The main focus of this first stakeholder event was the introduction of the project and an information session on GPP. Bernie Kiely provided the introduction to the project in the first presentation of the morning. She set the scene for GPP4Growth by discussing the role of GPP in terms of the SDG goals and in the context of the EU circular economy package and its ability to stimulate demand for sustainable goods and to drive eco-innovation. Bernie also outlined the EU and national level resources available for stakeholders. She then outlined the GPP4G project and the activities that will take place over the next two years in particular and highlighted the next steps the Department will be taking to advance the project while at the same time progressing increased engagement with GPP in Ireland.
Mark Hidson from ICLEI delivered the second presentation of the morning which focused on implementation of GPP, best practice examples and the supports available to organisations who wish to implement or increase GPP. Mark spoke of the connection between GPP and SPP and the benefits of these to business, society and the public sector. He demonstrated the key steps to follow in implementing GPP in an organization. Mark illustrated the benefits of this approach in a number of case studies from Ghent, Durham, Venlo, Barcelona and Helsinki.
Following the coffee break Abby Semple gave the final presentation of the morning. Abby’s presentation focused upon the EU policy and legislation and then moved on to the Irish context and policy and legislative and legal frameworks for GPP. Abby outlined possible priority areas for starting GPP activity in an organization where quick wins help instill confidence in the process and drive increased activity. She also gave a brief introduction of different costing methods, product availability issues and the impact of GPP on SME’s. Finally Abby outlined the evaluation of GPP through eco-labelling, certification, test reports and contract performance clauses.