United Nations seeking to shift Government spend to resource efficient procurement


The United Nations Environment Programme has launched a project that seeks to ensure trillions of dollars of public procurement towards a shift to a resource-efficient world.

Its Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) programme is the first action of a 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production.


It will assist governments to redirect public spending into goods and services that bring environmental and social benefits.

Supported by the European Commission, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, the China Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Republic of Korea, ISEAL Alliance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Swedish Ministry of the Environment and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the programme will improve knowledge of sustainable procurement, support implementation and provide access to experts and tools.

United Nations Under-Secretary General and UNEP executive director Achim Steiner (pictured) said: “The OECD nations spent an average 13 per cent of gross domestic product on public procurement in 2011, while in some developing nations this can hit 20 per cent.

“This adds up to trillions of dollars globally, demonstrating the scale of the opportunity ahead. Governments can use this potential to lead markets onto a sustainable path by demanding goods and services that conserve natural resources, create decent green jobs, and improve livelihoods around the globe.”