Recently, you may have heard a lot about the so-called “Green Procurement” or “Green Public Procurement“, but what is it?
Public Administrations are following a path oriented towards environmental sustainability, to decrease the impact of the goods and services put out to tender. Let’s see in detail what we are talking about and how this is an important step for our future.
Green Public Procurement: let’s clarify a little bit
With an expenditure of 16% of European GDP, public administrations are the largest consumer group in Europe, which is why they have been involved in a sustainable development project. Public authorities have therefore the important task of directing the development of the Italian territory towards new models of production and consumption, in order to stop the environmental alarm that has been hitting our planet in recent decades.
In this regard, in 2008 Italy launched the “Action Plan for the Environmental Sustainability of Public Administration Consumption”, called PAN GPP, which illustrates the meaning of Green Public Procurement and defines the so-called “Minimum Environmental Criteria“, that are the rules to maximize environmental and economic benefits when choosing to purchase or drawing up tenders. With the entrance of the New Public Procurement Code in May 2017, a further step forward was taken and Green Public Procurement became obligatory in Italy. Public Administrations are now required to choose goods and services that, during all phases of their life cycle, have a low environmental and social impact. This represents a very important goal for our country, which is becoming an international reference point in the transition to an ecological economy through the strengthening of eco-sustainable practices in relations between businesses and public administrations.
The advantages of Green Procurement
We have seen that Green Public Procurement has now become an essential practice for the preservation of our Planet and now we want to share with you the 4 main benefits that it can bring:
Expansion of markets for green products and services.
Have you ever thought about how most products and services put on the market are harmful to your health and the environment? Increasing the supply of green goods and services is a fundamental step to save our lives and our world;
Developing new environmental technologies
In a reality where people are using more resources than they can afford, designing and marketing technological innovations that help achieve a higher level of sustainability is the key to moderating the impacts of production activities and preserving human health, do you agree?
Conservation of the environment through the sustainable use of natural resources and raw materials
More than 60% of our ecosystems are already over-exploited, the world’s fish stocks are at serious risk and, due to the felling of many trees, the quality of air and water is threatened. Using resources more efficiently to improve the environment is therefore of paramount importance and we should all put this into practice!
Reducing waste and closing the material cycle
By recovering discarded materials, natural resources are continuously used in new cycles of use or production, almost never ending up as waste. If you think about it, this practice generates a lot of benefits: the local economy is fed, the import of raw materials and the related environmental costs are reduced, the production costs of goods and services are lowered and employment levels are raised. All this is a huge advantage, don’t you think?
Environmental certifications: Ecolabel and Oeko-Tex
Environmental certifications have a central role in Green Public Procurement because they represent qualified proof that the products in question comply with the Minimum Environmental Criteria required by law. Having an accredited certification is a huge advantage for Public Administrations; their biggest challenge is to verify that the products actually meet the environmental criteria in the tenders and this can be complicated and time consuming.
The public label of the European Union: Eu Ecolabel
Among the certifications we find the EU Ecolabel, which distinguishes products and services with low environmental impact and high quality and performance standards, ensuring simplified access to green procurement. Given its importance, several European countries offer facilitations and incentives for products and services with this label. Cast Bolzonella, always attentive to environmental issues, has created a selection of Ecolabel certified work clothes.
A laudable private initiative: the Oeko-Tex® brand
The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification guarantees the absence of harmful substances in textile products and ensures that the manufacturer is environmentally friendly both in processes and factories to protect human health. This certification is also important for participation in many tenders and for this reason Cast Bolzonella has created a collection of Oeko-Tex certified workwear.
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