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Measuring the Environmental Soundness of Public Procurement in Nordic Countries

image of Measuring the Environmental Soundness of Public Procurement in Nordic Countries

The importance of Greener Public Purchasing, GPP, has increasingly been recognised by those who work to promote sustainable development. In the communication on Integrated Product Policy, IPP, the EU Commission encourages Member States to draw up publicly available action plans to green their public procurement. The Nordic Council of Ministers has stressed the importance of GPP in the strategy for sustainable development and has initiated co-ordination efforts so that public buyers in all the Nordic countries can benefit from each other’s experience. The aim of this study was to develop a method to measure the environmental soundness of public procurement and to produce information on the kind of environmental criteria that are used for different product groups. The study also focused on the situation of greener public procurement in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, more specifically, on the larger public purchases, which are governed by directives. The results showed that public purchasers seek to consider environmental aspects quite often. However, attention needs to be paid to how relevant product-specific environmental aspects are defined and the criteria formulated.

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Discussion and conclusions

The survey’s response rate was relatively good. However, with this method, the response rate could, in principle, have reached 100%: purchasers should have been ready to send the tender documents, as they are obliged to send them to every tenderer who asks for them. In practise, the response rate was lower for tender documents and much lower for award decisions.

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