Aspects Of Green Public Procurement Construction Essay

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A lot of present ecological troubles are complex and from time to time hard to entirely appreciate, although a big number of them can be attributed to our consumption habits. Every person and company affects the environment indirectly during their consumption of supplies and services. The resulting environmental problems cannot be solved only through legislation and observation by authorized bodies, but must be supported by a diversity of market-driven initiatives. Green Public Procurement is more and more regarded as an important mean for justifying environmental harms for the subsequent three main reasons

Well-built environmental policy obligation

Incentive for expansion of innovative environmental technology

Socio-economical benefits

Fig 1.Scheme about sustainable procurement

Section 1: Introduction

The earth has restricted natural resorts, the climate continues to warm up and many different toxic compounds are placing a load on the surroundings.

We could get the expansion of environmentally beneficial technology. Demand for products that decrease the weight of the environment increases as markets launch to innovations. Also, saving energy reduces costs immediately.

When we make procurement, we have to keep in mind the environment, not only the economy. Intelligent decisions made now, will raise cost efficacy and reduce troubles for future generations too.

Sustainable procurement responds to order by selecting the most excellent environmental and cost-effective option. Sustainable procurement can also provide clear financial savings in addition to improving the state of the environment.

The administration expects from those responsible for public procurement, particularly in the areas of energy, construction and housing, transport, food services, energy-using equipment and services

It is the duty of the public sector to arrange rules - laws and instructions. It should also take responsibility for its own solutions.

The support of sustainable procurement requires dedication from management, in addition to a new kind of procurement ability.

Then we must thing about if green procurement is good for the public sector developing this report.

Section 2: What is the link amid public purchasing and the environment?

For explaining this section, several subjects can be considered if a government wants to set green procurement.

Electricity for renewable sources

Management chains the use of renewable ways of energy as a solution. The central government will change to green electricity. At the beginning of the process, 30% of purchased electricity will be created from renewable sources. Five years later, at least 60%.

Clever constructions.

Brand new government buildings or new released properties must assemble the obligation of energy efficiency class A and existing buildings under renovations must meet the requirements of at least energy efficiency class C. The objective in new buildings is all of them must be passives.

Another transportation way.

The require for transporting will be reduced. State officials will take into account the fuel consumption and emissions of vehicles purchased for mass transport.

Sustainable food.

The quantity of natural, vegetable based or seasonal food will be increase in provisions procurement for food services. These foods will be accessible in government kitchens and provided by food services at least once a week at the beginning of the process and twice five year later.

Criteria for energy- and eco-labels.

Criteria equivalent to the requirements for energy- and eco-labels will be used as comparative principles in the procurement and leasing.of energy using equipment. Furthermore, public actors will switch to energy efficient lighting.

Section 3: Organizing public procurement

To create an ecological plan work it is necessary to observe the public procurement process itself.

Public procurement is basically a question of corresponding provide and require, as another private procurement process, there is only one difference, there must be a special caution when giving contracts because there are entities which are supported by money from the taxpayer.

This special care can be translated into two values:

Getting the top price for capital

Acting reasonably

The preliminary phase of any procurement procedure is fundamental. Any error at this period will unfavorably influence every consecutive stage, and finally the end result. Consequently, before starting a tendering procedure, it should situate sideways sufficient time for defining the topic of the contract and the tools to be used to get to the final result. Another issue underlining the meaning of the preliminary step is that the early phases of the procurement procedure present quite possibilities for taking into consideration environmental targets.

The common organization of a public procurement procedure is fundamentally no diverse from a private one. They both go behind approximately the same stages: defining the topic subject of the contract, putting together the technical conditions and the contractual factors for the product/work/services, selecting the correct candidate and determining the best proposal.

There is one decisive point that it must be considerate in this introductory stage even before defining the subject of the contract. You need to evaluate your actual requirements.

For that reason, with the intention of be efficient, it should describe the needs in a practical way, without leaving out any possibilities presented on the market. Once it has appropriately analyzed the need, it may even close that there is no need for a contract at all.

Section 4: GPP from an European point of view

Inhabitants save money

In a marketplace value over €1.500 billion - representing over 16% of total EU GDP - EU public procurement directives have decreased the prices paid by municipal authorities for goods and services by more than 30%.

These and other positive results of EU procurement policy have been identified in the European Commission's

There are seven countries known as the 'Green-7'; Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and UK. They are applying more elements than the other 18. This denotes that they constantly have more tenders with green criteria than the others.

The 'Green-7' principles are:

Strong political drivers and/or national guidelines

State plans (GPP has been the topic of a national programme and the problem has been dealt with for a quantity of years)

Information resources (all have websites and information sources accessible which often include product related criteria and specifications)

Original procurement methods (a bulk of the 'Green-7' are using dedicated instruments, e.g. life-cycle costs as an award criterion, or functional specifications/requests for environmental variants)

Buying organizations relating environmental management systems (several 'Green-7' countries make use of environmental management systems which deal with GPP)

Europe must be updated

Public buyers are often under the feeling that they applied ecological criteria when purchasing. But, the GPP statement shows that only 36% of the tender papers of all 25 Member States in fact have proper and official environmental criteria.

Follow the way for getting it

A lot of public tenders include mentions to the environment. But these criteria and mentions are frequently not well defined and consequently do not result in a greener acquire. The most important reason is the lack of preparing in this area - one of the main barriers to GPP.

It depends on the type of purchased product or service

There are groups of purchase more appropriate for greening than others. Specialized services such as publicity, common management, investigate and auditing services hardly ever include environmental criteria while furniture construction and IT equipment often do. The dissimilar levels of GPP amid manufactured goods categories can therefore be considerable.

The next product groups as appropriate for 'greening' are defined in the structure of green public procurement, supported on the economic and green impact and the accessibility of 'environmental friendly' products in the market:

Cleaning products and services

Horticultural services

Medical devices - pharmaceuticals

(Electrical) machinery - communication equipment


Chemical products, rubber, plastic

Food products and beverages, Restaurant services

Architectural, construction, installation and related consultancy services

Sewage- and refuse-disposal services

Sanitation and environmental services

Transport equipment

Office machinery (computers/monitors/printers/copiers)

Construction work

Construction products (including heating/cooling/lighting appliances)

Furniture and other manufactured goods

Paper, printed matter, printing services

Transport and communication services

Section 5: Real example

5.1. Introduction


Through environmental work aimed at real results, the city of Göteborg proves that a large city with complex structures and strong opposition can succeed in combining the objectives of sustainability with competitiveness. This approach has been put into practice through the introduction of environmental demands on all purchasing within the city. A process of developing a model for undertaking environmental assessments in procurement, and identifying specific environmental demands for application within the assessment, resulted in a procedure which is now systematically used in all purchasing within the city.


The idea of the city of Göteborg is based on long term resource management and a quality of life for the people of the Göteborg region. On the way towards a community of eco-cycles, it is important to achieve changes in the pattern of energy consumption and use of materials while meeting human needs. Promoting the development of more environmentally adjusted and less resource intensive products through environmental demands on purchasing within the city of Göteborg is part of meeting this objective.

Project Status

The model for environmental demands in purchasing was developed in 1990, and has been in use in the City of Göteborg since. All suppliers who submit tenders to the city of Göteborg must provide an environmental declaration, and each procurement is subject to an environmental assessment Background Information

The city's annual purchase of goods and services totals at least SEK 5 billion. The Bohus County Council has integrated its purchasing activities with the public health services of Göteborg and consequently also with those of the city.

With this large market there are, of course, considerable opportunities to influence purchasing in an environmentally friendly direction, by making demands for environmentally adapted products and services.

5.2. Implementation


In 1990 Göteborg City Council decided:

"When purchasing, the local authorities should choose products that are best for the working environment and the world around us."

The following guide-lines apply as general recommendations:

• Select products that damage the environment as little as possible, both when they are manufactured and when they are used. The whole process from production via consumption to final destruction must be taken into consideration.

• Select products that are not harmful to the consumers or users (take into account the employees' working environment).

• Select products that are biologically degradable or can be reused.

• Select products that do not consume energy resources and natural resources unnecessarily either when they are manufactured or when they are used.

There are also recommendations and bans on specific products. Products containing the following two chemicals may not be purchased by the City of Göteborg:

• Alkyphenolethoxylates

• Paradichlorobenzene

Products containing the following two chemicals may not be purchased if other alternatives exist:

• 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane

• Chlorofluorcarbons (freons)

Local government committees, boards and companies must:

• Use environmentally friendly nonchlorine bleached paper. This covers office paper and printed matter as well as tissue paper.

• Gradually replace disposable articles with nondisposable articles.

• Strongly encourage the minimum use of harmful chemical products.


Following the Göteborg City Council decision in 1990, an environmental declaration of contest was drawn up by the City of Göteborg Procurement Company together with the Environmental Protection Office. A model was then developed for undertaking an environmental assessment in every procurement. This model took into account current legislation and political decisions.

Dissemination of information and training were carried out step by step.

The next stage involved the development of specific environmental demands. After these had been finalized, the process of assessing each procurement against environmental criteria could begin. The results of each assessment are incorporated with other information given to concerned departments after each procurement has been undertaken.


The City of Göteborg Procurement Company is a wholly owned municipal enterprise. The main task of the company is to coordinate the procurement of goods and services that are used by several municipal administrations and companies.

Employees of the City of Göteborg have been informed about the City Council decisions and educated in environmentally-aware purchasing in practice.

Financing and Resources Used

In 1990 when this project started, two people were employed on a full-time basis to develop the model for undertaking environmental assessments in procurement. Later, when the specific environmental demands were being developed, the staff was reduced to a part-time post. The assessments for each procurement are being undertaken within this human resource framework.

5.3. Results and Impacts

Today all suppliers who submit tenders to the City of Göteborg must provide an environmental declaration to prove the environmental status of their products or services. The Procurement Company currently has more than 300 agreements with different suppliers, and the environmental aspects have been taken into consideration in all these agreements.

Barriers and Conflicts

In 1990 when the environmental demands on purchasing were introduced, there was little understanding by the producers for the conditions set by the city of Göteborg. High development costs of environmentally adjusted products were used as an argument against the new policy. The city of Göteborg also experienced problems due to the fact that the producers were reluctant to publish complete contents descriptions for their products and to be open about their methods of production. There were, however, a few small and medium sized companies which realized the benefit of adapting their activities and products environmentally at an early stage. With hindsight, it has proved that these companies have gained significant market shares through this strategy.

In the beginning there was also some opposition from the users. Old familiar products had to be abandoned or changed and the range of products was reduced. New procedures for orders had to be introduced due to the fact that the number of deliveries was reduced and the possibilities for urgent purchases were reduced. Today it is evident that the new procedures have resulted in benefits both for the administration and for the environment.


As purchasing within the city of Göteborg now is directed by the Law on

Public Procurement (Lagen om Offentlig Upphandling), the city procedures for purchasing and using environmental demands have been adapted to the new legislation. This means that the purchasing policy of the city of Göteborg fulfils the public procurement requirements of the EU.

Section 6: Lessons Learned

At the beginning of this report, it was proposed the question about if green procurement is interesting for the public sector. One thing is clear; the environment is surrounding us constantly. Every day we use electricity, transports, food and constructions, then we have to be conscious there are not unlimited sources

As much we deal with it in an intelligent way, both of us (people and environment) will get good results and benefits. Of course, there are problems like the laws and the social aspects, on the other hand it is totally productive in a procurement framework.


'Green purchasing' indicates setan instance- as well to the private sector - and affect the market place. Establishing a green procurement policy, and communicating respective initiatives and their results, demonstrates that action in this area is possible and that it leads to concrete results.

GPP can as well be active as a helpful canal for raising environmental consciousnessinside the local society - by introducing greener goods and providing information on the advantages of environmental procurement.

Introducing "green" tendering criteria insists tactical review of ordinary procurement performs. Governments can use this time to make internal processes more efficient, as well as to get better accessibility of information on public tenders - potentially resulting in up competition and down prices.

Green procurement promoting gives significant motivations for industryto develop 'green'technologies and promote them in the market place. In particular, small- and medium-sized companies may profit from environmental procurement, as it offers an opportunity to find markets for their innovative solutions and products.

Green purchasing practices can add considerably to the tactical aims of public authorities. Policies on environmentally sustainable development will improve servicesto the public and thereforeimprovethe quality of life.

It is local communitythat really experimentsthe benefitsof green procurement. Cleaner public transport, for example, improves local air quality and a reduced use of toxic chemicals in cleaning products provides a healthier working environment.

Goods and services obtained in line with GPP principles have the likely to enjoy higher value standardsand transport more pleasing consequencesfor public authorities and ultimately inhabitants. New products and services, invented to costume the obligations of environmental procurement, will become popular with private customers, if they see a straight impact. A good example is the increased use of insulation in private homes. Customers save energy and in the long-run, also money.

A obvious majority of the EU's citizens identify the protection of the environment as one of the Union's key priorities. A visible focus on "greening" the purchase of products and services will consequently likely result in a positive perceptionof the administration and/or government in charge.


Observationof financial burden:Higher initial investments and rigid financial plans are often a first obstacle. Some advantages of sustainable procurement cannot be expressed in monetary terms. Political obligation is essential to protect long-term and non-financial benefits.

Requireof information about the environment and how to develop environmental criteria:This shortfall can be beat by using technical standards and the underlying criteria of certified Eco-labels.

Standards are helpful in public procurement specifications as they are clear, non-discriminatory and developed on a agreement basis. At European level, they are prepared by the European standards organisations: the European Committee for Standardisation(CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation(Cenelec) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute(ETSI)

For a brunch of goods national Eco-labelling criteria or the European equivalent, the Flower, can be used. These labels take into account the major environmental impact of products and services, are well-matched with Internal Market principles, and allow products to be effortlessly well-knowned. Eco-labelling criteria can be applied on the condition that they are suitable to name the topic matter of the contract. They should also having been recognized on the basis of scientific information and through wide stakeholder consultation and be available to all interested parties.

Lack of management maintain:Senior public sector officials often demonstrate low consciousness of the importance of GPP. Without a dedicated tactical focus and an organizational policy strongly promoting GPP - in terms of time and money - the integration of environmental aspects will stay insufficient

Lack of practical tools and information:Communicating, disseminating and providing practical training is extremely important if a country is to increase its GPP proportion. A good tool would be a website. Another important tool is the recently published Handbook on Green Public Procurementwhich has been translated into all EU languages.

Lack of training:Public administrations in general and the relevant purchasing officers in particular often lack the technical and legal expertise to apply sustainable procurement standards. Cooperation across departments and the consultation of external is a crucial success factor.

A good example about this is the city of Göteborg since 1990. The benefit of the experience held today, it has become clear that more emphasis should have been put on information and training within the city activities. Awareness and understanding of environmental work requires that the staff is informed and committed. Today initiatives for development projects come from committed staff more often than from the producers.

Fig 2.Schematic graph as a summary

Section 7: Main conclusion

As a conclusion we could name four mainly aspect to get a green procurement.

Initially we must decide require for the procurement and the best method to satisfy that need. From time to time the solution can be renting or repairing an existing machine rather than buying, or it can be a decision not to buy in any way.

Key for small and medium companies should be utilized by splitting the purchase into smaller parts, or by allowing substitute bids.

Secondly, assess the key environmental requirements in the technical specifications and in the supplier´s technical eligibility. Record the mandatory requirements in the call of tenders.

For instance, the client can require implementation of eco-label criteria, of the use of wood or recycled material and prevention of damaging chemicals. In some manufactured goods groups, the call for tender can be limited to environmental product. In services and building contracts, the environmental management measures implemented by the supplier can be an important constituent of technological eligibility.

The standard of choice is the best economy of the tender. The principles of comparison of tenders are environmental considerations and life-cycle costs. These environmental criteria must be defined in an open and impartial way in the call for tenders.

As a conclusion, make sure that the tenders received correspond to the mandatory requirements in the call for tenders and compare them to determine which the best is in general.

Section 8: A perspective view

We could consider some actual facts to get a visual idea about the currently situation of the green procurement.

First, we talk about the whole organization can save. Danish city of Kolding has a population of 80.000. They took an environmental point of view into consideration in all procurement. The decision has reduced the cost of procurement by 10% per year.

About the calculation of the life-cycle costs, the cost of products which require energy is very important in terms of cost. Calculation of LCC can show that a product that is more expensive at the time of purchase can be most reasonable in terms of overall economy. For instance, procurement of compact fluorescent light bulbs for 300 public buildings in Hamburg reduced the energy bill by 225.000€ per year.

For getting a suitable environment, if all the public buildings of the EU changing the traditional energy by renewable, the consumption of carbon dioxide would be reduced in 6 million tones. It is the equivalent to one-fifth of the greenhouse gas emission reduction commitment of Kyoto Protocol.

On the other hand, it exits in Sweden organizations like the Energy Market Authority arranging competitive bidding to encourage new solutions in public sector procurement, for example, in improve the energy efficiency of refrigeration equipment or ti develop new heat pumps.

The resulting solutions have also benefitted companies, as they have been able to bring new inventions to the market.

Fig 3.Mainly European eco-labels

In a social aspect, during the last few years, social and ethical questions have grown more and more important in the debate concerning public procurement and its potential to contribute to a sustainable growth. The social and ethical questions span over a wide spectre of questions, from work against discrimination in a national perspective to decent conditions for workers in third world countries.

The Swedish Environmental Management Council (MSR) mainly focuses on proposing environmental criteria for helping public purchasers in their work for a greener public procurement.

For those public purchasers wishing to use social criteria when procuring goods from countries with a less developed social protection system for workers, The Swedish Environmental Management Council have made a guidance document about how to work with making such demands.

The Swedish Environmental Management Council has also looked at the indicators for social responsibility presented by the GRI, Global Reporting Initiative and if they can be used as criteria in public procurement. The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics in Lund (IIIEE), are contracted by The Swedish Environmental Management Council to make three studies of companies working after and accounting according to the GRI.