Project summary

Green Public Procurement to achieve Green Growth 

GPP4Growth brings together nine partners from nine countries, to exchange experiences & practices and improve their capacities on implementing resource efficiency policies that promote eco-innovation and green growth through Green Public Procurement (GPP).


Project objectives

GPP4GROWTH aims to address the challenges and exploit the opportunities related to the adoption of the new EU public procurement system, effective since April 2016. Europe's public authorities consume 14% of the EU GDP on goods, services and works of a total estimated value of EUR 1.8 trillion annually. This purchasing power is now anticipated to promote environmentally friendly and resource–efficient goods and services (e.g. energy efficient electronic and electrical equipment supplies, electricity from renewable energy resources, sustainable construction works, low-emission public transport vehicles, cleaning services using environmentally friendly cleaning products, etc).

For this purpose, GPP4Growth will support public authorities to seize new opportunities for using their purchase power to stimulate eco-innovation, resource efficiency and green growth, mostly by using new award criteria in calls and tenders that pay particular attention to environmental considerations. The updated framework that will emerge is anticipated to  address the needs of the territories regarding compliance to the new EU public procurement system. 

More specifically the project aims to:

  • Increase the capacity of regional administrations to effectively implement resource efficiency policies, applying green public procurement.
  • Improve the implementation of national/regional resource efficiency policies, providing incentives to businesses to integrate environmental factors and costs when producing goods and/or providing supplies, services and works.
  • Unlock regional/national investments on green public procurement to promote the development of new green products and services.
  • Improve regional actors’ readiness and create knowledge awareness on the influence of green public procurement on the adoption of sustainable consumption and production patterns by businesses operating in the region.


Expected changes

  • Over 7% increase in the number of businesses in partners’ regions, integrating environmental factors and costs when producing goods and/or providing supplies, services and works.
  • Increased capacity of 200 staff of public administrations to effectively implement resource efficiency policies, applying GPP.
  • 10 million Euros of investments unlocked to promote new green products and services development.
  • Increased knowledge awareness of over 1000 stakeholders on the influence of GPP on the adoption of sustainable consumption and production patterns by businesses.


Main activities and outputs

  • Analysis of the factors that influence businesses to participate in green tenders and contracts
  • Evaluation of existing regional and national policies that promote eco-innovation and green growth through GPP.
  • Identification of good practices on GPP methods that led to the implementation of green contracts.
  • Development of a digital lifecycle costing (LCC) method and resources for all EU public administrations to allow harmonised application of LCC.
  • Promotion of interregional learning and capacity building through 3 interregional workshops, 2 existing experience visits, and policy learning events.
  • 14 policy briefs to transfer GPP4Growth lessons learnt to public authorities beyond the partnership.
  • Joint development of 9 regional action plans to improve the addressed policy instruments.  


from 1 Jan 2017
to 31 Dec 2021

Environment and resource efficiency

What policy instruments does the project address?

Main features

The 2nd strategic objective of the OP of Western Greece focuses on environment protection and on a shift to an environmentally-friendly economy. Thematic objectives 4 & 6 include measures related to:

  •  6a & 6b - Investments in the waste and water sector to meet the EU’s requirements
  • 6e - Improving the urban environment, reducing air pollution and noise
  • 4b - Promoting renewable resources use in enterprises
  • 4c - Supporting energy efficiency in public infrastructure, including public buildings and in the housing sector
  • 4e - Promoting sustainable multimodal urban mobility

Reasons for improvement 

Green public procurement (GPP) in the implementation of Western Greece O.P. is not explicitly foreseen. In Greece there are no specific guidelines for GPP for regional public authorities, as the country is listed among the 5 EU countries that have not developed a national GPP plan yet. Integrating GPP into tenders for selecting proposals under the above mentioned thematic objectives will boost the potential of enterprises/beneficiaries of O.P. in the region to develop green products and services, and improve their environmental impact and competitiveness through green growth. The managing authority has also identified the need to develop an integrated and coherent methodological framework for monitoring projects funded under the O.P., to early identify any deviations of original objectives, including objectives related to environmental protection and resource efficiency. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • University of Patras

Main features

36% of funds of the ROP of Lombardy 2014-2020 are allocated to priority axis 1, aiming at enhancing technological development and innovation, also focusing on eco-industry, while 26% of funds support projects under axes 4 and 5, aiming to promote environmental protection and sustainable urban environment.

Investment priority 1b3: Promoting new markets for innovation, particularly in the field of resources efficiency.

Action 1.b.3.1: Strengthening of the demand for innovation in resource efficiency, green products and services, by supporting actions of Pre-commercial Public Procurement and Innovative Procurement.

Reasons for improvement 

Following the approval of the new national legislation on public tenders, effective since February 2016, GPP becomes mandatory, and all public administrations in Italy have to integrate environmental criteria into public purchases. The Lombardy region, as Managing Authority of the Lombardy ROP, has identified the need to more systematically use GPP criteria in tenders, following the provisions of the national Action Plan on GPP developed by the Ministry of Environment. Although GPP criteria has been developed for several sectors, life cycle costing methods need to be integrated in sectors such as food, health, tourism, construction and cleaning services, which are supported by the ROP. Furthermore, rewarding environmental criteria need to be developed in addition to core criteria to spur eco-innovation in businesses. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • Lombardy Region

Objectives of Regional Operational Programme ŁÓDŹ PROVINCE (ROP-LODZKIE)

Achieving green economic growth is one of the key themes of ROP-LODZKIE that aims to foster innovation, strengthen resource and energy efficiency, and establish social and territorial cohesion in the Lodzkie Region.

Main measures concerned by the instrument 

ROP-LODZKIE aims to revitalise the sustainability of Lodzkie Region’s economy using endogenous means. ROP-LODZKIE will utilise GPP to a) encourage SMEs to assess and address resource use issues, and b) increase the production of eco-innovations among SMEs and regional and local public administrations. This will be achieved, for example, by improving resource efficiency through targeted actions in the public services of metropolitan areas, sustainable tourism, manufacturing and ceramic industries, by modernising public and residential buildings in terms of resource efficiency, and by promoting a safe and low emission urban transport system.

Areas for improvement

ROP-LODZKIE will support projects congruent with its investment priorities V (protection of the environment) and VI (revitalization and endogenous potential of the region). Along these lines ROP-LODZKIE will have to deal with the poor technical conditions of industry and buildings infrastructures of the Lodzkie Region in terms of energy and resource efficiency, the lack of management planning for green products and the general lack of promotion of the use of renewable energy sources.  

Which partners are working on this?
  • Lodzkie Region


Flemish Government – Department of CHANCELLERY AND GOVERNANCE (FG-DCG) has developed the Flemish Public Procurement Plan 2016-2020 (FPPP) to improve the resource efficiency of its economy, since public procurement supports significantly innovative, green and socially responsible products and solutions. As a major investor and consumer, FG-DCG aims to:

  • develop criteria for green and innovative public procurement
  • use GPP as a tool for promoting green growth -professionalise its procurement
  • develop e-procurement
  • increase SMEs’ participation in public procurement


FPPP main measures

Flanders has to support eco-innovation and sustainable development in sectors such as sustainable chemistry, manufacturing, specialised logistics and agri-food, construction, and sustainable trade. FPPP improves the resource efficiency of the Flemish economy by limiting the consumption of primary raw materials, increasing the use of recycled products, making sure that no resource inefficient public works are funded, promoting sustainable biomass and developing sustainable transports.


Areas for improvement

FG-DCG aims to promote the effective use of international networks, enhance the dissemination of innovative applications that are congruent with investment priorities such as promoting green growth and enhancing the competitiveness of resource-efficient SMEs, and adopt a territorial development approach for the urban regions of Antwerp, designed to promote green growth.  

Which partners are working on this?
  • Province of Antwerp

Main features

The ROP of Andalusia aims to contribute to the more efficient use of natural resources. 14% of the total funds are allocated to interventions to improve region’s environmental performance and achieve green growth.

As Andalusia demonstrates poorer environmental performance compared to similar EU regions, the ROP of Andalusia focuses on the following investments priorities, aiming to improve the current recovery rate of waste, water quality and air pollution in the region:

  • 6a - Investments in the waste sector to meet the relevant EU’s Directives’ requirements
  • 6b - Investments in the water sector to meet the relevant EU’s Directives’ requirements
  • 6e - Actions to improve the urban environment, reduce air pollution and promote noise reduction measures.


Reasons for improvement

The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of Andalusia (ANDALUSIA) has identified the following areas for improvement in the policy instrument:

  • The programme lacks specific provisions on how to stimulate proposals and projects in the field of resource efficiency and eco-innovation under the investment priorities mentioned above.
  • Provisions for monitoring projects in contrast to environmentally-friendly and green KPIs have not been adequately developed.
  • Although cases of green public procurement are regular in the sectors of paper and publishing, cleaning services and office equipment, there are limited in the fields of waste, water management and transport. 
Which partners are working on this?
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (Regional Government of Andalusia)

Objectives of Operational Programme “GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT” (OPGE)

In Latvia there is a single operational programme aiming to achieve key development priorities at regional and national level. OPGE aims to provide support to the sustainable development of Latvia's economy, by designing a green monitoring control system, preventing environmental risks in a timely manner, and ensuring society’s participation in environmental management. Indicatively, Latvia aims to increase of share of renewable energy in the gross final energy consumption to 40% by 2020.


Main features

OPGE supports green growth by ensuring environmental information and education, and community participation with regards to the following investment priorities:

  • Environmental protection and resource efficiency
  • Shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors
  • Competitiveness of SMEs

OPGE aims to promote measures that guarantee resource efficiency, the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, the extraction and use of environmentally friendly resources, green procurement and green consumption and the development of environmental policy.


Areas for improvement

Latvia needs to increase the awareness about the benefits of the implementation of green criteria in public procurement processes, as well as expand their use in its public administrations, in order to modernise the interactions between the latter and the non-governmental sector, resolve environmental issues, and achieve green growth. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • Zemgale planning region

In Bulgaria, regional development is tackled by national operational programmes. OPE aims at:

  1. protecting the environment, reducing emissions and preventing the loss of biodiversity,
  2. developing new green technologies, and
  3. building a more competitive, resource efficient economy.

GPP can further improve the implementation of measures under the following OPE’s priority axes:

  • PA1 “Water”: improving quality parameters in urban wastewater treatment
  • PA2 “Waste”: improving the municipal waste management and infrastructures
  • PA4 “Flood and landslides risk prevention and management”: Construction of fortification facilities, drainage structures for reducing subsoil waters and/or structures for leading surface waters
  • PA5 “Improvement of the ambient air quality”: reducing emissions of urban transport, industrial emissions


Reasons for improvement

As acknowledged by OPE’s beneficiaries (municipalities, bodies within the Ministry of Environment), integrated mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating proposals based on more reliable indicators need to be adopted to better implement OPE. Defining life cycle costing methods for proposals’ selection, and improving the capacity for procurement, contracting and management of approved projects, based on common green criteria for each priority axis would result in a more effective GPP system, aiming to improve resource efficiency in the region, lead to the development of innovative green products and works, and to new jobs opportunities. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency

Main features

The 4th and 5th priorities of BMW ROP aim at supporting sustainable and green development and resource efficient economy in the region. The relevant investment priorities are:

  • 6e - Taking action to improve the urban environment, to revitalise cities, regenerate and decontaminate brownfield sites, reduce air pollution and promote noise reduction.
  • 4c - Supporting energy efficiency, smart energy management and renewable energy use in public infrastructure, including in public buildings and in the housing sector.

The BWW ROP foresees the rehabilitation of industrial sites and contaminated land, improving at the same time water and air quality and supply.


Reasons for improvement

Improvements on the management of BMW ROP are envisaged through the more systematic use of GPP in tenders and contracts supported by the ROP, especially in relation to sustainable construction and renovation works of the urban environment, transport, housing and public buildings. This will be achieved through the improvement of bids’ evaluation criteria and relative weightings, and processes that take into account life cycle cost efficiency. The establishment of a system of certification and eco-labelling as regards resource efficiency is also foreseen to enable the managing authority to integrate eco-labels as requirement for projects’ approval. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • Department of Environment, Climate and Communications

Objectives of OPI

Malta has a single operational programme aiming to achieve key development priorities at regional and national level. More precisely, OPI aims to support:

  1. the development of a resource efficient economy
  2. eco-innovation in sectors such as public infrastructure and buildings, the housing sector, ICT, maritime services and manufacturing, and
  3. renewable energy use.


Main measures

The government aims to utilise green public procurement to induce resource efficiency and the use of green products and technologies, to promote sustainable growth in Malta. Hence, the government aims to boost sustainable tourism by promoting eco-innovation and thus upgrade the resource efficiency of tourism in the Harbour region. Furthermore, the aim is to increase investments in renewable materials in public infrastructure thus ensuring the maximisation of rooftop usage of government and public buildings, and the introduction of solar PV farms in areas with low environment sensitivity. The government will also aim to improve resource efficiency in public property and in housing, e.g. by developing zero energy public buildings by 2018.


Areas for improvement

Further efforts are needed to exchange with other regions good governance practices that meet EU requirements concerning life cycle cost assessment, waste management, eco-innovation, resource efficiency in public infrastructure, improvements in urban environment, and increase in the share of renewable materials.  

Which partners are working on this?
  • Malta Regional Development and Dialogue Foundation