The GPP-STREAM kick-off meeting was held on 28-29-30 November 2017, in Trieste, Italy. The First Transnational Learning Event also took place at that event.
CONTEXT European regions play a multiple role in the adoption of green public procurement (GPP) policies as they elaborate and adopt GPP plans, can mainstream GPP within all policy instruments that they manage, can purchase eco-innovative and resource efficient goods and services, playing thus also a significant role the promotion of more resource efficient economies. There are still large areas for improvement in the adoption of GPP in relation to EU funded programmes and other policy instruments, in the undertaking of the tool by beneficiaries and in the monitoring of GPP implementation, hence in the evaluation and mainstreaming of its benefits. GPP toolkits, common environmental criteria, training materials and help desks have been developed throughout Europe. Limited experience is yet available on how to include environmental criteria into financing instruments and in the implementation of development strategies. GPP-STREAM builds on the idea that interregional cooperation can help mainstreaming GPP policies within the administrations involved and ensure that resource efficiency measures are spread and benefits acknowledged. GPP-STREAM AIMS The project aims to improve the management, implementation and monitoring of policy instruments that integrate GPP approaches so as to ensure that resource efficiency gains can be maximized and that resource efficiency objectives are institutionalized through GPP. The project is coordinated by Region Friuli and is implemented in partnership with 8 Bulgarian, Spanish, French, Italian and Romanian bodies that have complementary environmental and GPP expertise. RESULTS AND OUTCOMES 5 transnational learning events, at least 300 stakeholders involved, 13 GPP webinars, 5 GPP toolkits and one online platform, 8 policy instruments from 5 EU countries will integrate GPP approaches, 40 EU policy instrument managing authorities apply GPP-STREAM toolkits.
Author of the cover image: Massimo Armani
Environment and resource efficiency
The Law 69/2016 establishes the national framework for green public procurement (GPP) in Romania. It aims to promote, among others, resource efficiency use. Accordingly to art. 3 from the Law 69/2016, the Ministry of Environment has the obligation to elaborate the National plan for GPP and approve it by Governmental decision by October 2017. The Plan will include mandatory multi-annual targets for GPP for all the categories of products, services and works and it will address the contracting (public) authorities.
The National GPP Plan will not include operational tools addressed to its main beneficiaries, central public authorities, nor it will propose a monitoring system. Moreover, the beneficiaries of EU funds will not be specifically targeted by the Plan, despite the large potential that they have to influence the market through their project purchases (between 2014 – 2020, Romania benefits from 21 bn. EUR of structural funds). A large variety of purchases made by EU funds beneficiaries have important resource efficiency potential and the Romanian market begins to be relatively well prepared. Last, resource efficiency is a specific objective of the Law 69/2016 but the GPP Plan will not address this issue specifically. Therefore, specific measures and tools need to be developed to better address existing and potential GPP beneficiaries, including by tackling resource efficiency potential, and by engaging and capacitating various institutional stakeholders.
The National Action Plan for Green Public Procurement (PNAAPD) has been adopted through the Ordonance of 23.07.2015 and Decree from 25.03.2016. It aims at giving the State broad guidelines for integrating sustainable development into its purchases. It takes into account the will of the French State to integrate the circular economy and sustainable development towards an ecological and energy transition. The PNAAAPD applies primarily to government services, but to the extent that the government's obligations are identical in France to GPPs for all public bodies, it also serves as a reference for all public actors in France. The PNAAPD has proposed targets that are not currently being met. The reasons include:
- ignorance of the law (order of 2015 and decree of 2016) by public actors (public procurement must necessarily take into account sustainable development in France since 2006 but less than 10% of procurements actually take it into account)
- training needs of purchasers
- needs for concrete support to help public buyers to take into account sustainable development in their procurements
- difficulties for companies to respond - lack of offers taking into account sustainable development.
The PNAAPD recalls that green public procurement must achieve "smart" energy savings, as close as possible to the need, sobriety in terms of energy and resources. It advocates that by 2020 100% of the products and services purchased by public organizations be energy-efficient products.
POLICY FEATURES The ROP aims at promoting smart sustainable and inclusive growth. ROP 2014-2020 aims to ensure the continuity of the strategic vision on regional development in Romania, complementing and developing the regional development directions and priorities contained in the NDP and NSRF 2007-2013 and implemented through ROP 2007-2013 and other national programs. The ROP 2014-2020 addresses 9 of the 11 TO of the Europe 2020. For TO4 supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors, ROP envisages the highest allocation: 44,19%.
IMPROVEMENT Romania has not adopted until now a National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement, (being one of the last states without such a strategy), even though nearly 20% of its GDP is spent on public procurement (more than the average in the EU, which is 16%). As result, the contracting authorities did not really take into consideration the environmental value of goods, services and works even if the green public procurement generates not only positive environmental effects but also economic and social benefits. On the other hand, ERDF beneficiaries have an important role to play in the deployment of GPP at regional and national level, as they are realizing important purchases within their projects. The adoption of GPP by ERDF beneficiaries may create a virtous cercle of practices, influence the market and motivate other public bodies to purchase in a sustainable manner.
Italy adopted the Action plan for environmental sustainability of Public Administration’s consumption (PAN GPP) with a ministerial decree on 11th April 2008. Consequently, Regions are invited to include green and sustainable procurement in the regional set of laws and they should ponder the opportunity of adopting a regional plan for the implementation of PAN GPP that includes as well communication and training. Friuli Venezia Giulia Region has been a first mover in the national scenario, elaborating a first draft of the Regional plan already in 2014, acting as the Environmental Authority of the Regional Operational Plan for the European Regional Development Fund (POR-FSER) to introduce environmental criteria in the structural fund.
At national level, Legislative Decree 50/16 introduced a radical reform for PAs, that have now to contribute to the achievement of environmental targets, through the adoption of environmental criteria in their procurement procedures. This national reform was introduced when Friuli Venezia Giulia was already working on its regional plan for GPP, allowing the Region to act as Environmental Authority in the elaboration of new calls under POR FESR 20014-2020. Specific measures and tools still need to be developed to better address existing and potential GPP beneficiaries and to engage and capacitate various institutional stakeholders. The regional GPP plan will include operational tools and it will propose a monitoring system for the ERDF.
POLICY FEATURES The Rural Development Programme (RDP) of Lazio for the 2014-2020 period, formally adopted by the European Commission on 17/11/2015, has a value of € 804 million. Lazio's RDP is putting particular emphasis on actions related to improving the competitiveness of the farm and forestry sectors, as well as on actions related to restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems and to promoting social inclusion and economic development in rural areas.
IMPROVEMENT Tenders for funding actions under measure 4 (4.1.1 investments aimed at improving performance; 4.1.3 Investments for the improvement of the energy efficiency of production processes; 4.1.4 Investments in agricultural farms for the supply and use of sources of renewable energy supply, by-products and waste materials and raw materials and non-food; 4.2.2 Investments to agri-business enterprises, functional to improve energy efficiency) and measure 6 Support to agricultural start up of young farmers included green selection criteria. Monitoring tools and a communication strategy are necessary to improve knowledge of beneficiaries on how to pass from compliance with selection criteria to full greening of activities so as to be able also to enter into green supply chains. Actions to be funded under Measure 7 Services and development in rural areas shall include environmental criteria so as to make them coherent with the objectives of the recently approved Regional GPP Action Plan (Decision n. 310 of 13/06/2017).
The Regional Plan analyses the socio-economic and ecological state and potential of the region and presents strategic objectives for regional development. The plan complies with the national strategic framework and the regional development strategies of the main administrative units – Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Smolyan, Haskovo and Kardzhali. It sets as its strategic objective to bring the region’s development level closer to the average EU regions’ level, by increasing the regional competitiveness through local resources, new incentives for the innovative firms, application of new technologies, technology transfer, consultations and services. Specific Objectives 6 “Prevention of the effects of climate change” and 7 “Supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy” within Priority 1.3 “Development of infrastructure for environmental protection and adaptation to climate change” outline the measures that municipalities should uptake.
The improvement of local policy by-laws (local programmes for development and for air quality management, energy efficiency plans and programmes for their implementation; local RES Programmes; environmental and clean energy issues) in order to mitigate the effect of climate change is among the main priorities of the Regional Plan. GPP can bring a significant added value for their implementation. The Regional Plan foresees a specific horizontal objective linked to sustainability. GPP might help the Plan's beneficiaries to achieve this objective.
The legal framework of Municipal Development Plans is set out in the Regional Development Law of Bulgaria. It outlines the strategic policy and instruments for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Municipal Development Plan of Gabrovo municipality 2014-2020 reflects the goals and priorities of other hierarchical planning documents, i.e. the Regional Development Plan of Gabrovo Region 2014-2020 and the National Regional Development Strategy 2012-2022, and it is funded through: structural funds, state and municipal budgets, and private capital. The implementation of the Municipal Development Plan is through public procurement procedures, and is regulated by the Bulgarian Public Procurement Act (aligned with EU public procurement legislation), which allows the use of environmental criteria for green public procurement.
Gabrovo Municipality will develop, test and integrate new methodologies for GPPs in chosen categories within the Municipal Development Plan, i.e. construction works, delivery of products and provision of services etc., funded by EU, national, municipal and/or private funding. The project will set the methodological ground for introduction of GPPs, influencing other public bodies to introduce specific GPP recommendations in their tenders. The monitoring system of the municipal plan will be improved including indicators to measure the effect of GPPs.
This programme aims to enhance regional development and competitiveness of the Valencian Region by focusing on the following strategic priorities: investment in research and innovation, development of information technologies, support to SMEs and energy efficiency. These programme priorities have been mainly selected in concordance with Europe 2020 Thematic Objectives.
While Spain has adopted a National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement, the Valencian Region still has room for improvement in implementing this plan, in regard for instance, to other entities such as Barcelona which is a pioneer city in monitoring its GPP achievements. Even though Valencian public sector do use environmental criteria, its weight in the global process of decision-making is much lower than other criteria. Sharpening the policy related to GPP could increase their use, improve their impact and involve and empower ERDF beneficiaries into a positive dynamic of sustainable development.