Ministries did not seek green criteria for spending €270 million


GOVERNMENT AGENCIES directly purchased €270 million worth of high quality goods and services in one year without checking whether suppliers had sound environmental practices.

Other contracts worth €53 million required suppliers to meet environmental standards, according to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessment.

Spending was in 2020 and limited only to contracts worth more than €25,000.

The analysis also included only direct spending from ministries, not government agencies responsible for spending billions of dollars.

But based on that limited sample, the EPA said, “There is no doubt that implementation of green public procurement across government is at a low level that urgently needs to be addressed.”

Government policy requires departments and public bodies to include environmental concerns in the criteria used to evaluate suppliers.

They should be eco-friendly, low-carbon, low-waste, and incorporate recycling and reusability as much as possible.

This applies in particular to contracts for transport, construction, energy, catering and catering services, cleaning products and services, textiles, computer equipment and paper.

Laura Burke, EPA director general, said the government’s spending power has the potential to send a strong message to the market about the importance of protecting the environment.

“The low level of green public procurement implementation reported by government agencies is a missed opportunity to buy more resource-efficient, less polluting goods, services and works in the market,” she said.

The level of detail of the information provided by departments varied, but according to the information provided, the Department of Social Protection had the lowest green audited spending, accompanied by environmental standards checks, at just 11 percent.

The share of agriculture was 20 percent; business, trade and employment 26pc; Health 39 pcs, Tourism 58 pcs, Housing 84 pcs and Environment 85 pcs.

Education and finance claimed 100 percent compliance, but that was based on just four contracts, three IT contracts for education and one window cleaning contract for finance.

The Public Expenditure Department did not respond to inquiries, but Secretary Michael McGrath responded to a recent parliamentary question and said work to increase green public procurement was underway.

“The Office of Government Procure and its central procurement agencies have reviewed all central procurement agreements to identify opportunities to incorporate green considerations,” he said. Ministries did not seek green criteria for spending €270 million

Fry Electronics Team

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