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Questions and answers17 May 2023Directorate-General for Environment

‘Green Public Procurement and Sustainability Tools for Resource Efficiency Mainstreaming’ Project

Interview with Nicolò Tudorov, Head of Office for EU programming and sustainable development at the Central Directorate for Environmental Protection, Energy and Sustainable Development of the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giuli.

Nicolò Tudorov is Head of Office for EU programming and sustainable development at the Central Directorate for Environmental Protection, Energy and Sustainable Development of the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia. He is also the Coordinator of the regional interdepartmental working group on green public procurement (GPP), and Friuli Venezia Giulia representative at the Ministry/Regione coordination working table on GPP. Mr. Tudorov has also led the implementation of the project GPP-Stream.

What were the objectives of the GPP-STREAM project, whom were the partners involved and what types of policy instruments did the project address?

The GPP-STREAM project focused on mainstreaming GPP policies within the administrations involved and ensuring that resource efficiency measures were spread and benefits acknowledged.
The project also aimed to improve the management, implementation and monitoring of policy instruments that integrate GPP approaches to ensure that resource efficiency gains can be maximised and that resource efficiency objectives are institutionalised through GPP.
The overall objectives were to support the GPP-STREAM partners to transfer the lessons learnt to all implementation phases of the policy instruments addressed and to create a community of stakeholders that can mainstream GPP practices.

The project sub-objectives included (1) identifying, collecting and sharing best practices and support tools for the adoption of green public procurement oriented towards resource efficiency within the responsible bodies of the policy instruments; (2) improving the integration of GPP objectives and actions within the funding programmes and sectoral / development plans; (3) improving the capacity of national, regional and local administrations in aligning their actions in order to enhance GPP implementation; (4) improving the capacity of monitoring GPP implementation triggered by the implementation of specific policy instruments and plans; and (5) stimulating the adoption of green demand for goods and services along all phases of policy instruments’ implementation, including those that are affected but not directly managed by the authorities that developed the instruments.

The project included partners at the national level, regional level and municipal level. This was a very interesting point for our project as we could compare and exchange experience, issues and solutions at different levels of governance. The national-level partners were the Ministry of Environment in Romania and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Energy Environment in France. The regional level included Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region from Italy (the lead partner), Lazio Region in Italy, the North-East Regional Development Agency in Romania and the Centre for Sustainability and Economic Growth – CSEG in Bulgaria.

At the municipal level, the partners were the Municipality of Gabrovo in Bulgaria and the Association of Municipalities of Ribera Alta Region from Spain. GPP-STREAM’s technical partner was the Ecosistemi Foundation.
The types of policy instruments used were two national GPP plans (Romania and France); 1 regional GPP plan (Friuli Venezia Giulia); 3 ROP (Regional Operation Programme) and RDP (Regional Development plan) plans (North-East Romania, South-East Bulgaria, Valencian Region); 1 rural development plan (Lazio) and 1 municipality development plan (Gabrovo).

Since GPP-STREAM ended last year, could you reflect on the main challenges you faced when developing and introducing the various GPP instruments and the main achievements that resulted from the project’s policy implementation?

During the development of the project, we faced different challenges, among which I can mention the following: a) a need to develop/review guideline for the environmental criteria for products and services (a need to establish environments criteria that are clear and verifiable); b) administrative burdens/difficulty in stimulating the ownership of GPP policies by public purchasers (lack of political support/legal expertise in applying environmental criteria); c) a need to set achievable and measurable targets/indicators for green public procurement; and d) difficulty in involving the private sector.
We were able to accomplish several achievements, among which were for example fostering dialogue between stakeholders to ensure an adequate level of participation and approval by the stakeholders; the deployment of tools and of training courses for public buyers; the deployment of monitoring tools/system for green public procurement;  the creation of public forums on GPP; the inclusion of GPP in sustainable development plans/programs; and positively supporting public purchasers in fostering/introducing GPP.

The project worked with a number of National Action Plans, e.g. the one of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. Could you describe the main strategic actions for integrating GPP?

A map of environmental certifications, the digital forum on GPP, and the public-private working table were actions planned and performed under the Friuli Venezia Giulia GPP-Stream action that drove policy change in the regional GPP plan. 
Dialogue between public bodies and the private sector can be an issue. For this reason, we established three sectorial working tables to discuss the main issues for GPP implementation and we came out with a list of points to take care of.
We organised the Forum online to facilitate participation and decided to focus each year on a specific sector to have an in-depth discussion on the GPP-related issues. We also addressed issues related to that sector such as the circular economy and climate change. 
In the framework of the digital forum, we also organised a workshop to discuss among technicians about good practices and their possible use by local authorities.
The environmental certification map is a technical tool that intends to help the public authorities when applying green public procurement. The intention is to facilitate the verification of compliance with the GPP criteria.

What were the main lessons you learned from this project and do you have any advice for those aiming to start an initiative similar to GPP-STREAM

A main challenge is stimulating green public procurement policy ownership among both political representatives and public administration officers. Another challenge is involving the private sector. Therefore, the advice for those aiming to start an initiative similar to ours is to focus on involving/working with stakeholders.
Another point is that GPP needs to be set in a wider framework as it is a policy strictly linked to and interrelated with other policies: circular economy, climate change actions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, etc. So, it is really important to be able to set GPP in this framework. This would also help in gaining full public and political support for the policy, and in setting an added value that comes from the interaction and integration between the different policies.

GPP-STREAM project


Publication date
17 May 2023
Directorate-General for Environment