Photo: 50m. above / Unsplash

In the EU, government spending on works, goods and services amounted to about 15% of its GDP in 2020. EU’s enormous purchasing power provides significant leverage for public entities to send strong market signals supporting the green transition while mitigating the public sector’s environmental impacts. Since 2008, the European Commission has recognized Green Public Procurement (GPP) as a key policy instrument.

However, the implementation of GPP policies in EU Member States (MS) has been slow and still lags far below the European Commission’s target set in 2008 to make half of all public tendering procedures meet the core EU GPP criteria by 2010. The EU needs additional measures to ensure MS are on the right path to reaching the EU’s 2030 climate target of a net 55% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is especially crucial in the road transport and construction sectors, due to their significant climate mitigation potential and sizeable public procurement volumes.

In 2022, SEI explored the GPP policy landscape and practices among eight EU MS with a focus on construction and road transport sectors: Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Estonia, Poland, Spain, Italy – countries representing a mix of those that have used GPP for several years or only just started; major and minor economies; and centralized and decentralized governance systems.