002 by the OECD, the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development, and more.
How is it implemented?
It is possible to name many environmental criteria enhancing “green” practices at the European level, such as the EU Eco-label, the Energy Star Regulation, and the Ecodesign for energy-using products Directive.
A few examples of green contracts are the following: energy-efficient computers, office furniture from sustainable timber, low energy buildings, recycled paper, cleaning services using ecologically sound products, electric, hybrid, or low-emission vehicles, and electricity from renewable energy sources.
Who is concerned?
The GPP mainly concerns sectors like construction, food and catering services, transport and transport services, energy, office machinery, computers, clothing, uniforms, and other textiles, paper and printing services, furniture, cleaning products and services, and equipment used in the health sector.
What is the relevant legislation in France?
In May 2022, the implementing decree for the Climate Law relating to the greening of public procurement was published, putting an end to the single price criterion for selecting offers, while introducing the possibility of excluding candidates who have not duly established their vigilance plan or who are revising the data collection procedure.
- European Commission (2017). Public Procurement for a Circular Economy, Good practice and guidance, https://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/pdf/cp_european_commission_brochure_en.pdf
- European Commission, Public procurement for a better environment, https://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/gpp_policy_en.htm
- Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Public procurement for a better environment. COM(2008) 400 final. Brussels, 16.7.2008, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52008DC0400
- European Commission (2016). Buying green! A handbook on green public procurement, 3rd Edition, https://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/pdf/Buying-Green-Handbook-3rd-Edition.pdf
- European Commission, EU GPP criteria, https://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/eu_gpp_criteria_en.htm
- Diana Carolina Annandsingh Rattia (2022). What you should know about the Green Public Procurement Report, World Bank Blogs, https://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/what-you-should-know-about-green-public-procurement-report
- Frédéric Fortin (2022). Verdissement de la commande publique : le décret publié, Banque des territoires, https://www.banquedesterritoires.fr/verdissement-de-la-commande-publique-le-decret-publie
Image source : Diana Carolina Annandsingh Rattia (2022). What you should know about the Green Public Procurement Report, World Bank Blogs, https://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/what-you-should-know-about-green-public-procurement-report