The Case for Updating EU Procurement Policy

Procurement is a powerful market force. Big buyers, be they public or private, can stimulate more sustainable practices by driving demand and developing lead markets for greener products and services. There is both significant potential and responsibility to strengthen procurement as a tool in Europe’s the green transition.

Public procurement makes up approximately 14-15% of the EU’s GPD or about EUR 2 trillion (in Germany alone this amounts to about EUR 500 billion a year1) and contributes about 15% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions2. However, public procurement as a tool is currently not being used to its full potential. In particular, green public procurement (GPP)3 needs to be significantly strengthened. There should be a shift at EU level from thinking of public procurement as a purely legal compliance matter, to also seeing it as a strategic policy tool in the green transition. Strengthening the framework of green public procurement can also have positive knock-on effects on private (B2B) procurement.   

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