Environmental issues are increasingly becoming important in managing any business today. While there are environmental regulations domestically, there are also growing demands by the overseas buyers for more and more environment-friendly products. At times, the environment issues are becoming non-tariff trade barriers for the exports. Hence, industries – especially in Europe and Japan – are shifting to environment-friendly products or Eco-products as the business strategy for future sustainability and competitiveness.
Though presently there is a limited market for the Eco-products, there are definite signs that this trend would eventually pick-up in a big way. In many countries the governments, industries and civil society organizations are working together to promote eco-products which would ultimately benefit the environment and thus the society. For this, Green Purchasing/Procurement is the popular approach adopted around the world.
What is Green Purchasing and Public Procurement?
Public and corporate purchasers spend billions every year across the world. Government procurement budgets alone amounts to a significant percent of GDP. ‘Greening’ these purchases could contribute substantially to the promotion of environment-friendly products and thus the environmental protection. Many public and corporate purchasers around the world are therefore including environmental factors in their purchasing criteria, and thus procuring environment-friendly products and services.
Internationally, Germany undertook structured green public procurement activity in the 1980s followed by other European countries like Denmark (1994), France (1995), UK, Austria (1997) and Sweden (1998). The US EPA developed Guidance on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, while Japan enacted the Green Purchasing Law in May 2000 to promote green purchasing as national policy. The law requires all governmental bodies including local governments to practice green purchasing and report the summarized purchasing records to the public.
How does it affect Indian industries?
While these issues are currently far more relevant for the exporting industries, eventually they are expected to influence the entire Indian industry in a big way. Moreover, Eco-products can provide industries with great marketing advantages and also a good corporate image. Besides, by promoting the Eco-products, industries can make its own contribution to environmental protection for the benefit of the society at large. The Indian industries, therefore, need to adopt a proactive approach to address the issues of green purchasing for future.
What We Do?
The GPNI offers advisory to various industry stakeholders,government and academic institutions on the implementation of SCP approach in their core activities by facilitating the following :
- Policy Advocacy and Regulatory Framework on Green Procurement
- Defining criteria and indicators for the identification of green products
- Product Peering – A rigorous activity for evaluation of a product based on its environmental and social performance and recommendations for performance improvement
- Capacity building of employees on green purchasing and green products through special workshops and training programmes
- Designing and conducting courses on Green Purchasing and Green Products for students and professionals