Why: Green Public Procurement (GPP) is a core strand of driving sustainability, promoting resource efficiency, and progressing circular economy ambitions. Social procurement delivers broader social, cultural and environmental outcomes. The Irish Government’s annual purchasing accounts for 10 to 12% of GDP, which means procurement can be used as a lever of State funds to deliver potentially significant carbon savings, resource efficiency and social good.
Policy and Guidance: GPP is high on the agenda of the Climate Action Plan, Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy and the Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy 2022-2023.
The EPA’s GPP guidance was published in 2021 and is available here.
In 2022, the EPA also launched two training supports for suppliers of goods and services to the public sector in Ireland.
The first is a short video which provides a brief introduction to Green Public Procurement to suppliers. The video can be viewed here The second is a training presentation which follows on from the introductory video and provides more detailed information for suppliers. Its purpose is to provide background information, advice and practical tips on Green Public Procurement. The presentation can be viewed here.
How: Public Procurers can help facilitate more circular and social procurement by getting a clear understanding of the needs of the organisation in the pre-tender phase, starting with a quick win, market engagement and dialogue, considering life cycle costing, taking measures to accommodate small scale suppliers (e.g. lots or consortium responses) and allowing for flexibility in specifications. See the EPA’s most recent report on Green Public Procurement here.
CRNI members provide goods and services in reuse, repair and recycling. Below are some case studies to showcase how public bodies can work with our members to further circular and social procurement goals. Click on any of the examples to enlarge.
In 2019, the National Waste Collection Permit Office in Tullamore, Co. Offaly tendered for the delivery, assembly and installation of 100% reused and upcycled furniture for a new office space. This was the first public procurement project at scale to support Circular & Social objectives in Ireland.
CRNI coordinated a consortium of its members and other suppliers to deliver the 97 items of furniture, saving 2.6t carbon and supporting jobs and training in social enterprises.
CRNI is leading an EPA Green Enterprise project Circular Textiles, which will test the impact of three different separate collection systems for textiles and explore how we could manage the additional quantity of textiles that are collected. This project will be concluded in 2022.
For more information about the project see here.