Green Tenders to advance green economy in Ireland
The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr Phil Hogan, T.D., and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin, T.D., jointly launched Ireland's first Green Public Procurement Action Plan, Green Tenders.
The overall objective of Green Tenders is to assist public authorities to successfully plan and implement green public procurement (GPP). Public authorities are major consumers, spending some €14 billion annually. Clearly, Ireland's public sector has considerable leverage to stimulate the marketplace in favour of the provision of more resource-efficient, less polluting, goods, services and works.
“By using their purchasing power to choose, goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact, public authorities can make an important contribution towards local, national and international sustainability goals. Green Public Procurement can therefore be a key driver of the green economy in Ireland”, the Ministers said.
Eight priority areas
This initial action plan has focused on eight priority areas: Construction, Energy, Transport, Food and Catering Services, Cleaning Products and Services, Paper, Uniforms and Textiles, and ICT.
The Ministers noted that GPP can also be a major driver for innovation, providing industry with real incentives for developing green products and services – particularly in sectors where public purchasers represent a large share of the market such as construction, health services or public transport.
In a joint foreword to Green Tenders, the Ministers said:
“This initiative should also be viewed in the context of the Government's recently announced Public Service Reform Plan which contains a suite of measures in relation to public procurement. Reform of the public procurement function is, and remains, driven by the need to obtain maximum value for public money in procuring works, supplies and services. This Action Plan is therefore a major milestone, not just in effectively introducing a sustainable development mindset within public procurement practices, but also in ensuring that taxpayers' money is spent wisely.”
An Implementation Group, representative of public authorities and relevant stakeholders will be established to oversee and monitor implementation of the Action Plan across the eight areas chosen and to report on progress annually.
Green Tenders was developed following an extensive public consultation process. Some 57 written submissions were received from major stakeholders in the public sector, from supplier and wider private sector representatives, from academic specialists, and from environmental and social NGOs.
The Ministers thanked everyone who participated so actively in the consultation process and stressed that the continued support of all of the stakeholders involved would be critical in ensuring the successful implementation of Green Tenders.
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government