UN Launches 10-Year Program to Direct Trillions of Dollars in Greener Procurements
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has launched a new global program called the “10-Year Framework of Programs on Sustainable Consumption and Production,” or 10YFP. The first leg of this ambitious project, called the Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) Program, is designed to help governments redirect public spending into areas that bring significant environmental and social benefit, and promote a more resource-efficient world.
The SPP Program will be co-led by UNEP, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI). It will help bring about the shift towards greener procurements by improving knowledge of sustainable procurement’s benefits and supporting its implementation through access to experts and tools.
United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, said that the OECD nations spent about 13 percent of their GDP on public procurement in 2011. In some of the developing countries, this figure could be as high as 20 percent. This adds up to trillions of dollars globally, which indicates the scale of the opportunity that lies ahead. Governments can harness this potential to guide markets onto a sustainable path by demanding goods and services that conserve the environment, promote a greener economy, and improve livelihoods around the world.
Ample evidence from existing initiatives around the globe is already available to demonstrate that sustainable procurement can transform markets, boost eco-industries, conserve natural resources, promote jobs, and save money. For instance, the government-run railways in India replaced more than one million incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent lamps in the homes of 400,000 employees. This led to a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to the tune of 90,000 tons per year.
The federal government in the United States procures more than half a trillion dollars a year in goods and services. An Executive Order stipulates that 95 percent of all new contracts use products and services that are energy- and water-efficient, non-ozone depleting, and contain recycled content. With the implementation of the new green procurement program of the United Nations, such governmental purchasing decisions can be made the norm rather than the exception in order to transform the global economy into an inclusive green economy.
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