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Tackling climate change through Green Public Procurement (GPP)

18 December 2018

From electric buses to zero energy kindergartens, from recycled construction materials to organic catering services, city administrations worldwide are increasingly procuring innovative, low carbon solutions to help them deliver public services in the most sustainable way possible.

Globally, public procurement accounts for some 10-15% of GDP (WTO) - although this figure varies substantially according to country and market sector. This represents a huge degree of purchasing power, meaning that the procurement decisions which public administrations make can have a huge impact on the market – and help encourage that market to offer more sustainable goods and services.

A report by IFC (International Finance Corporation) analysed the potential for climate-smart investments across different sectors at city level. This highlights that almost all our purchasing actions have climate change impacts – whether this relates to the energy products consume, or CO2 emissions embedded in global supply chains. The most significant procurement sectors for cities include building and infrastructure construction/renovation, transportation (covering public fleets, public transportation services, as well as embedded transportation in the delivery of goods and services), food, energy, and energy consuming products. In all these sectors cities are helping to drive new technologies and solutions, by providing an invaluable launch market and helping suppliers achieve economies of scale.

Many cities across the globe – from Auckland to Tshwane, from Oslo to Seoul, from Buenos Aires to Montréal – are putting in place green or sustainable procurement strategies and policies aimed designed to harness the power of procurement to achieve a wide range of sustainability goals, such as climate change mitigation. The Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement provides an international platform for cities to highlight their achievements and share their experiences.

Read the full report here.