Energy and Environment and sustainability / /
Up for debate: the role of green public procurement in mobilizing efforts towards more sustainable development
Garrigues partners Juan Manuel Cabeza and Javier Fernández Rivaya together with Rafael Domínguez Olivera, chief government lawyer in the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, examine in the Garrigues Sustainable Dialogs series the course taken by green public procurement in Spain.
Public procurement governed by green and sustainable selection criteria or conditions increased by 176.8% in Spain between 2018 and 2020, according to the quarterly report on public procurement in Spain in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2020 this type of public procurement accounted for almost 21% of the aggregate harmonized procurement in Spain. In other words, green procurement, meaning the process by which public sector entities acquire goods, works and services with a reduced environmental impact over their life cycles, is increasingly gaining force.
As part of the Garrigues Sustainable Dialogs, a series of webinars set up to allow Garrigues professionals and experts in a range of subjects to exchange views on relevant topics related to sustainability and ESG criteria, Garrigues partner Javier Fernández Rivaya looked back on the Spanish legislation that has appeared since the Green Public Procurement Plan by the central government administration and the Code of Environmental Good Practices for Maintenance Agreements and Minor Works, both adopted in 2008, “which posed interesting objectives at that early stage”. The approval of the currently in force 2017 Public Sector Contracts Law was the point when it was determined that environmental concerns and sustainability generally should condition how public procurement is conceived. “The spirit present in all these pieces of legislation was later renewed in the currently in force Green Public Procurement Plan by the central government administration, the related autonomous community agencies and the public social security institutes, which were even more ambitious in their targets, by seeking to encourage the obtaining of goods, works or services with the lowest possible environmental impact, to achieve smart, sustainable and integrated growth, and to serve as a tool for achieving the aims of the Spanish Circular Economy Strategy”, among other things. “In short, public procurement is called upon to play a very important role in mobilizing efforts towards increasing sustainable and social development in economic activity, as was recognized in the General Guidelines for the Sustainable Development Strategy 2030”, affirmed Fernández Rivaya.