Environment: research project points up benefits of green procurement policies

Public administrations can save greenhouse gas emissions to the tune of 18% of the EU’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol just by switching away from conventional power supplies to using electricity generated from renewable forms of energy. This is one of the early conclusions to emerge from a research project co-financed by the EU called RELIEF, which seeks to quantify the impact of environmentally-friendly procurement policies.

EIS reports that the pilot phase was launched in January 2001 in six local authorities in 5 countries (Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Sweden and Switzerland) which changed their procurement policies to incorporate environmental considerations. The researchers calculated both financial and environmental benefits of using renewables, energy-efficient computers and water-saving sanitary installations.


The RELIEF project is still under way but is scheduled to end in September 2003. It has brought together six local authorities – Hamburg, and Stuttgart in Germany, Zurich in Switzerland, Malmö in Sweden, Kolding in Denmark and Miskolc in Hungary – to calculate the financial and environmental benefits of using renewable electricity, energy-saving desktop computers and water-saving sanitary devices.

Eco-friendly products proved to be of high quality and cost-effective, the Commission said in a press release issued on March 28. Local authorities noted significant savings in energy bills; organic food proved to be as cheap as traditional food. Calculations of the environmental relief achieved through the use of these products were even more compelling. In order to make the research results meaningful to local authorities, they were recalculated into “person equivalents” to allow appreciation for the scale of environmental impact.

Save energy, water and food

Thus if public administrations would switch to renewable electricity they would reduce greenhouse emissions by an equivalent of over 7 million people. Water saving taps and toilet flushes would reduce water consumption equivalent to that of over 3 million people. Providing organic food in European public canteens would represent a relief on waters and soil equivalent to the impact of a big city like Berlin. Just by switching to low-energy computers, public administrations would save greenhouse gases emissions as produced by 100,000 people

The RELIEF project team is now busy promoting these measures via information dissemination, training, networking and joint procurement programmes held in public administrations at both national and local levels. These initiatives will be presented at the next EcoProcura conference, which will take place from September 8 to 10 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The document presenting detailed results of the project can be downloaded free of charge from the following website:


Documents available include:

Results Leaflet as of January 2003 (pdf-file, 500 kB)

background document (pdf-file, 330 kB)

Report “Three Scenarios on Green Public Procurement” from IVM (pdf-file, 550kB)

Local green purchasing status reports and potential assessments of all project cities

Relief develops all research and project outcomes in close consultation with six cities. The cities ensure the practical relevance of the project and steer the politically relevant results. The following list displays the pioneers (typically 0.5MB each):

City of Hamburg (Germany)

City of Kolding (Denmark)

City of Malmö (Sweden)

City of Miskolc (Hungary)

City of Stuttgart (Germany)

City of Zürich (Switzerland)


Ano da Publicação: 2003
Fonte: WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #12-2003: April 7, 2003
Autor: Kit Strange (Warmer Bulletin)
Email do Autor: kit@residua.com

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