Construction cranes and a TV tower are silhouetted against an orange and blue sky in Berlin.

Photo: Max Langelott / Unsplash

Public procurement of goods and services contributes to about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In the EU, public purchasing represents 15% of its GDP, acting as a major influencer on the market through the products and services acquired by governments from the local to national levels. The public sector has a role to play in leveraging this purchasing power to achieve the best societal value for money, particularly as we scramble to bend the curve
of our planet’s warming.

Globally, the construction and transport sectors each represent about 12% of government procurements’ GHG emissions. Furthermore, these sectors’ decarbonization efforts demand profound and disruptive technological shifts. Hence, prioritizing these sectors can make the greatest impact towards reducing the environmental footprint of the public sector and support
faster decarbonization of key emitting industries. Meanwhile, the EU committed to achieving 55% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Drastic emissions reductions are needed at an unprecedented speed and scale to achieve this goal.

This report surveys the landscape of GPP in the EU, with a focus on construction and road transport. Through interviews and policy research, the authors compiled case studies of eight Member States with different profiles: Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Estonia, Poland, Spain and Italy. The authors used this information to identify solutions and best practices, and to set forth recommendations on how the EU and its countries can harmonize and strengthen their GPP policies on the path toward cutting their contributions to climate change.