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1 green public procurement in sweden

2 Title: Green Public Procurement in Sweden Orders Phone: + 46 (0) Fax: + 46 (0) Internet: The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency Phone: + 46 (0) Address: Naturvårdsverket, SE Stockholm, Sweden Internet: ISBN Naturvårdsverket 2009 Print: CM Gruppen AB Edition: 600 copies Design and illustration: AB Typoform Photos: cover: Roine Mangusson/Naturbild, p. 1 Tero Niemi/Naturbild, p. 5 Jonas Ingerstedt/Johner, p. 6 Anna Emilia/Johner, p. 7 Mattias Lundblad/ Nordic photos, p. 8 Per Magnus Persson, p. 9 Nicho Södling/Johner, p. 10 Stefan Berg/Johner, p. 11 Bertil Hagberg/Scanpix

3 Green public procurement a powerful tool We face great challenges in the environmental and climate field. The IPCC has shown that greenhouse gas emissions are changing the conditions for human life and impacting biodiversity. Much of the impact on the environment and climate is due to our production and consumption of goods and services. When public procurement processes involve environmental standards, they act as a powerful tool in our efforts to achieve the Swedish environmental and climate objectives, since they stimulate the market for sustainable goods and services. This has been found to be difficult to achieve using traditional instruments. Green public procurement has been used as an instrument of Swedish environmental policy for over ten years. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for monitoring and developing the instrument. We now know how we can encourage public organisations to assume greater environmental responsibility in their procurement processes. This brochure describes the experience we have gained, and is primarily aimed at those engaged in developing environmental policy instruments.

4 Sixty per cent specify environmental requirements The Swedish Government has been encouraging public bodies to assume greater environmental responsibility in their procurement processes for just over ten years. The Swedish action plan establishes that Green public procurement is a market-based and powerful controlling tool in the work of guiding society towards long-term and sustainable consumption and therefore Do you specify environmental requirements when procuring? production. 2009The action plan contains an analysis of the current situation, the objective that the proportion of 17green public 40 procurement 31 should have 8 11 increased by 2010, and a number of measures that must be taken if we are to achieve our objectives % Public procurement in Sweden has an annual turnover Always of approximately Often EUR Sometimes 50 billion. Seldom Never Around 60 per cent of public organisations say that they always or usually specify environmental requirements in their public procurement processes. This figure has remained fairly constant over the last five years. Public bodies with an environmental policy for procurement, with targets for their environmental performance, and with trained staff, specify environmental requirements to a greater Do you follow-up your procurement process extent than other organisations. from environmental viewpoint? 82 per cent say they have 2 an % environmental policy for procurement; Always 9 % 55 per cent have 20 % Most times objectives for environmental Never consideration in procurement, and 52 per cent say that the 23 % staff responsible for procurement have undergone training in green procurement. sometimes Only 30 % Seldom 11 per cent say they follow up completed 2 % No answer 14 % Don t know Do you have an evironmental policy for procurement? Do you specify environmental requirements when procuring? Yes No % Not well defined % 15 % No environmental Partly not 27 7criteria well defined % Always Often Sometimes Seldom Never 53 % Environmental criteria Do you have an evironmental policy for procurement? Yes No

5 Do you specify environmental requirements when procuring? procurement processes from an environmental viewpoint. Questionnaires reveal that the lack of 1 knowledge and experience of how to specify 1 environmental requirements is the greatest obstacle to green procurement. In order to take environmental factors into consideration % to a greater extent, purchasers need help % in formulating environmental Never requirements. They also desire access to tools for green procurement and Never information on best practice. Do you specify environmental requirements when procuring? Always Often Sometimes Always Seldom Often Sometimes Seldom Do you follow-up your procurement process from an environmental viewpoint? Do you follow-up your procurement process from an environmental 2 % viewpoint? Always 9 % 20 % 2 % Most times Never Always 9 % 20 % Most times Never 30 % Seldom 30 % Seldom 23 % sometimes 23 % sometimes 14 % 2 % Don t know No answer 14 % Don t know 2 % No answer Do you have an evironmental policy for procurement? Do 100you have an evironmental policy for procurement? No 80 facts Yes Procurement processes No 60 reviewed. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commissioned a review 40 of 270 Swedish procurement processes in 20 relevant product areas in Of these, 210 (78 per cent) involved environmental requirements, 2007 whereas procurement processes ( per cent) included 2009 poorly specified requirements that had no impact. These results reveal a need for knowledge about how environmental requirements should be formulated in a procurement procedure. Yes 10 % Not well defined 10 % 15 Not % well defined Partly not well 15 defined % Partly not well defined 53 % Environmental criteria 53 % Environmental criteria 22 % No environmental 22 % criteria No environmental criteria 3

6 The key to success There are thousands of purchasers in the public sector in Sweden. These purchasers must be motivated to specify environmental requirements, but circumstances must also enable them to do so. The following measures are particularly important: Involve decision makers It is important that politicians and other central and local decision makers are involved in the process of assuring green procurement. The political will and management support are essential to success. The Government can exercise control in the form of legislation and motivate purchasers via information and dialogue. Improve skills Specifying environmental requirements demands skill, both in procurement and in the environmental field. The Government can therefore offer training and practical guidance on green procurement. Offer an efficient and simple purchasing tool The greatest impact will be achieved if everyone specifies the same environmental standards to be met by suppliers. The Government can supply a simple tool in the form of predetermined procurement criteria produced by central government. Continuous follow-up Green procurement processes must be followed up in order to know how the instrument is developing, and to be able to propose new measures. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts regular questionnaire surveys and qualitative audits of procurement processes. 4

7 Involve decision makers A successful central or local green procurement procedure requires both political will and management support. The Government can exercise control in the form of legislation and motivate purchasers via information and dialogue. Control of government agencies Government agencies in Sweden with a significant environmental impact have been instructed to implement and develop environmental management systems and to carry out green procurement. The proportion of procurement processes where environmental requirements are specified, and the value of procurement processes are reported to the Government once a year. These agencies are also bound by an ordinance under which they may only purchase green cars. Involve local and regional decision makers Officials of local and regional organisations must have a mandate and resources to be able to specify environmental requirements in procurement processes. This presupposes that a management decision has been taken. To achieve this, the Government arranges information campaigns and conferences for local and regional decision makers. 5

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9 Improve the skill of purchasers Questionnaire responses have revealed that a lack of knowledge among purchasers is the greatest obstacle to green procurement. Training, telephone advisory services, networks and information on best practice are some ways of making expertise in the field available to those who need it. Help desk Many purchasers want advice on how environmental requirements should be specified. Suppliers also need help in the procurement process. The Swedish Environmental Management Council offers a help desk via telephone or . It provides concrete and practical advice to purchasers, so that more people succeed in specifying effective environmental requirements. The service is also valuable for the Environmental Management Council, since it helps to identify questions and issues of importance to purchasers and suppliers. The help desk is available free of charge. Training Studies show that public bodies that have trained their staff have made most progress in greening procurement. The Environmental Management Council is therefore taking steps to integrate environmental training in standard procurement training courses, and to arrange its own training programmes. Online courses are another way of making training available to more people. The Environmental Management Council has developed two online courses, available free on the website. facts The Swedish Environmental Management Council is a limited liability company owned jointly by the Swedish State, trade and industry, municipalities and county councils. The Council gives impetus to green public procurement by providing environmental criteria, expertise and information. 7

10 An efficient and simple purchasing tool The impact will be greatest when all public bodies specify the same environmental requirements in their procurement processes. The best way of achieving this is for the Government to offer a simple tool with suitable environmental criteria, available free of charge. The requirements will only work if they are supported both by purchasers and by suppliers. The Environmental Management Council is drafting procurement criteria for a large number of products purchased in the public sector. These comprise proposed requirements, criteria and contract terms, background information and explanatory notes. The proposals are being drafted as part of an extensive quality assurance process involving representatives from the public and private sector. Important lessons learned from this process are: Support It is important that the environmental criteria produced have the support of purchasers and suppliers alike, so that they work in public procurement. Firstly, there must be suppliers that meet the requirements; secondly, the requirements must drive the market for green products. Verification and follow-up If an instrument is to be credible, the criteria must include proposals for how the environmental criteria can be verified by suppliers, and how purchasers can determine that the criteria have been met. Help desk It is important to allocate resources so that users receive answers to their questions about the environmental criteria. The Environmental Management Council supplies the help desk and support. facts Half of Swedish public bodies say they use the Environmental Management Council criteria to green their procurement. Those not using the tool say this is mainly because they are not aware of its existence, or do not know how it should be used. 8

11 continuous follow-up The Swedish EPA has been monitoring the greening of public procurement since 2001 by means of qualitative and quantitative studies. The results of the studies are used as a basis for developing new measures and updating the Swedish action plan. Questionnaires every three years Every three years a questionnaire survey is carried out among those responsible for procurement in central government, municipalities and county councils. The response level is usually around 80 per cent. To ensure a high response level, the questionnaires are of a general nature, without too much detail. Quality audit In addition, some 300 procurement processes in various product areas are audited every three years, which gives us an idea of the requirements specified in procurement processes. The results show whether environmental requirements have been specified, and how they have been expressed. facts The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, created in 1967, is the national agency for environmental protection and nature conservation. Its key tasks are to present proposals for environmental policy and legislation to the Swedish Government and ensure that environmental policy decisions are implemented. 9

12 Best practice 1: Central procurement of computers Swedish State procurement processes are coordinated in the form of framework agreements in areas where government agencies share large purchasing volumes. The personal computer contract is the largest single framework agreement, worth around 250 million Euro each year. The procurement process for the framework agreement includes requirements regarding energy performance and chemicals in components. Thanks to the environmental requirements in the central computer procurement process, government agencies have reduced their annual energy consumption by 3,750 MWh. In addition, emissions of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants have fallen by approximately 26 tonnes. By informing individuals placing orders under the framework agreement of the most energy-efficient options, there is an additional potential energy saving of 16,100 MWh a year. 10

13 Best practice 2: Green cars Since 1 February 2009 all automobiles purchased or leased by Swedish government agencies must be green cars. Green cars must also be used by those ordering taxis or hire cars. This requirement has been laid down in an ordinance. Petrol or diesel driven automobiles may emit no more than 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre; light commercial vehicles may emit a maximum of 230 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre. In addition, agencies must ensure that the cars use renewable fuels to the greatest possible extent. Purchases of vehicles and fuels are reported to the Government once a year. This measure has given a boost to the green car market in Sweden. Furthermore many municipalities, county councils and companies aim to purchase green cars, as defined. 11

14 Facts about Sweden Area: 174,000 sq mi (450,000 km²), the third largest country in Western Europe Forests: 53% Mountains: 11% Cultivated land: 8% Lakes and rivers: 9% Capital: Stockholm Stockholm Stockholm Population: 9.3 million inhabitants Language: Swedish Form of government: Constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy Parliament: The Riksdag, with 349 members in one chamber Most important export goods: Electronic and telecom equipment, machinery, passenger cars, paper, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel Most important imported goods: Electronic and telecom equipment, machinery, foodstuffs, crude oil, textile products, footwear and passenger cars 12

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