15.10.2016

Russia sets sustainability goals and implements green procurement

2017 is announced to be the year of ecology in Russia. However, the Russian government has already increased its activity in the sphere of environmental safety. New federal laws have been adopted dealing with the problems of waste management, green technologies and green public procurement (GPP).

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In 2016 green procurement goals were included the work plan of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Moscow. The Ecological Union participated in the board meeting along with public authorities, environmental organizations, business and science representatives, and presented its expertise in developing GPP criteria which would consider ecolabel programs.

The board meeting resulted in the decision to launch pilot projects on “greening” public procurement in Russia starting with its capital. The first step would be the formation of a list of product groups for which the procurement criteria will include environmental aspects. These products groups should be represented by goods with a rather stable and competitive market (e.g. building, electronic goods). Then, for each product group environmental criteria are to be developed, based on measurable and objective requirements. This is where ecolabel comes for help. Ecolabel criteria complying ISO 14024 and ISO 17065 can be taken as a basis for GPP criteria, which has already been done in the EU. Obtaining ecolabel will automatically make the product deemed to comply the criteria. This way, ecolabelling compensates the contracting authority’s lack of relevant competence needed to evaluate the compliance with the criteria.

Another important task would be developing GPP guidelines for contracting authorities. According to surveys, contactors in Russia see the lack of knowledge on environmental criteria and their practical application as the main obstacle for GPP, as well as absence of government’s support. To improve the situation, a series of GPP training events for contracting specialists are planned to be organized.

The project of implementing the GPP criteria will be supported by the work group of Public Environmental Council of the Department which will include experts in law, economics, ecolabelling, new technologies on other spheres.

In the next several months, the project is to be followed up with the development of background for new regulations which will determine the list of products groups, the procurement criteria of which will include environmental aspects of the product’s manufacturing, use and utilization.