Ms. Lisa Vanden Eyden highlighted that Green Public Procurement (GPP) utilizes the public sector’s purchasing power to achieve environmental objectives. GPP has shifted from “do less harm” to a more proactive approach whereby public procurement is used to achieve specific environmental objectives.
A survey on GPP shows that 94% of OECD countries have adopted an active national GPP policy or framework. She emphasized the need to consider the market as an ally, not as the enemy, and actively engage with them.
Dr. Shilpi Kapur Bakshi explained how we, in the global south, must move beyond Green Public Procurement (GPP) to Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP). SPP extends beyond just the environmental cost of public procurement and incorporates social and economic benefits and environmental costs.
It promotes efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability, leading to life-cost savings and improved quality of goods and services procured. It encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, supports the circular economy, and drives innovation in products and services.
Talking about the effective deployment of use-cases of SPP in India, Dr.Kapur mentioned the largest Indian public procurer, Indian Railways, and how it has incorporated aspects of GPP and SPP in its procurement processes to enable sustainability. She further explained how SPP could transition to the coveted “Circular Public Procurement.”
This would create a more holistic approach to climate change action as the procuring entities can minimize and avoid adverse environmental impacts and waste creation across their whole products’ and services’ life cycle by being mindful of how the product or service will be made, procured, used, disposed or recycled/refurbished.
She explained how clean, open, machine-readable procurement data can drive GPP and described OCP’s guidebook on “How to calculate sustainable public procurement indicators with OCDS data?” She emphasized the need for defining specific criteria and setting green goals to describe different types of procurement.
These data-driven milestones can ensure the effective adoption of GPP. Overall, the event underscored the importance of GPP, SPP, and the crucial role of data and information in facilitating informed decision-making and ensuring the effective implementation of sustainable procurement practices.