Buying green! A handbook on green public procurement

22 Jun 2016

Green Public Procurement (GPP) is an important tool to achieve environmental policy goals relating to climate change, resource use and sustainable consumption and production – especially given the importance of public sector spending on goods and services in Europe.
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.
This handbook explains how to buy green, looking at each stage of the procurement process:
Familiarise yourself with the scope and potential benefits of GPP, as well as the resources which are available.
Chapter 1 - Implementing GPP: 
• Commit to the process, and secure political support, by adopting a GPP policy with clear definitions and targets appropriate to your organisation. 
• Set priorities for the product and service groups you will address by consulting existing GPP criteria, eco-labels and other sources. 
• Put in place information, training, networking and monitoring activities to ensure you reach your goals.
Chapter 2 - The procurement process:
• Consider how green requirements will affect the procurement process for the goods and services you have chosen, and how you will implement them in line with legal obligations. 
• Get an overview of the products and services available on the market by engaging suppliers and make a business case for GPP based on life-cycle costing.
Chapter 3 - Defining the requirements of a contract:
When tendering, define the subject matter and technical specifications for contracts in a way which takes into account environmental impacts throughout the life-cycle of the goods, services or works you are buying, and consider using labels to define your requirements.
Chapter 4 - Selecting and excluding tenderers:
Apply, where appropriate, selection criteria based on environmental technical capacity or environmental and supply chain management measures, and exclude tenderers who do not comply with applicable environmental laws.
Chapter 5 - Awarding a contract:
Set award criteria which encourage tenderers to deliver even higher levels of environmental performance than those you have specified, and apply these in a transparent way. Assess lifecycle costs when comparing tenders and reject abnormally low tenders if these do not comply with environmental law.
Chapter 6 - Contract performance clauses:
Set contract performance clauses which underline the environmental commitments made by contractors, and provide appropriate remedies where they fall short. Ensure there is a system for monitoring these commitments and that they are also applied to subcontractors.
Chapter 7 - Key GPP sectors:
Identify specific GPP approaches to tendering in high-impact sectors such as buildings, food and catering, vehicles and energy-using products.

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