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Buying green! A handbook on green public procurement

  • Published on May 31, 2022

This handbook outlines the possibilities to pursue GPP under the 2014 Procurement Directives.

GPP is defined in the European Commission’s Communication Public procurement for a better environment as “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 can be applied to contracts both above and below the threshold for application of the Procurement Directives. The 2014 Procurement Directives enable public authorities to take environmental considerations into account. This applies during pre-procurement, as part of the procurement process itself, and in the performance of the contract. Rules regarding exclusion and selection aim to ensure a minimum level of compliance with environmental law by contractors and sub-contractors. Techniques such as life-cycle costing, specification of sustainable production processes, and use of environmental award criteria are available to help contracting authorities identify environmentally preferable bids. This handbook is designed to help public authorities successfully plan and implement GPP. It explains the possibilities offered by European Union law in a practical way, and looks at simple and effective approaches to greening contracts. The handbook follows the logic and structure of a procurement procedure. It also gives many real examples of green purchasing by public authorities across the EU.
It has been produced for public authorities, but many of the ideas and approaches are equally relevant for corporate purchasers. It should also help suppliers and service providers – particularly smaller companies (SMEs) – to better understand the environmental requirements increasingly encountered in public tenders.

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