How much is GPP implemented? The case of Italy

To increase the benefits of Green Public Procurement (GPP) and support its application, the training actions addressed to SMEs and Public Administrations need to be improved. This is the result of the Italian report on GPP published by the Green Public Procurement Observatory, represented by Legambiente and Ecosystems Foundation. It is evident that the lack of information is still one of the barriers to applying GPP and the Public Authorities (PA) capacity building still needs to be improved. Other interesting data highlighted in the report are the criticalities in GPP mainly related to the lack of confidence in finding a “green market”, i.e. response to calls for tenders with minimum environmental criteria.

In this regard, the report shows a detailed study on the degree of adoption of minimal environmental criteria by three Public Administration sectors: local entities, protected area management entities, and local entities that use to do the waste collection. Monitoring activities is fundamental to verify if the Public Administration is managing GPP criteria in public tenders’ publications. By monitoring the actions, the PA can identify what are the difficulties to adopt minimal environmental criteria necessary to convert our productive system into a green system.

Italy is the first country in Europe in the application of GPP (legal obligation) but still, in 2019, out of EUR 170 billion spent in public procurement, only EUR 40 were spent in GPP. Of course, the situation is improving because in 2017 the GPP value was EUR 9,5 billion.

Among the actors that participated in the survey: local entities (88), protected area management entities (68), and a sample of local entities that use to do the waste collection (538), only 15,6% foresaw minimal environmental criteria monitoring applied to calls for tenders. Concerning the local entities, the survey underlined the following barriers in the adoption of minimal environmental criteria:

Source – 2020 Italian report on GPP – Green Public Procurement Observatory

Moreover, according to the survey, it is possible to confirm that local entities are improving the activity of staff training on GPP issues, as a fundamental element to foster the capacities of Public Administrations to comply with the provisions of Article 34 of the Code of Public Agreement.

The European Commission considers GPP as a fundamental instrument for the ecological transition in the New Green Deal, fostering it also by action lines of the Next Generation EU.

According to Silvano Falocco, director of the Ecosystems Foundation, the recovery Fund could be an important mechanism to implement GPP practices but it is fundamental to support it by training and monitoring actions. These are the key drivers to accompany public entities, while companies and the business world are already independently grasping this change.