The implementation of Green Public Procurement for 30% of procurement is a viable goal

The inclusion of GPP criteria in at least 30% of public procurement occasions is a goal that indeed can be achieved by 2017.  Given the fact that last year the proportion of GPP has reached already 19%, a result that exceeded the expectations of the government planning documents, the success is very likely. Such conclusions were made during the meeting rounds of the working group, established by the Riga Planning Region (RPR), which consists of various experts from the state, municipal, public, and private sectors.
Within the frameworks of project GreenS, the Riga Planning Region has established the Green Public Procurement steering committee in order to facilitate a successful implementation of GPP in the municipalities in Latvia. It is planned that in total there will be seven meetings of the working group, consisting of representatives from state institutions, municipalities, public and private sectors.
As it was pointed out by the meeting organiser Ms Aija Zučika, representative of RPR and project GreenS, Latvia is currently moving on the right direction towards the implementation of Green Public Procurement, yet now it is necessary to create a solid and unitary practice for state and municipal institutions, which would endorse the institutions to make better solutions. One of the main obstacles that impedes within a more successful use of GPP, is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of municipalities. Besides, the supply of goods and products that are suitable for the very concept of Green Public Procurement, is merely on its early development stage and companies are working in this regard.
According to Mr Maris Klismets, director of the Coordination Department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers are being prepared now. These regulations will aim to endorse the application of GPP criteria to public tenders organised by state institutions and municipalities. Currently, there are very ambitious goals set on the state level, but the experience and figures already indicate that this will be a feasible goal. It is certain that this proportion will never be 100%, especially when one considers that not all public procurements comply with the concept of GPP. Moreover, one cannot set too high criteria, because this would mean an additional burden to companies that would be forced to re-target their goods and supply. This is the reason why the implementation of GPP must happen gradually.
The aim of Green Public Procurement is to promote a development of policies that are friendly to the environment, by reducing the impact of human activities to the environment, to endorse environment-friendly and sustainable improvements in the conditions of living in our society. One of the tools of how to stimulate the development of these policies is to include appropriate environmental and energy-efficiency requirements in state and municipal-level tenders. This promotes not only the growth of the proportion of environment-friendly goods and services, but also financial and social improvements in the municipalities.
The first meeting of the working group was on March 3, 2016. During that, topics related to news on developing the GPP policy were discussed, the topic was introduced by Mr Klismets, director of the Coordination Department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Ms Agnese Irmeja, director of the Methodology Department of the Procurement Monitoring Bureau, Ms Daina Dzilna, representative of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, and Ms E. Kļaviņa, representative of the State Regional Development Agency. 
Also, Mr E. Zakovics, representative of AS “Latvijas Valsts meži”, Ms Ž. Žukule, representative of the Association of the Catering of Educational Institutions, Ms E. Rožulapa, director of the Certification Centre of the Latvian Association of Architects, shared their experience regarding the readiness and compatibility of entrepreneurs, when it comes to GPP criteria in public tenders. 
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The rounds of discussions take place in the frameworks of project GreenS that is funded by the EU programme Horizon 2020, which aims to promote the application of GPP criteria in municipal tenders. At the meanwhile, an opinion poll regarding this topic has been conducted in project partner states – Italy, Sweden, Cyprus, Spain, Germany, Slovenia, and Bulgaria.
Green Public Procurement is one of the core instruments of the EU environment, climate and sustainable development policies, and in the recent years, the inclusion of environmental criteria in procurement specifications has become an important priority on regional and national level also in Latvia.
The overarching aim of project GreenS is to enhance the capacity of state institutions, by introducing the GPP, reducing the consumption of resources and energy, as well as by reducing the CO2 emissions. The project was launched in June 2015 and will be carried out until May 2016. Its total budget is 1 489 540,33 euro. The leading project partner is Italy, while Latvia, Sweden, Cyprus, Spain, Germany, Slovenia, and Bulgaria also are project partners. In this project, Latvia is represented by the Riga Planning Region and Riga municipality together with Riga Energy Agency.
For additional information please contact:
Ms Aija Zučika, e-mail: [email protected], phone: +37167559823

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