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UN initiative helps Panama to green purchasing

16 September 2014

Selected as a pilot country for a UN project on sustainable public procurement (SPP), the nation of Panama has adjusted their procurement processes to incorporate sustainability. Ten state institutions have adjusted their catalogues to encompass products and services that meet high sustainability criteria, as proposed by the United Nations Program for the Environment (UNEP).

The Panamanian government procures services worth $3 billion per year. UNEP intends to upscale the plans in the region, pending a review of their efficacy. The UN body has held discussions with public authorities regarding the current SPP methodology in place, with the aim to enhance implementation.

At its core, SPP is about taking sustainability considerations into account in procurement actions, such as buying only what is needed, purchasing products and services with high environmental performance, and considering the social and economic impacts of a purchasing decision. With such a large market share, public buyers can have a big influence in driving the market towards sustainable solutions.

For more information, read this short news article.