Skip to main content

Sustainable Public Procurement and Ecolabelling (SPPEL)

  • Published on October 25, 2017
The project was aimed at combining sustainable public procurement and eco-labelling to stimulate the demand and supply of sustainable products in target countries and regions. It aimed to establish the foundations for the development of successful eco-labelling and SPP policies and supported countries in the design and implementation of effective SPP and eco-labelling action plans. The project was implemented in a number of different countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia. In "core countries" with established eco-labelling programmes (Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia), the aim was to implement UNEP’s SPP Approach combined with a proactive use of eco-labels. In other countries with no pre-existing eco-labelling programmes ( Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Mauritius, Togo, Mongolia) the project focused on the development and implementation of SPP policies, together with awareness-raising activities about the opportunities that eco-labels represent for the strengthening of the national SPP programme.
The project sought to combine the two elements of ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement to stimulate the demand and supply of sustainable products in countries across the world. More specifically, the project aimed at providing capacity development and technical assistance to public and private sectors on the development and implementation of SPP policies and use of eco-labelling; UN Environment works with a number of different stakeholders, e.g. policy-makers, procurers, businesses, to enhance the country's capacity to implement sustainable public procurement practices and adopt internationally recognised ecolabelling systems. The project's activities were implemented both at regional and national levels. At the regional level networks of practitioners and policy makers were created in the Asia pacific and Latin American regions. Members benefited from awareness-raising and capacity building activities which were delivered during regional meetings or through webinars and the dissemination of news and publications. A Latin American and Caribbean online platform was established to collect SPP related resources from the region and foster exchanges of information. At the national level, UN Environment assisted 12 countries on SPP and ecolabelling implementation (Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Mongolia, Morocco, Mauritius, and Togo) through its SPP Approach. The UN Environment SPP Approach is structured into the following four key steps: • Step 1: Launch the project, establish project governance and conduct initial training; • Step 2: Undertake a Status Assessment; Legal Review, Prioritisation Exercise and Market Readiness Analysis; • Step 3: Do Strategic Planning, create a SPP Policy and Action Plan; and • Step 4: Implement SPP throughout the procurement cycle. 8 countries achieved the first 3 steps and developed SPP action plans: Argentina, Peru, Vietnam, Mongolia, Brazil, Colombia, Morocco, and Ecuador. Costa Rica and Mauritius, who had already developed action plans, as well as Argentina, Peru, Vietnam, Mongolia, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador were able to move into action plan implementation. In addition, the project included a strong knowledge management and communication component. This created strong links between the SPPEL project and the 10YFP Sustainable Public Procurement Programme. The SCP Clearinghouse was the main tool to disseminate globally the capacity building and implementation tools developed in the framework of the national and regional activities. 1)The regional cooperation group in the Southern Cone was constituted in 2013 2) The GPPEL Network was created in 2013 and met on 5 occasions throughout 2016 (Phuket 2013, Bangkok 2013, Seoul 2014, Kuala Lumpur 2015, Beijing 2016) 1) In the Southern Cone Region sustainability criteria for eco-labelling and SPP were developed for 3 products (paper, wooden furniture and cleaning products). 2) In the Asia-Pacific region, a Comparative study of the Green public procurement implementation and eco-labelling schemes in four Asian countries leading in this field was also developed to disseminate best practices and lessons learned (Comparative Analysis of Green Public Procurement and Ecolabelling Programmes in China, Japan, Korea and Thailand. In Latin America, an online platform, named Comprasostenibles, was designed to collect the SPP and ecolabelling information pertaining to the countries of the region, limit duplication of efforts and facilitate the transfer of information. The platform is fully integrated in the SCP Clearinghouse. 720 procurers, decision makers and suppliers benefited from trainings on SPP and ecolabelling in the 12 supported countries. Argentina, Peru, Vietnam, Mongolia, Brazil, Colombia, Morocco, and Ecuador completed their SPP action plans. Colombia, Vietnam, Ecuador and Peru developed training materials for their trainings based on the UN Environment Programme SPP and Ecolabelling Toolkit, adapted to the national context. Colombia developed two online courses for SPP and Ecolabelling) available at Colombia and Argentina finalized SPP guidance documents that were largely consulted with different stakeholders. Colombia and Brazil conducted trainings with 55 SMEs so they can meet the sustainability criteria of the national ecolabel (Sello Ambiental Colombiano). In Vietnam, 3 companies received the Vietnam Green Label certification. Technical Norms for 2 new product categories were developed under Vietnam Green Label - for copiers and LED. Vietnam Green Label and Sello Ambiental Colombiano submitted their application to join Global Ecolabel Network and are in the process of going through GENICES protocol. 42 case studies were produced. The UN Environment SPP Guidelines were revised following a thorough consultation process with project countries and international experts. 10 YFP SPP Working groups were supported through the project. To learn more about this project, contact Farid Yaker at
Project start date
Project end date

You might also be Interested in