Guide launched to improve sustainability in Irish public sector

Gurjit Degun
12 September 2014

Public sector procurement professionals in Ireland are being encouraged to incorporate sustainable criteria into tenders in a guide published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Green Procurement Guidance for the Public Sector provides best practice examples and detailed criteria to include in tenders. It covers eight sectors: road transport vehicles and services, energy, construction, food and catering services, cleaning products and services, textiles and uniforms, office IT equipment, and paper.

“Green public procurement is a core strand of driving sustainability, promoting resource efficiency, and progressing circular economy ambitions,” the guide said. It also explained the greater benefits beyond value and sustainability, including reputation because the “public sector as a whole has a responsibility to display leadership on environmental issues”.

Ireland has set itself a target of 50 per cent of procurement (both by number of contracts and by value) to include at least core green public procurement criteria. 

EPA deputy director general Dara Lynott said: “Through its purchasing activities, the public sector can take the lead in sustainable consumption and production. Green public procurement is an essential tool in incentivising Irish businesses to adopt more sustainable business practices and in doing so differentiating themselves in the marketplace.”

The guide’s author Jane Kennelly added: “The public sector has a responsibility to display leadership on environmental issues such as energy, water use and waste management. The EPA will be promoting green public procurement as an essential component of a resource efficient economy and encouraging government departments and agencies to ensure its successful implementation and progression.”

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