The Basque Country is a region in Spain with a population of over two million. The Basque Government has incorporated GPP into its strategic environmental programmes since 2004, and IHOBE - its Environmental Management Agency - promotes GPP and provides technical support for its implementation to all public administrations in the region, based on the objectives and actions defined in specific GPP policies (the most recent from 2016).

Implemented in

  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Spain

Sector of activity
Public Procurement

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Policy Frameworks & Tools, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
Government / public sector

Start date

End date

Shared by

Aure Adell Querol

Project coordinator


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The GPP 2020 Programme aims to mobilise the Basque public sector, as a whole, to establish GPP as standard practice, and introduce a life cycle approach into the procurement process. It sets two voluntary objectives to achieve this:
1) To progress towards the institutionalisation of GPP in the various participating public administrations. The degree of institutionalisation will be measured via the following:
• Leadership: Appointment of a manager tasked with leading and coordinating the GPP actions in the administration.
• Planning: Defining an annual work plan in the priority groups of the Programme (see point 2, below) and in at least one other sphere of interest (chosen by the entity) for each administration.
• Integration: Analysing and integrating GPP into procurement procedures and tools existing in the administration.
• Training: Increasing the number of contracting staff trained in GPP.
• Measurement: Monitoring the degree of ‘greening’ of procurement

2) To achieve a degree of greening in public procurement of 50% by 2020, in line with the general target set across the EU. Objectives regarding actual results achieved are measured by the inclusion of GPP criteria in 50% of tenders (calculated by number of contracts as well as by financial value) for more than 20 priority groups. Priority groups are split between:
• By 2018: Paper, computers, imaging equipment, cleaning services, vehicles, publications, food and catering, gardening services, street cleaning, civil works, and infrastructure.
• By 2020: Buildings, urban development, waste collection, electricity supply, public transport, courier services, office furniture, textiles, travel services and events.
The 50% target is a minimum target, and authorities are encouraged to display leadership and set targets higher. In addition, each authority is required to set individual targets for at least one other group which has not been prioritised but which is of special interest to that authority.


To achieve those objectives, the following activities have been conducted:

- GPP Criteria for about 25 product and service categories (including buildings and infrastructure) have been developed to be used directly in call for tenders and for direct purchases. These criteria are reviewed on a regular basis.
- GPP Best Practices are published each year to disseminate good examples and promote replication by other authorities (more than 50 already available).
- Tendering documents for the priority product and service categories that include environmental criteria in line with the GPP Criteria developed are also made available to serve as examples for other authorities.
- Direct support for greening tenders, review offers and solve questions is provided for free to any Basque public authority (in 2016 about 60 demands were received and answered).
- Regular GPP training is provided both for public servants as well as providers in order to facilitate GPP implementation (in 2016 about 230 persons participated in the different seminars organised on a variety of topics from more standard to more innovative).
- Material for self training are also being developed on the main aspects for GPP implementation (legal framework, the use of ecolabels and other environmental standards, life-cycle-costing, etc.).
- The coordination and preparation of the market is also very relevant in the region and the Government has a strong ecodesign programme that is coordinated with the GPP programme to track the Basque private sector towards more sustainable production practices and products.
- Regular dissemination activities are also conducted such as the publication of news bits, the elaboration of quarterly newsletters, the participation in regional/European events, etc. to recognize the efforts of the different public authorities.
- Furthermore a monitoring system is in place to assess progress towards achieving the quantitative objectives set in the GPP programmes. This system targeted the Basque Government until 2016, but since the publication of the latest GPP Programme 2020 the system will include all public authorities adhered to the GPP Programme.

Impact and Results

We expect to reach at least 50% of green public procurement in the 20 priority product categories by 2020 and to embed GPP in the regular procurement culture of all Basque public authorities and entities.

Data from 2015 shows that, the Basque Government has greened about 30% of its procurement (both in number of tenders as well as in economic value).