In recent years, several politic initiatives have been launched, both at European and national levels, to encourage the use of Public Procurement in the environmental field as well as in the inclusion of social considerations and the promotion of innovation.
Indeed, in addition to improving the legal framework, European entities have been investing in training, dissemination and clarification of contracting authorities. When awarding Green Public Procurement (GPP), public contracting authorities can / should reduce the environmental impact of their own activities (for example, by reducing CO2 emissions or by promoting energy efficiency and conservation of natural resources) and at the same time can / should encourage innovation by influencing the market to provide more environmentally friendly products, works and services. It is enough to keep in mind the dimension of the public procurement universe to understand the impact (positive or negative) that the (good or bad) Public Administration choices can have on these (as in other) domains.
Green Public Procurement is only one of the vectors of sustainable public procurement, since the sustainability of public procurement cannot fail to be seen in its diverse dimensions, financial sustainability, ecological sustainability and social sustainability, among others. And it is true that in times of crisis, the interaction between these various dimensions of public procurement poses new and difficult challenges. Of course, the risks of introducing green procurement criteria into discriminatory practices or corruption cannot be ignored. Now, in times of crisis, when public resources allocated to public procurement are especially scarce, any waste and even less corruption are not tolerated.
Sustainable public procurement also requires that the introduction of environmental or social criteria in a pre-contractual procedure be accompanied by mechanisms to prevent waste and corruption. In terms of Green Public Procurement, the synergies between the Law of Public Contracts and the Law of the Environment are fundamental: Public Contracts Law reinforces the instruments of Environmental Law and makes its mechanisms effective, for example when it requires an impact assessment environment in a pre-contractual procedure or when it encourages the use of eco-labels and other strategies environmentally friendly.
Through its activities and within the framework of the IPPON project, Madan Parque and The Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, together with other national bodies whose support the business sector, undertake to disseminate this good and necessary practice. We believe that innovation in public procurement extends to the various universes of integration of a more just and integrated society in its natural environment.
IPPON project website: