Green Public Procurement
Europe's public authorities are major consumers. By using their purchasing power to choose environmentally friendly goods, services and works, they can make an important contribution to sustainable consumption and production - what we call Green Public Procurement (GPP) or green purchasing.
Although GPP is a voluntary instrument, it has a key role to play in the EU's efforts to become a more resource-efficient economy. It can help stimulate a critical mass of demand for more sustainable goods and services which otherwise would be difficult to get onto the market. GPP is therefore a strong stimulus for eco-innovation.
To be effective, GPP requires the inclusion of clear and verifiable environmental criteria for products and services in the public procurement process. The European Commission and a number of European countries have developed guidance in this area, in the form of national GPP criteria. The challenge of furthering take- up by more public sector bodies so that GPP becomes common practice still remains. As does the challenge of ensuring that green purchasing requirements are somewhat compatible between Member States - thus helping create a level playing field that will accelerate and help drive the single market for environmentally sound goods and services.