Global award recognises Basque Green Public Procurement Programme

The United States Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) recognises the achievements of the Basque Government for its Green Public Procurement Programme in its 2020 Awards ceremony.

2020 SPLC Leadership Award - Basque government
Photo: Irekia Euskadi

The Basque Government’s Green Public Procurement Programme has been recognized by the American organization Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) with one of its highest awards granted in 2020 through its annual Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Awards. The Basque Government won best in the category of “Public Administration” in the 2020 Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Awards, standing alongside notable winners in other categories, like Yale University, the World Bank and the Hilton hotel chain. The Basque Country is actively sharing knowledge on green public procurement within the European Forest Institute’s Bioregions Facility, and is exploring how to better support bio-based products and services through sustainable procurement approaches.

Arantxa Tapia, Minister for Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, said how grateful she is for this recognition, since “this award recognises the work we have been doing for more than 15 years to enable the entire Basque government to use procurement procedures that include environmental criteria”.

Minister Tapia collected the award during a virtual ceremony on 29 January, in which she stated that “the success of the program has been possible thanks to the collaboration between the Basque Government and private companies to define the environmental criteria required in public purchases across 28 categories of products and services. This has created the conditions for our market to be able to offer products and services with environmental advantages”.

The 2020 Basque Country Green Public Procurement Programme was approved in 2016 to stimulate the entire Basque Public Administration to integrate environmental criteria in their purchasing and contracting processes, aiming to achieve a degree of greening in public procurement by at least 50%.

Following the approval of the Green Public Procurement Programme by the Basque government, its technical secretariat – the public company Ihobe – and the 38 public organizations adhering to it have managed to green about half of their purchases, 46%, in 2019. This achievement was highly valued by the jury.

The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) is a US non-profit organization whose mission is to support and recognize purchasing leadership that accelerates the transition to a sustainable future.

SPLC boasts 180 members with a combined purchasing power of over 300,000 billion dollars. The organizations that comprise SPLC include entities from across public and private spheres, including: the Washington State Department of the Environment; Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America; the NGO WWF; the Stanford Universities; the states of California, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Pittsburgh; the Canadian province Alberta; the telecommunications company T-Mobile; Sodexo; the consulting firm Accenture; the Sony Pictures Entertainment company; the sports company Nike; the pharmaceutical company Merck; Linkedin in the digital sphere, and many other high-profile companies, as well as numerous city councils around the world.

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EFIMED is the Mediterranean Facility of the European Forest Institute. Based in Barcelona, Spain, it was launched in 2007.