Commission handbook helps public authorities buy ‘green’

The Commission has published a handbook
on green public procurement helping public administrations to
use environmental criteria when buying products or
services

The Commission is trying to convince public
administrations to take into account the environment when
they start a public procurement to buy goods, services or
works. In its new Public Procurement Directives adopted end
of March 2004, the EU has effectively given public
auhorities the option to use environmental criteria when
examing the bids for those procurements. Yet, only 19 per
cent of all EU-15 public administrations are undertaking a
significant amount of green procurement. 

The Commission has therefore published a
Handbook on Green Public Procurement, explaining in simple
and non-technical language how to introduce green criteria
into the different stages of the public procurement
procedure. 

If more public auhorities bought
‘green’, this is expected to significantly contribute to
sustainable development goals. Environment Commissioner
Margot Wallström gave one example: if all EU public
authorities switched to green electricity (based on
renewable energy sources), it would save 60 million tonnes
of CO
2

, or 18 per cent of the EU’s Kyoto commitments. 

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