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Gary Wilde

Administrator
Staff member
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.

Latest News
19 March 2020
GPP criteria for data centres, server rooms and cloud services

The European Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for data centres, server rooms and cloud services.
The new criteria include both core and comprehensive environmental criteria, which are verifiable and encompass the whole life cycle (design, use and end-of-life). Typical routes for procuring data centre products and services are covered, including building and/or equipping a data centre, expanding or consolidating the infrastructure of a new ICT product, outsourcing (i.e. procuring services), operating and/or maintaining facilities.

The new criteria are available in English; the other EU official languages will soon follow.

2 January 2020
New Life Cycle Costing tools now available

The European Commission has developed a series of five new Life Cycle Costing (LCC) tools, to help public procurers make more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly decisions. Tools are now available for Computers and Monitors, Indoor Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Vending Machines and Imaging Equipment.

A webinar on how to use the new tools was also held on December 16 2019. The slides and a recording can be found here.

13 November 2019
GPP criteria for public space maintenance

The European Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for public space maintenance. The use of these criteria has the potential to considerably reduce environmental impacts from public space maintenance, for instance by setting requirements on:

  • the cleaning products formulation and raw material use, manufacturing and end-of-life of cleaning products and disposable cleaning accessorie;
  • the purchase of native ornamental plants;
  • the organic constituents of growing media and mulches and strict limitations on heavy metals in soil improvers;
  • water saving in irrigation systems and watering practices;
  • gardening practices to enhance biodiversity;
  • the use of low-emissions vehicles and machineries;
The new criteria are available in English; the other EU official languages will soon follow.

2 October 2019
New GPP criteria for food, catering services and vending machines

The European Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for food, catering services and vending machines. The use of these criteria has the potential to considerably reduce environmental impacts from this purchase area. Some of the key objectives of this EU GPP criteria-set are the following:

  • Increasing the share of organic products;
  • Avoiding the consumption of fish and marine products from depleted stocks;
  • Promoting an increased offer in plant-based menus;
  • Avoiding food waste and improving the overall management of waste;
  • Avoiding the use of single-use items;
  • Reducing energy consumption in kitchens and vending machines;
  • Reducing water consumption in kitchens.
The new criteria are available in English; the other EU official languages will soon follow.

August 2019
New Life Cycle Costing tools now available

The European Commission has developed a series of new Life Cycle Costing (LCC) tools, to help public procurers make more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly decisions. Specific tools already exist for Computers and Monitors, Indoor Lighting and Outdoor Lighting. Vending Machines and Imaging Equipment tools will soon follow.

23 May 2019
New GPP training toolkit now available

The European Commission has just published a completely revised version of the GPP Training Toolkit. The Toolkit consists of training material aimed at supporting contracting authorities (public procurers) in how they do green procurement. It contains six independent modules addressing the most important aspects on how to assess needs and engage the market (prior to tendering), circular procurement, strategic and legal aspects of GPP. Ten operational modules cover the environmental issues of several product/service groups. Training activities supported by the European Commission and based on the GPP training toolkit are being organised in 11 EU Members States.

12 April 2019
Webinar on GPP of road transport

A webinar to discuss the latest changes in the European Commission's newly revised Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for road transport will take place on 12 April (10.30-12.00 Brussels time (CET)). As well as introducing the new criteria, the webinar will also present case studies, and will provide an opportunity for questions and discussion. For more information and to register, please visit the registration page.

1 February 2019
GPP criteria for indoor cleaning services translated

The EU GPP criteria for indoor cleaning services, published in October 2018, are now available in 23 languages.

15 January 2019
New GPP criteria for road transport

The European Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for Road Transport. The use of these criteria has the potential to considerably reduce environmental impacts from road transport, for instance by requiring:

  • criteria on type-approval CO2 emissions for cars and light commercial vehicles, and specific technologies for heavy duty vehicles and L-category vehicles;
  • criteria based on air pollutant emissions performance for cars and light commercial vehicles, and specific technologies for heavy duty vehicles and L-category vehicles;
  • criteria on rolling resistance of tyres;
  • criteria on energy efficiency for electric cars and light commercial vehicles;
  • criteria on battery warranties;
  • criteria on vehicle and tyres noise emissions;
  • key competences and the application of key environmental management measures and practices from service providers;
  • adequate and frequent training for the staff of service providers;
  • criteria on tyres and lubricants for maintenance activities.
The new criteria are available in English; the other EU official languages will soon follow.

19 December 2018
New GPP criteria for road lighting and traffic signals

The European Commission has published new guidance for GPP for road lighting and traffic signals. The guidance, in the form of EU GPP criteria, covers the following types of procurement:

  • road lighting in new lighting installations
  • retrofitting of different luminaires to existing lighting installations
  • retrofitting of different light sources or controls to existing luminaires
  • simple replacement of light sources, lamps or luminaires on a like-for-like basis in existing lighting installations
The new criteria are available in English; the other EU official languages will follow soon.

14 December 2018
A webinar to discuss the latest changes in the newly revised EU GPP criteria for cleaning services will take place on Tuesday 18 December 2018 14.00 - 15.30 CET (Brussels time). Speakers will provide insights about the revision process and their experiences implementing environmental criteria in the purchase of indoor cleaning services.
The agenda for the webinar is as follows:

  • Introduction to the new EU GPP Criteria for Indoor Cleaning Services - Enrico Degiorgis, DG Environment, European Commission
  • Socially responsible cleaning framework using green cleaning products - experiences from Catalonia- Anna Esteve Traveset, Government of Catalonia
Prior registration is essential. To do so, please visit the registration page.

25 October 2018
New criteria for indoor cleaning services

The Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for indoor cleaning services. The use of the criteria has the potential to considerably reduce environmental impacts from indoor cleaning services and products, for instance by requiring:

  • key competences and the application of key environmental management measures and practices from the service provider;
  • adequate and frequent training for the staff of the service provider;
  • the use of cleaning products with reduced environmental impact;
  • the use of cleaning accessories with reduced environmental impact;
  • the use of energy efficient cleaning power equipment;
  • the supply of consumable goods with reduced environmental impact.
The new criteria are available in English; the other official languages will follow soon.

27 July 2018
GPP criteria for paints and varnishes translated

The EU GPP criteria for paints, varnishes and road marking, published in January 2018, are now available in 23 languages.

4 April 2018
European Commission Circular Procurement brochure translated

The European Commission brochure on Public Procurement for a Circular Economy, published in October 2017, is now available also in French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish.

Visit the publications page to download the brochure.

16 January 2018
New Criteria for paints, varnishes and road markings

The Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for paints, varnishes and road markings. They cover both the purchase of products and of works in this area. The use of the draft criteria has the potential to considerably reduce environmental impacts from these products and their costs. Some of the most likely impacts of the application of the GPP criteria are expected to foster circular economy aspects and are the following: minimise the impact of production by addressing specific ingredients and dosage; reduce the hazardous properties of the overall formulation; promote durable paints and road markings; incentivise minimisation of product wastage, including reuse and recycling.

The new criteria are available in English; the other official languages will follow soon.

16 October 2017
European Commission publishes new Circular Procurement brochure

A new brochure on Public Procurement for a Circular Economy has been published by the European Commission.
The brochure provides introductory guidance and good practice on the points where public procurement can be used to support the transition to a circular economy. As well as considering the policy framework and strategies such as strategic thinking and engaging the market, the brochure provides guidance on identifying where and how to make a purchase more circular according to the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. Alongside each of these sections, good practice examples are also provided, demonstrating how circular economy principles are already being implemented across Europe.
The brochure builds on the direction set in the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy by providing a range of practical steps for using green public procurement (GPP) to drive forward the transition to a circular economy.
Visit the publications page to download the brochure.

22 August 2017
New Criteria for green furniture procurement

The Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for furniture, an area with a high annual spend by public authorities. A major change from the existing GPP criteria for furniture (published in 2008) is the introduction, in addition to classic furniture purchasing, of sections on the procurement of furniture refurbishment and of end-of-life services. Those new areas aim at prolonging the life span of furniture items, thus reflecting a reinforcement of circular economy aspects in EU GPP criteria.

The use of the criteria has the potential to considerably reduce environmental impacts from furniture and their costs. Some of the most likely impacts of the application of GPP criteria in furniture procurement activities are expected to foster circular economy aspects and are the following:
• Increasing awareness of procurers of the potential for furniture refurbishment services;
• Encouraging innovation in furniture companies in terms of design for disassembly, and partial replacement of components;
• Fostering skills development in furniture repair, renovation and responsible End-of-Life (EoL) disposal;
• Reduction of the quantities of furniture waste sent to landfill as products become easier to separate.
The new criteria are available in English; the other official languages will follow soon.

28 June 2017
A webinar to discuss the latest changes in the newly revised EU GPP criteria for textiles took place last Wednesday 28 June 2017. Three speakers provided their insights about the revision process and their experiences implementing environmental criteria in the purchase of textile products and services.
More specifically, the webinar included presentations on:
· EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) Support Tools – Robert Kaukewitsch, European Commission, Directorate General for Environment.
· What's new in the EU GPP criteria for textiles - Nicholas Dodd, European Commission, Joint Research Centre.
· Practical experiences from the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) - Barbara van Offenbeek, Ministry for Infrastructure and Environment (the Netherlands).
The presentations and a recording of the webinar are available here.

7 June 2017
New Criteria for green textile products and services
The Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for textiles products and services, an area with a high annual spend by public authorities in the area of military, police and fire fighter uniforms as well as for hospital staff. A major change from the existing GPP criteria for textiles (dating back to 2012) is the introduction of textile services, an emerging market with a high potential to reduce environmental impacts.
The draft criteria have the potential to help considerably reduce environmental impacts of textiles and their costs. Some of the most likely impacts are the following:
• Purchase textiles that contain recycled materials or are made from fibres which are produced using less fertilisers, hazardous pesticides and production chemicals
• Purchase fabrics that do not shrink during use, that are constructed to be more durable in use and which have longer lasting functional coatings
• Purchase textiles or textile services which minimise the energy used to wash, dry and iron textiles
• Contract services which maintain textiles in order to extend their lifetime
• Contract services which maximise the potential for re-use and recycling of textiles at the end of their service life.
The new criteria are available in English; the other official languages will follow soon.

24 February 2017
GPP criteria for Computers and Monitors translated

The EU GPP criteria for Computers and Monitors, published in October 2016, are now available in 23 languages. 9 January 2017
GPP criteria for Roads translated

The EU GPP criteria for Road Design, Construction and Maintenance, published in June 2016, are now available in 23 languages.

Glossary

The main source for the presented definitions is the multilingual environmental glossary provided by the European Environment Agency.

Award criteria
Award criteria are the criteria on which the contracting authority will compare offers and base its award.
Under EU procurement rules, only two award criteria can be used ‘the lowest price’ and ‘the most economically advantageous tender’. Where the criteria of the ‘economically most advantageous tender’ is chosen, relevant environmental criteria can be inserted either as a benchmark to compare green offers with each other (in the case where the technical specifications define the contract as being green) or as a way of introducing an environmental element and giving it a certain weighting.
Contract Performance ClausesConditions that must be met in the execution of a contract, for example as to how the goods or services are to be supplied or minimum performance standards to be achieved under the contract. Under EU procurement rules, these conditions may include environmental or social requirements, provided that these are compatible with Community law and are indicated in the contract notice or in the specifications.
EcolabelsA mark, seal or written identification attached or affixed to products which provides consumers with information relating to the environmental characteristics of products and thus allows for comparison of environmental performance between products of the same type. More...
Eco-management and auditing scheme (EMAS)The EU has developed its own environmental management tool – the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) – – for companies and other organisations in all economic sectors to evaluate, report and improve their environmental performance. Participation in EMAS is voluntary and open to public or private organisations operating in the EU and the EEA.
The objective of the scheme is to promote continuous improvements in environmental performance by: (a) the establishment and implementation of environmental policies, programmes and management systems by companies, in relation to their sites; (b) the systematic, objective and periodic evaluation of the performance of such elements; (c) the provision of information of environmental performance to the public. More...
Environmental AuditA management tool comprising a systematic, documented, periodic and objective evaluation of how well a project, organisation or equipment is performing with the aim of helping to safeguard the environment. The audit should facilitate management control of environmental practices and assess compliance with policy objectives and regulatory requirements.
GPP criteriaGPP criteria are environmental criteria that address environmental impacts and are designed to be used in procurement procedures. More...
Environmental management systemA means for companies or organisations of ensuring effective implementation of an environmental management plan or procedures and compliance with environmental policy objectives and targets. A key feature of any effective environmental management system (EMS) is the preparation of documented system procedures and instructions to ensure effective communication and continuity of implementation. There are certification systems for EMS ISO 14001 and EC's EMAS scheme (EMAS is now compatible with ISO 14001) which demonstrate that a system is operated to an internationally recognised standard. Alternatively a customised system can be developed addressing the particular needs of the operation.
Environmental product declarationA description of the aspects and impacts of a product, system or service over its entire life, from raw material extraction, through manufacturing and use, to end-of-life disposal or recycling. More...
Environmental Technologies Action Plan The Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) is a co-operative initiative between the European Commission, Member States and industry adopted in 2004 and based on the aims of the EU Lisbon Agenda. It intends to overcome the barriers that hinder the development of environmental technologies. This is being achieved through a series of measures to promote eco-innovation and the take-up of environmental technologies in Europe. More...
Green Public Procurement (GPP)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.
Integrated Product Policy (IPP)Integrated product policy is an approach that begins by asking how the environmental performance of products can be improved most cost-effectively. It is founded on the consideration of the impacts of products throughout their life-cycle, from the natural resources from which they come, through their use and marketing to their eventual disposal as waste. More...
ISO 14000The ISO 14000 series is a family of environmental management standards developed by the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO). The ISO 14000 standards are designed to provide an internationally recognised framework for environmental management, measurement, evaluation and auditing. They do not prescribe environmental performance targets, but instead provide organisations with the tools to assess and control the environmental impact of their activities, products or services. The standards address the following subjects: environmental management systems; environmental auditing; environmental labels and declarations; environmental performance evaluation; and life cycle assessment.
Life cycle assessmentLife-cycle assessment (LCA) is a process of evaluating the effects that a product has on the environment over the entire period of its life thereby increasing resource-use efficiency and decreasing liabilities. It can be used to study the environmental impact of either a product or the function the product is designed to perform. LCA is commonly referred to as a "cradle-to-grave" analysis. LCA's key elements are: (1) identify and quantify the environmental loads involved; e.g. the energy and raw materials consumed, the emissions and wastes generated; (2) evaluate the potential environmental impacts of these loads; and (3) assess the options available for reducing these environmental impacts. More...
Life cycle costingAssessment of the costs of a good or service over its entire life cycle. More...
National Action Plans (on GPP)The National Action Plans (NAPs) on GPP represent the EU Member States’ concrete commitments for greening their public procurement. They contain an assessment of the existing situation, ambitious targets for a three year period and respective measures. The NAPs are typically revised every three years.
Public ProcurementThe process used by governments, regional and local public authorities or bodies governed by public law (financed, supervised or managed for more than 50% by public authorities) to obtain goods, services, and works.
Selection criteriaSelection criteria focus on the on factors linked to an economic operator’s overall capacity to perform a contract and assist in the identification of appropriate suppliers, for example to ensure adequately trained personnel or relevant environmental policies and procedures are in place. There are different categories of selection criteria, i.e. exclusion criteria, financial and economic standing, and technical and professional ability. The technical ability criteria can be used to check whether economic operators have the environmental technical competence to perform the contract. More...
Sustainable development strategyThe EU Sustainable Development Strategy was adopted by the European Council in June 2006. It is an overarching strategy for all EU policies which sets out how we can meet the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The Sustainable Development Strategy deals in an integrated way with economic, environmental and social issues. More...
Sustainable Public ProcurementA process whereby contracting authorities take account of all three pillars of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental), when procuring goods, services or works. More...
Technical specificationsTechnical specifications provide a clear, accurate and full description of the requirement and standard to which goods, works or services should conform. Under the Procurement Directives (2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU) contracting authorities can define the required characteristics of goods, works or services, such as quality levels, environmental performance levels, design for all requirements (including accessibility for disabled persons) and other parameters. There are a number of options for how to do this, including by reference to standards or functional requirements, including environmental characteristics.
 

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