Webinar recording on new approaches to green public procurement

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Webinar
Green
By Platform

On June 25th, 2020, the Policy Learning Platform hosted a webinar on innovative approaches to Green Public Procurement (GPP)

The new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) recognises Green Public Procurement (GPP) as an excellent opportunity for national, regional and local governments to drive a shift towards more sustainable products and services. To make this happen to a bigger extent, the European Commission envisages a change from a voluntary to a mandatory implementation of GPP. However, there are still a number of obstacles to GPP uptake. 

The webinar brought together about 65 participants from around Europe to exchange concrete, hands-on experiences on unlocking GPP on different governance levels – national, regional and city. The webinar focused on innovative institutional and structural solutions to GPP and also addressed the topic of circular procurement. You can watch the recording below as well as access the presentations. 

Webinar recording

Webinar agenda overview

Navigate to the discussion topics of interest in the webinar agenda overview below. 

00:06:52 Introduction to the webinar by environment and resource efficiency Thematic Expert Venelina Varbova and a short introduction to the topic by environment and resource efficiency Thematic Expert Ruslan Zhechkov. 

00:18:24 Presentation by Bernie Kiely from Climate Action and Environment (GPP4Growth) on Ireland’s Green Government Initiative

00:30:46 Q&A How instrumental was the GPP4Growth project in taking Ireland’s GPP policy forward?

00:32:42 Q&A What is the scope of the training? How many organizations participated? And what is the length of the training?

00:34:41 Presentation by Leen van der Meeren from the Flemish Government (Belgium) - Department of Environment, Nature and Energy (GPP4Growth) on the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities 

00:45:51 Q&A The circular procurement deals may look like complicated arrangements from outside. Are they really so complicated and what elements are easily replicable in other countries which do not have the culture of green deals?

00:50:58 Presentation by Marina Sorokina from Kouvola Innovation Ltd. (CircPro) on procurement specialist services and change agent for sustainable and innovative public procurement

01:00:53 Q&A You mentioned that the procurement specialist 'promotes dialogue between the procurers and suppliers by organizing market consultations'. Could you please let us know how this happens in practice?

01:04:37 Presentation by Nicolo Tudorov GPP-STREAM on Friuli Venezia Giulia regional action plan on GPP.

01:12:54 Q&A What are the main obstacles in Friuli Venezia Giulia to a more significant uptake of GPP?

Panel discussion

01:17:23 Q&A Do you have experience on imposing compulsory green public procurement for projects co-financed by public funds? E.g. ministry of environment provides certain grants only to the beneficiaries who apply green public procurement for the actions (costs) co-financed by the grants.

01:20:29 Q&A The theory is that GPP stimulates companies to innovate, to offer greener products and services. How true is this in your case? What is the time lag between adopting a serious attitude to GPP and the response of companies? 

01:24:53 Q&A What is the next step in GPP development? Is it circularity or is it the constant increase of product categories with environmental criteria? 

Key learnings

During the webinar a number of clear messages came through in the individual examples and during the discussion:

  • All examples illustrated that there are a number of possible roles for regional and urban authorities. These include educating the procurers and businesses; setting targets and monitoring them; providing hands-on guidance; and acting as a knowledge hub.
  • At the same time, in order for this to happen there is a need for certain conditions to be in place. The Irish example and the example from Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Italy) reiterated that strong leadership and good governance are needed as well as integration of GPP into key strategic documents.
  • The experience from Flanders (Belgium) and Kuovola (Finland) highlighted that it is also important to create a community of partners implementing GPP and to facilitate the collaboration between procurers and the market.
  • A poll launched during the webinar showed that raising the overall capacity of procurers remains the biggest challenge to GPP. Hence, all of the examples pointed to different examples of training and hands-on support.
  • Participants agreed that future developments are mainly associated with stimulating a more tangible GPP uptake and a shift to circular procurement.
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Procurement
Green