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Green Public Procurement


Green Public Procurement (GPP)
EU Developments on GPP
National Action Plan for GPP 
National GPP Conference & Inital Consultation
Next Steps 


Green Public Procurement (GPP)


The annual procurement budget of the Irish public sector is of the order of €15 billion. If buyers in the public sector consistently took environmental factors into account in their procurement decisions, it would provide huge leverage to “move the market” towards providing environmentally superior goods, services and works in a cost-effective way. This would enable Government and the wider public sector to continuously improve the environmental performance of their procurement activities, leading over time to significant benefits to the environment and to public health. It would also boost Ireland’s competitiveness and job-creation by fostering eco-innovation among SMEs and the wider business community.

In line with the Government’s ‘Green Economy’ objectives, Ireland is therefore committed to policies that promote Green Public Procurement (GPP). 



EU Developments on GPP


The EU’s Renewed Sustainable Development Strategy (pdf)(external link) commits to “aiming to achieve by 2010 and EU average level of Green Public Procurement equal to that currently [i.e. in 2006] achieved by the best performing Member States”. On this basis, in 2008 the EU Commission’s Communication on Public Procurement for a Better Environment (pdf)(external link) proposed a target of 50% of all the EU’s public procurement tendering procedures to be “green” by 2010 – “where green means compliant with endorsed common GPP criteria”. 

The European Commission has asked all EU Member States to publish National Action Plans for green public procurement. The Commission maintains a dedicated GPP website (external link) .


National Action Plan for GPP


Sustainable Development Unit has the lead role in developing Ireland’s National Action Plan on GPP, thereby stimulating the “greening” of procurement across the Irish public sector.

Overall responsibility for public procurement policy lies with the National Public Procurement Policy Unit (based in the Department of Finance (external link) ); while the National Procurement Service (based in the Office of Public Works (external link) ) is tasked with centralising procurement arrangements for goods and services common to most public bodies. The National Procurement Service will also be a centre of excellence in terms of providing procurement advice to the wider public sector.


National GPP Conference and initial GPP Public Consultation , May 2010


Sustainable Development Unit and the National Procurement Service jointly held a GPP National Conference in May 2010 at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin. The Conference aimed to enhance understanding of how GPP can contribute to a better environment and stimulate investment in innovative, cost-effective and eco-efficient solutions to our public procurement needs. The Conference also sought to promote networking among the main GPP stakeholders in Ireland; and to highlight progress that Ireland is making towards attaining EU targets on GPP.

The Conference also served as the launch of an initial public consultation on the proposed content and structure of the National Action Plan on GPP. This public consultation was open from May to December, 2010. A total of 74 written submissions were received.


Next Steps


On the basis of this feedback, as well as on-going engagement with public sector bodies and other stakeholders, Sustainable Development Unit is currently in the process of finalising the National Action Plan. It is hoped to publish the Action Plan in summer 2011.
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