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The Sustainable Public Procurement activities of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • Published on January 23, 2020
The UNEP SPP Programme pursues several objectives: - assist member states in the development and implementation of SPP policies - provide technical assistance and capacity building - develop and disseminate capacity building and information tools - promote regional and global SPP and GPP networks to exchange know how, learn from each other and implement joint activities - monitor the progress of SPP in member states. Public procurement wields enormous purchasing power, accounting for an average of 12 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in OECD countries, and up to 30 percent of GDP in many developing countries. Leveraging this purchasing power by buying more sustainable goods and services can help drive markets in the direction of sustainability, reduce the negative impacts of an organization, and also produce positive benefits for the environment and society. This was acknowledged by the international community when it included a target on sustainable public procurement in the Sustainable Development Goals. Target 12.7 focuses specifically on promoting “public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities”. In 2019 UNEP assisted 7 countries in the development of SPP plans or in the implementation of SPP. In the framework of a United Nations Development Account project managed by our Europe Office: - Kirgizstan embarked on SPP and developed a Status assessment, a prioritization and a market readiness reports - Uzbekistan expressed strong interest to join the project and benefit from UNEP's assistance In the framework of the EU4 Environment funded by the European Union: Four countries will be supported by UNEP on SPP : Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. UNEP support is provided through local organizations. In 2019, funding agreements were signed with the Tbilisi-based Environmental Information and Education Centre, with the Ulrainian NGO Living Planet and with the Moldovan Public Procurement Agency. In the framework of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) , two countries are being supported on SPP. India benefitted from a grant which financed the drafting of a prioritization study, focusing on paper, air conditioning and cleaning products. Preliminary sustainable purchaisng criteria were developed as part of the study. The state of Mato Grosso in Brazil is also supported through the PAGE programme. The following activities are foreseen: Develop a regulatory framework for Sustainable Public Procurement • Produce policies and procedures for sustainable public procurement. • Organise capacity building workshops on the regulatory framework on sustainable public procurement to train stakeholders At the regional level, an agreement was signed in 2019 between UNEP and the Republic of Korea to reactivate the Asia Pacific Green Public Procurement Network. The objectives of the network are to: - Serve as the information platform for Green Public Procurement among the relevant governments and public organizations in the Asia Pacific region; - Promote awareness and build capacity of policy makers; - Identify concrete needs of the countries for introduction and implementation of Green Public Procurement. At the global level, UNEP led the development of the SDG Indicator 12.7.1 measurement methodology. A global index was developed and a request was submitted to the SDG Inter-Agency Expert Group for the reclassification of the methodology in the Tier 2 category. UNEP also oversaw the drafting of a study on the Green Public Procurement experience of the Republic of Korea. Interested stakeholders can receive information or become involved in UNEP's projects by contacting the SPP programme officer. Farid Yaker,

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