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Celebrating Earth Day - what can procurement do?

22 April 2019

22nd April -  Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970, the day is devoted to call for environmental protection, to reflect on the dependence of our social and economical systems to nature and to re-think how daily actions and decisions can help support biodiversity, Greenhouse Gas emission reduction and pollution. 

What can procurement do? The idea is to use public sector procurement or purchasing to protect the environment, also called Green Public Procurement (GPP). It is an approach that harnesses the importance of public sector spending on goods and services as leverage that can be used for reduction of environmental pollution. 
 
More specifically this means to adapt the tender process using for instance the new EU GPP Criteria, which are designed for different sectors such as transport, cleaning products or textiles. Previous cases such as procurement of low carbon vehicles for Procura+ Participant the Government of Catalonia show that using this approach really made a difference with 7166,7 t/CO2 reduction and 2120 (toe) Energy reduction.
 
To learn more about how GPP can enable procurers to safeguard ecosystems and thus really can make a difference consult the Buying Green Handbook, the GPP Criteria list and guidance as well as ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre.