|Title||Green Public Procurement in the Republic of Korea: A Decade of Progress and Lessons Learned|
Public authorities are major consumers, their procurement accounting for 12% of GDP and 29% on average of total government expenditure in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. With their purchasing power, public authorities can contribute to market development for sustainable products and services, technological innovation and job creation.
Certain countries, such as the Republic of Korea, the United States of America and Japan, already introduced green public procurement (GPP) as a policy instrument in the 1990s. However, in most cases, the promotion and implementation of GPP policies started as part of overarching sustainable development and sustainable consumption and production (SCP) strategies in response to the call for action at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.
Over the last two decades, the mission of public procurement has expanded beyond the accomplishment of the primary procurement
objective — the delivery of goods and services to fulfil government missions in a timely, economical and efficient manner — to the support of secondary policy objectives, such as sustainable green growth, the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs), innovation, standards for responsible business and broader industrial policy objectives. This has transformed public procurement from a mere administrative procedure to a policy tool.
Sustainable public procurement (SPP) is a key strategic component for achieving more sustainable consumption and production patterns and driving innovation and sustainable development. That is why Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a specific target on the promotion of SPP, target 12.7: “Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities”.
As a transversal policy instrument, SPP reinforces SCP implementation, if it includes supportive and harmonized policy mixes such as labelling and consumer information, mandatory instruments, economic incentives and long-term capacity building. As the scope of SPP policies is widening to increasingly include multiple sustainability objectives, SPP contributes to achieving a broad variety of SDG targets depending on each country’s priorities.
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