Green Procurement

Green Procurement

Green Procurement considers the environmental aspects, potential impacts and costs, associated with the life cycle assessment of goods and services being acquired.  It focuses on the practice of procuring products and services that are less harmful to the environment (land, air and water). Green products purchased should be those that are made with less harmful materials or which when produced or used or consumed would have a minimal impact on the environment. This includes buying local and reducing your carbon footprint.

These are some of the main categories your school could look at with regards to procurement. 

  • Paper
  • Cleaning products
  • Office equipment
  • Lighting
  • Transport
  • Furniture
  • Electricity
  • Food and catering services
  • Gardening products
  • Textiles and school uniforms

Please note: There is a requirement to develop a Green Procurement Policy from January 2013 for all Eco-Schools. We will require a copy to be uploaded with all Green Flag application submissions.

As a result we ask for all schools to consider the impacts of products and services they procure. We are not dictating that a school purchases specific products and understand that a number of factors will influence the final purchasing decision.

Ensure your pupils are involved...

  • Include as many of the green procurement categories as possible in your environmental review process. For example, ask pupils to look at the types of paper, cleaning products or light bulbs used and ask themselves ' Are there any alternatives that would be better for the environment?'. Pupils could speak with the catering team and review where food travels from and how it is packaged. Pupils could speak with the site manager and review the types of fertiliser or compost purchased.
     
  • During a committee meeting discuss green procurement and use some of the pupils ideas to formulate the policy statement. The pupils' input should follow the environmental review and include what the school could buy to ensure it is less harmful to the environment.
     
  • Why not ask pupils to devise a policy and present their argument for buying recycled paper or energy saving light bulbs to the board of governors.

An example of a Green Procurement Policy statement…

 “We will ensure that we purchase all products and services that consider environmental aspects, potential impacts and costs, associated with their life cycle. Our practice of procuring products and services will ensure that they are less harmful to the environment (land, air and water), that are made with less harmful materials which when produced, used or consumed. This will include buying local, buying recycled and recyclable, using less chemicals and reducing the schools carbon footprint associated with products and services.”

Download an example of a Green Procurement policy pdf
Download an example of a Green Procurement policy word document

Download the Green Procurement guidance document with information for each precurement category. Use this to help you with your environmental review and in creating a Green Procurement Policy statement.

For detailed information, the European Commission have developed a Green Public Procurement instrument to support the EU's efforts to become a more resource-efficient economy, very detailed information can be found here. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/eu_gpp_criteria_en.htm