In Greece GPP criteria and the implementation of EU and national GPP legislation have been promoted to the Purchasing Authorities via centralized public procurement of the National Central Purchasing Bodies. One can find these criteria in Framework Agreements for energy-efficient products for all Ministries of the Central Government and also GPP Criteria in unified technical specifications for products (paper, computers, monitors, imaging equipment, office furniture, interior lighting (led lamps), air condition machines). Also, there are important initiatives at the regional and local level (Ministries, Regions, and Municipalities) that implement GPP in European-funded projects as partners.
The development of an Action Plan for GPP was a consequence of Law 4412/2016: Public Procurement for goods, services and public works – transposition of the EU Directives 2014/24 and 2014/25 the Law 4342/2015 for energy efficiency - transposition of the EU Directive 2012/27/ΕU and following a series of basic documents such as Ministerial Decision for the 4th National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, Ministerial Decision for the National Action Plan for Energy and Climate, National Strategy for Circular Economy, National Strategy for Sustainable Growth, National Strategy for Public Procurement and Special legislation for the environmental licensing of public works. Furthermore, there has been established a special Committee for GPP under the participation of Ministry of Development and Investments, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transports, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior and Hellenic Single Public Procurement Authority – HSPPA.
The Action Plan was formulated taking into account the basic approach that Green Public Procurement is at the crossroads of the National Strategy for Public Procurement, the National Strategy for the Circular Economy, and the National Action Plan for energy saving-energy upgrading of public buildings. Also, the gradual application of environmental criteria in public procurement is expected to contribute in:
- reducing the energy and ecological footprint, contributing to tackling climate change, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- reduce the negative impact on the environment.
- contribute to the sustainable and more efficient use of natural resources energy.
- promoting innovation and competitiveness.
- saving public resources, taking into account the cost of life cycle.
- stimulate the demand for secondary materials, strengthening domestic entrepreneurship, environmental technologies, repair services, and reuse, as well as the cyclical pattern of production and consumption instead linear.
- enhancing social awareness on protection issues environment, in the reproduction and extension of the procurement model and in the private sector.
The development of the Greek Action Plan for GPP was based on the following objectives:
1. Establishment and implementation of an elementary level of adoption of green criteria in public procurement of products, services, and projects.
2. Gradual increase of GPP during the next three years in certain sectors of goods, services, and projects.
3. Wider integration of life cycle cost estimation in public procurement.
4. Dissemination of environmental and economic benefits of GPP.
5. Raising awareness, building capacity, and active participation of stakeholders (contracting authorities and economic operators) in GPP.
6. Monitoring the achievement and updating the objectives.
The application of the National Action Plan sets as milestones the implementation of communication activities, education/training activities and material, pilot activities, monitoring through an electronic platform, the upgrade and redesign every three years or earlier where necessary. The main categories selected for the implementation of the GPP are Photocopying paper, Computers and monitors, Imaging equipment, Interior lighting – LED lamps, Air-conditioning machines, Street lighting and traffic lights as mandatory and Furniture, Textiles, Public space maintenance, Waste water infrastructure, Electrical and Electronic Equipment used in the Health Care Sector as non-mandatory.
The main goal is for GPP to become an important factor in promoting innovation, providing real incentives for the development of green products and services. In addition, by adopting GPP, the public sector can save a great amount of financial resources, especially when considering the life cycle cost of the good, service, or project and not just the purchase price.