This was the third stakeholder meeting of the GPP4Growth stakeholder group which was focused on ecolabels and their use in procurement.
The first presentation was from Irene Cadogan (DCCAE) who started the session with an overview of the GPP4Growth project, the outcomes of the project to date and an update on action points identified at the previous stakeholder meeting. Irene also provided an update on GPP policy developments in Ireland and outlined some future plans. (The presentation has been uploaded to the project platform)
The second speaker was Jeanne Copeland from Greenville procurement (presentation also uploaded to the project platform). Jeanne gave an overview of the role of GPP, the current state of play in terms of resources for procurers. The presentation provided some technical guidance on how to include eco-labels in the procurement process including the key parts of the public procurement directives. A step by step guide to how ecolabels can be used throughout the whole procurement cycle was presented which also covered where other environmental criteria may be considered.
The final presentation came from Pat Barry of the Irish Green Building Council. Pat outlined the various different types of labels in the construction sector at both the building level sector (BREEAM, WELL, LEAD, HPI) and the product level. He outlined the different types of ecolabels (Types I-III) for products and how these manifest in practice.
Pat explained the role of environmental product declarations (EPD) in terms of procurement and how the information provided in an EPD could allow procurers greater scope in the specification part of the tendering process than a standard ecolabel. EPD’s also provide an insight into the types of products on the market that can suit a particular purpose.
Pat also outlined the Home Performance Index (HPI) which is Ireland’s first national certification system for residential housing. It provides a label for quality sustainable residential development, complementing existing schemes used in the commercial sector such as BREEAM and LEED.