Implementation of Green Considerations in Public Procurement: A Means to Promote Sustainable Development

Implementation of Green Considerations in Public Procurement: A Means to Promote Sustainable Development

Andrea Appolloni (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy), Maria Antonietta Coppola (Independent Researcher, Italy) and Gustavo Piga (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7083-7.ch002

Abstract

Green considerations can be applied during all phases of the public procurement process: from the pre-award to the award and post-award phase. They can be included in technical specifications, award criteria, and contract performance clauses. Technical specifications provide a detailed description to the market of the good, work, or service to be procured. They constitute the basis for drafting green award criteria, which allow contracting entities to evaluate the received bids and award the contract. Contract performance clauses can also be used by public contracting entities to introduce environmental considerations in the procurement process. These clauses are based on the capacity of the winning bidder to perform the negotiated environmental criteria. Notwithstanding the importance of GPP, green considerations are seldom applied in public procurement. Reasons can be found in the lack of appropriate regulations at national and international level, or in the actual lack of training of the procurement workforce.
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Procurement can be defined as the activity of purchasing goods, works and services in a transparent, impartial, non-discriminatory and competitive manner in order to achieve both the quality of outputs and value for money. This definition entails the main principles of every procurement process, which also constitute the core part of the international legal framework for public procurement.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Award Criteria: Award criteria enable the contracting entities to evaluate and compare the different bids received based on price solely or on price and quality, the criteria shall be predetermined, set in advance, and linked to the subject matter of the contract.

Technical Specifications: Technical specifications have the function to provide a detailed description to the market of the good, work, or service to be procured, thus allowing interested economic operators to draft appropriate bids; they shall be proportionate to the size and complexity of the procurement.

Sustainable Procurement: Procurement is called sustainable when it combines requirements, specifications and criteria that encompass the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability.

Contract Performance Clauses: Contract performance clauses are included in the contract that has to be signed between the contracting entity and the winning bidder and specify the way in which a contract should be carried out, these clauses can include green considerations.

Performance-Based Specifications: A performance-based specification usually describes the desired results and outputs of the procurement exercise and indicates how they will be measured; this type of specification does not include the inputs to be provided or the methods to be used by economic operators.

Green Products and Services: The adjective “green” referred to products and services indicates that such products and services require the use of fewer resources, have a fewer impact on the environment, are designed to last longer when compared to similar ones.

Whole-Life Costing (WLC): Life-cycle costing that takes also indirect costs into account is referred to as whole-life costing (WLC).

Life-Cycle Costing (LCC): LCC corresponds to the sum of the costs that the contracting entity bears during the whole process of procuring, owning and disposing, LCC calculation includes purchasing price and the associated costs, operating costs and end-of-life costs.

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