Greening public procurement in the Basque Country
The Basque Country is an autonomous community in northern Spain with a population of over two million. The Basque Government
has been incorporating GPP into its strategic environmental plans and programmes since 2004, which at the time arose from its ecodesign actions (through the Basque Programme for the Promotion of Ecodesign from 2004-2006). This framework established a means for
organising a pre-procurement dialogue process with potential suppliers in the region to prepare the groundwork for tendering processes.
The region’s current programme – GPP Programme of the Basque Country 2020 (GPP 2020) – was launched in September 2016 (covering the period 2016-2020) following a participatory process involving all levels of the Basque public sector. It has three over-arching goals:
i) Contribute to achieving a more efficient administration, by making more efficient use of resources;
ii) Optimise coordination with the market, ensuring that GPP incorporates eco-innovation and fosters the better
positioning of Basque companies; and
iii) Ensure that the Basque Country is recognised as a benchmark in Southern Europe, by mobilising all the
The GPP 2020 Programme is financed through the Basque Government’s own funding sources.
This process has been strongly supported by the public Environmental Management Company belonging to the Ministry for the Environment and Territorial Policy – Ihobe. Ihobe has been an active leader in GPP in the region and in wider European networks since 2004. Ihobe provides ongoing support to local authorities in the region, provincial councils and the Basque Government for greening public tendering procedures, and includes green criteria in 100% of its own public tenders (worth more than €8 million). In 2008, a first Manual on GPP was developed. The most recent version of the Manual available was published in January 2014 – it contains guidance, good practice and GPP criteria for numerous products and services. The GPP Criteria were inspired by the EU’s GPP Criteria and also taking into
account market availability in the region, and specific priorities in the region.