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Local Authority EMAS and Procurement (LEAP) (Leap)
Start date: Nov 1, 2003, End date: Oct 31, 2006 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background Local authorities are a major purchaser of goods and services across Europe and are responsible for a very significant range of environmental impacts related to the specification, purchase, transportation, use and disposal of goods and related services. As a result of this large spending power, the local authority sector could potentially have a great influence in encouraging the production of ecological or green goods and services. However, presently a lot of municipalities feel restricted from applying environmental considerations to procurement. In part, this is the result of perceived concerns about the status of environmental procurement requirements under EU law, and in part it is because of a lack of tried and tested tools to assist municipalities in applying environmental criteria to every stage of the procurement process. Added to this, many local authorities recognise the importance of working with the supply chain to encourage the development of further green products and processes but are unclear as to how to begin the process of dialogue and encouragement. Lastly, it is recognised that there are an increasing amount of green product alternatives in the marketplace, but many municipal staff involved in the procurement of goods and services do not have access to information regarding the environmental performance and suppliers of such products or access to workable procurement network structures and contract specifications related to these goods. Objectives The LEAP project aimed to develop tools for local authorities to systematically, effectively and efficiently deal with green procurement as part of an environmental management system. Secondly, the project sought to apply the tools to test joint procurement approaches to overcome market barriers in Europe for ‘green’ purchasing with the resulting objective that this would lead to the delivery of policy objectives highlighted in the EU's 6th Environment Action Programme. Specifically: • Promoting green procurement, while respecting Community competition rules and the internal market, with guidelines on best practice and starting with a review of green procurement in Community institutions. • Encouraging wider uptake of EMAS within Europe. • Promoting integrated policy approaches to encourage the taking into account of environmental requirements throughout the life-cycle of products, and more widespread application of environmentally friendly processes and products. LEAP also aimed to build on other projects that have dealt with EMAS in municipalities (such as LACE, PIE, Euro EMAS, GALA) and projects related to managing the procurement impacts of public authorities (RELIEF). Results With the participation of 11 local authorities, in five Member States, the LEAP Project successfully developed a group of tools aimed at assisting European public authorities in implementing green public procurement (GPP). The LEAP Toolkit, which was launched at the EcoProcura conference in Barcelona in September 2006, consists of eight tools. • Tool A: Green Procurement Policy: a five-step process based on the Procura+ milestone model and containing examples of good green procurement policies. • Tool B: Integrating green procurement into environmental management systems (EMS): a set of EMS procedures to control and improve the environmental impacts throughout the procurement process. • Tool C: Barriers to effective green procurement: a self-assessment tool to help organisations identify barriers to green procurement and identify priority areas. • Tool D: Joint procurement models: examples of joint procurement activities in Europe and guidance on how to initiate joint procurement. • Tool E: Standard specifications: guidance on developing specifications for seven key products bought by local authorities. • Tool F: Environmental demands in procurement: information on how to include environmental criteria into procurement and how to evaluate tenders. • Tool G: Information on specifications, products etc: a database of information sources to help identify green alternatives to current purchases. • Tool H: Promoting a green market: guidance on how to work with suppliers to improve the environmental performance of goods and develop markets through the supply chain. Disclaimer : This « results » section should be considered as a draft until the Commission has completed its evaluation .
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