Environment in emerging and transition economies

EaP GREEN: Sustainable public procurement



Governments in the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) are important consumers, as their expenditure represents around 20% of the GDP, ranging from 11.3% in Azerbaijan to 27.3% in Moldova. Through sustainable public procurement (SPP), governments can lead by example and deliver greener economies. SPP can successfully harness the power of governments to stimulate a better environmental and social performance of products. Market-driven product information tools such as ecolabelling help define the sustainability of products and communicate this information to guide purchasing choices of individuals, businesses and public authorities towards more sustainable products.

The combined approaches of voluntary labelling and sustainable public procurement are important elements to create a dynamic framework for improving the performance of products throughout their lifecycle, stimulating demand and supply of better products, and helping consumers to make better choices. In the transition to a green economy, these tools are playing an important enabling role in the overall market transformation that is needed to put in place an economic model, which enhances natural capital, saves resources, and lowers environmental as well as social risks.

Objectives and activities

The EaP GREEN aims to:

  1. Assist countries in the development and implementation of sustainable public procurement policies by increasing awareness and building the capacities of policy makers and procurement managers in the EaP region;
  2. Effectively implement sustainable public procurement in targeted countries;
  3. Raise awareness of public authorities, producers and consumers about the potential of eco-labels;
  4. To increase understanding and skills of policy-makers in applying eco-labelling.

Planned activities include:

  • Regional awareness raising and capacity building workshops on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP). The training sessions will target relevant policy-makers and heads of procurement in the region to increase their awareness and capacity for SPP policy development and implementation. The training sessions will aim at highlighting the potential benefits that could be derived from Sustainable Public Procurement, the challenges as well as the opportunities of SPP implementation based on existing experiences.
  • Development and implementation of SPP policies in three countries. Technical support will be provided to pilot countries for the implementation of SPP, as well as awareness raising and capacity development to enhance synergies between eco-labelling and SPP, targeting policy makers. Following the UNEP’s SPP Approach, National SPP Action Plans will be developed. 

UNEP is the lead partner for this element of the programme.

DID YOU KNOW? ... the basic concept of green public procurement relies on having clear, justifiable, verifiable and ambitious environmental criteria for products, services and works, based on a life-cycle approach and scientific evidence base. In the European Union, such procurement criteria have been developed for 18 product/service groups. National Action Plans (NAPs) addressing green public procurement have been adopted by a majority of the EU-27.