Green Public Procurement
Green Public Procurement (GPP), or green public purchasing, means that public authorities take into account environmental impacts in their procurement actions. This entails careful consideration in what one buys, what one truly needs to buy, and what is not, as well as purchasing products and services with high environmental performance.
Public procurement has the potential to influence the market in terms of production and consumption trends in favor of environmentally friendly, socially responsible and innovative products and services, and to raise public awareness for environment protection.
GPP in China
- A key driver for positive change - Faced with mounting pressure to address the issues of environmental degradation, pollution and natural resources depletion resulting from rapid economic development over the past 30 years, GPP is increasingly being recognized as a key driver of change in China.
- An effective mechanism towards sustainable growth - Recognizing the potential of public procurement in driving sustainable growth through changing the current production and consumption patterns, the Chinese government has committed to address its development challenges by promoting low-carbon economy and sustainable development as underlined in the 12th Five Year Plan.
Since the 1990s, the Chinese government has been showing increasing support in promoting GPP. Some key policies and measures include:
- Legal frameworks to integrate environmental issues into public procurement and to promote green procurement have been established in the 1990s
- In 2002, the Clean Production Promotion Law was approved in 2002 and the Government Procurement Law was enacted in 2003. Two product lists were issued to guide and support local procurement decision, namely the Public Procurement List of Environmental Label Products (issued by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Environmental Protection) and Public Procurement List of Energy Saving Products (issued by the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission).
- In 2012, Chinese public procurement reached five trillion yuan (about 815.6 billion US dollars). This reflects the enormous potential in promoting sustainability through government’s purchasing.