Tools and Resources

EUGreen and Sustainable Public Procurement
Green Public Procurement
Green Public Procurement (GPP) means that public authorities seek to purchase goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life-cycle compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function which would otherwise be procured.

Sustainable Public Procurement
Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) is a process by which public authorities seek to achieve the appropriate balance between the three pillars of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental - when procuring goods, services or works at all stages of the project.

Many public authorities in the EU are implementing GPP as part of a broader approach to sustainability in their purchasing, which also addresses economic and social aspects.

The current Procurement Directives (2014) provide new opportunities to promote social inclusion through the public procurement process.

Public procurement is a powerful tool for public institutions, local authorities and governments of all levels to increase the demand of sustainable products and services. Purchasers can use Fair Trade as a practical way to progressively make their public purchasing in line with the SDGs.

Fair Trade offers better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Trading terms offered by Fair Trade buyers enable producers and workers to maintain a sustainable livelihood which not only meets day-to-day needs for economic, social and environmental well-being but that also enables improved conditions in the future.

What can public institutions, local authorities and governments of all levels do?

  • Introduce a Fair Trade public procurement policy, which:
    • Mandates the use of Fair Trade products in offices and all management food service outlets. Consider including public festivals, fairs, and other local initiatives
    • contains commitments for specific Fair Trade products and timescales
    • states how the commitment to Fair Trade will be enforced and how relevant staff will be given appropriate training
  • Create a local taskforce for sustainable procurement that includes experts on Fair Trade, but also international social justice, local employment, inclusion, environment and climate, local economic development, and procurement to ensure a holistic approach to sustainable development in the procurement policy.
  • Partner with local Fair Trade actors (producers and/or organizations and/or civil society) to organize awareness raising and capacity building initiatives that encourage and assist procurers to include Fair Trade criteria in procurement.
  • Join networks that promote sustainable public procurement to stay up-to-date on examples of good practice and policy initiatives that support sustainable procurement and Fair Trade

SDG 12 concerns the promotion of sustainable consumption and production. It includes target 12.7 about ‘promoting public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities’