Priorities of Environment-friendly Public Procurements and Options for Regulative Management
The article focuses on the measures for implementation of the EU directives 2004/17EC and 2004/18/EC, the Public Procurement Act of the Republic of Estonia and the Estonian environment-friendly and sustainable public procurement priorities 2007-2009, the implementation of which requires that the state and local government authorities have interdisciplinary knowledge of sustainable consumption, production and public procurement options as well as leadership capability.
The article aims at giving an overview of the directions of regulative management of environment-friendly public procurements in the European Union and Green-7 member states, as well as analysing the main problems and political choices in Estonia.
Environment-friendly public procurement became a matter of Estonian domestic policy and foreign policy when Estonia regained its independence. The first step was to join the resolution of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992). This involved making an agreement to consider environmental concerns in public procurements. However, for various reasons, it was not until 2004 that the matter re-emerged in the government in connection with Estonia’s accession to the European Union. In the EU, the topic of environment-friendly public procurements is integrated in economic, social and environmental policy, including the Lisbon Strategy and the European Sustainable Development Strategy.
As co-author of the national priority and activity plan (2005-07), the author of the article is convinced that environment-friendly (i.e. green, sustainable) public procurement regulations are (or could serve as) an effective tool for protecting people’s health and living environment, pursuing a sustainable policy and cutting state budget expenses. The author emphasises that consideration of the environment and health information required for implementation of the Public Procurement Act is associated with ethical, scientific, educational, political, economic, environmental, administrative and state budgetary concerns which require the corresponding competence.
In Estonia, implementation of the Public Procurement Act is co-ordinated by the Ministry of Finance, supported in the environment-friendly public procurement measures (including environment indicators of 10 product teams, procurement instructions, training, web, etc) by the Ministry of the Environment.