Public procurement can play a critical role in accelerating the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
By promoting the procurement of low-carbon and renewable products and services, public authorities can create lead markets for innovative and sustainable solutions.
However, this approach is currently underutilised in the European Union (EU) and needs to be incentivised through different levels of public policy.
- Public procurement has a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions, as it makes up on average 14% of the EU’s GDP (source).
- Green public procurement can create lead markets for innovative low-carbon products, but needs to be strengthened through sectoral-specific legislation and better coordination between authorities on different levels.
- The EU and its Member States have a significant role to play in promoting green public procurement practices that include environmental considerations in public tenders, which can accelerate decarbonisation significantly.
Public procurement has a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions and the construction sector in particular is responsible for a large share of these emissions. By promoting the procurement of low-carbon and renewable products and services, public authorities can create lead markets for innovative and sustainable solutions. This approach has the potential to accelerate the transition towards a low-carbon economy significantly while sending strong signals to the industry.
However, green public procurement is still underutilised in the EU, and a series of adjustments need to be made to ensure its effectiveness. This includes the development of comprehensive approaches to ensure climatic and environmental considerations, better information management on progress and impact, and stronger signalling from the EU and its members.
Strengthening green public procurement in sectoral-specific legislation will help realise the significant potential for decarbonisation that lies in the hands of public authorities.