Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen
Public procurement amounts to about 16 percent of the EU Member States’ GDP. A major contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is possible by enhancing sustainable procurement practices. The 2014 EU Public Procurement Directives (Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU) have largely clarified the scope for permissible sustainable procurement decisions, but the adoption of Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) is still limited. The rules could be more permissive and thoroughly take into account all the different aspects of sustainability. Even more urgent and essential is to push for behavioural and organisational changes in the ways contracting authorities perform their buying functions to maximise positive, sustainable impacts. It is critical to change procurement management practices so that the sustainability demanded in contracts is properly verified along the entire supply chain and remedial actions are taken where non-compliance is detected.
We make three main proposals:
1. That the EU invests significantly in the professionalisation of contracting officials, procurement strategists and financial auditors.
2. That the EU makes it mandatory for contracting authorities to map and monitor their supply chains for risks of breaches of environmental and social rules, including those protecting human rights.
3. That the EU makes the legislative environment more ‘SPP friendly’.