Europe’s public authorities are major consumers. By using their purchasing power to choose environmentally friendly goods, services and works, they can make an important contribution to sustainable consumption and production – what we call Green Public Procurement, or GPP.
Although GPP is a voluntary instrument, it has a key role to play in the EU’s efforts to become a more resource-efficient economy. It can help stimulate a critical mass of demand for more sustainable goods and services which otherwise would be difficult to get onto the market. GPP is therefore a strong stimulus for eco-innovation.
To be a success, GPP needs clear and verifiable environmental criteria for products and services. A number of European countries already have national criteria, and the challenge now, as GPP becomes more widespread, is to ensure that the criteria are compatible between Member States. A level playing field will boost the single market, ensuring that what is good for the EU is also good for the environment.