Strategy for green public procurement

In "Green Procurement for a Green Future - Strategy for green public procurement" it is presented how the public sector must buy greener and through that be involved in achieving the target of reducing Denmark's green¬house gas emissions by 70 per cent in 2030.

Currently, the public procurement's climate footprint amounts to approximately 12 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, of which approximately 4 million tons are emitted in Denmark. Therefore, on October 29th 2020, the government launched the strategy for green public procurement for a green future and thereby took the lead by sending a clear signal that the public sector must procure greener, and the government signals that also public procurement must be involved in achieving the target of reducing Denmark's green­house gas emissions by 70 per cent in 2030.

Three dimensions of the strategy

The strategy for green public procurement sets the direction for a green transition of public procurement in three dimensions which all focus on procurement areas having a large climate footprint. The three dimensions are:

  1. Green Action Now
  2. Long-term Green Development
  3. Green Knowledge and Tools

These three dimensions present initiatives which can be launched immediately and initiatives which have a potential for reducing the climate footprint in the longer term. The initiatives are wide-ranging regarding both procurement processes as well as procurement areas, and the strategy goal is to ensure that we examine all aspects of the green transition in the public procurement.

Green Action Now

Among other things, a joint government food policy will be introduced, where vegetarian food will be introduced two days a week in all government staff canteens, and 60 per cent of the food is set to be organic. Furthermore, it will be mandatory for government procurement officers to choose eco-labelled products for some product groups. Likewise, it will be mandatory to focus on costs throughout the life cycle of a product - and not only on the price at the time of purchase - for some product groups.

Long-term Green Development 

Moreover, the strategy commits the public sector to a gradual conversion of the entire public vehicle fleet to emission-free vehicles, so that the public vehicle fleet will be emission-free in 2030. In 2021, a reduction target for the public procurement’s climate footprint will be determined based on a projection of the public procurement’s climate footprint in 2030. Denmark will be one of the first countries to set a specific reduction target for the climate footprint of public procurement.

It is mandatory for government procurement officers to increase the quality of the procurement with special focus on green procurement through a Charter for Good and Green Procurement which will be launched in 2021. As part of the Charter, the relevant procurement officers are obligated to participate in an empowerment process developed by the Rådgivningsenheden - Statens Indkøb and have focus on green procurement, among other things.

The secretariat for green procurement in the Danish Environmental Protection Agency is planned to be strengthen and will be the main access point for guidance, advice, and knowledge sharing regarding green public procurement.

Green Knowledge and Tools

An annual calculation and projection of the climate footprint of the public procurement will be developed and implemented and it will form the basis for the setting and follow-up of the future reduction target. Furthermore, guidelines will be prepared for public procurement officers as to how they can set requirements for extended warranty and repair options in order to ensure a longer life span for products.