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Green purchasing

Background introduction

What is green government procurement?
      Green government procurement refers to selection of those products and services that meet environmental standard in the process of government procurement. The environmental standards for government procurement requires not only that end products should meet environmental technical standards; but also that the whole process including the design, development, production, packaging, transport, use, recycling, reuse and abandon of products should meet the requirements for environmental protection based on the theory of product life cycle analysis.
Significance of green government procurement
      As an important component of social economic activities and national public expenditure, government procurement has impacts on sustainable consumption and plays an important role in promoting sustainable production and sustainable development. The inclusion of environmental standards in government procurement and green improvement of government procurement guide and facilitate sustainable and more stable consumption and production conducive to the environment and resources. This also is the necessary requirement for completely addressing environmental problems and achieving sustainable development of economy and society in an all round way. Government procurement is one of important tools for national macro regulation. As a special consumer group, government agencies become the first user of green consumption. This not only could reduce energy consumption at the source and protect the environment; but also could set an example, facilitate improvement of public environmental awareness, expand the market of green products, thus promoting good environment for the whole society.   
Relevant Laws
Law of the People’s Republic of China on Government Procurement
Article 9 Government procurement should help be helpful to the realization of the State policy targets for economic and social development, including environmental protection, support to the underdeveloped areas and areas of minorities, and promotion of development of small and medium sized enterprises.  
Regulations on the Implementation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Government Procurement
Article 6 Financial department of the State Council shall, based on national policy on economic and social development, in cooperation with relevant departments of the State Council develop government procurement policy and meet the targets such as energy conservation, environmental protection, support to underdeveloped areas and areas of minorities and promotion of SME development by means of measures such as developing the criteria for procurement demands, leaving procurement quotas, favorable price and priority procurement.  


Development

       The Third Plenary Session of the 16th National Congress of CPC held in October of 2003 presents the concept of the Scientific Outlook on Development, that is, “adhering to people first; setting up the outlook on comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development and promoting comprehensive development of economy and society”. Later, the Chinese Government has issued a series of regulations conducive to the development of green procurement: 

Decision of the State Council on the Implementation of the Outlook on Scientific Development and Enhancement of Environmental Protection 

Some Suggestions of the State Council on Accelerating the Development of Circular Economy

Circular of the State Council on Distribution of the Comprehensive Program on Energy Saving and Emission Reduction 

Decision of the State Council on Accelerating the Cultivation and Development of Strategic Emerging Industries   

       The Outlines of the “12th Five-Year Plan for the Development of National Economy and Society” was released on March 16, 2011. Section 3 of Chapter 23 of this “12th Five-Year Plan” clearly requires that we should advocate the green idea of conservation and low carbon consumption and develop green lifestyle and consumption pattern suitable to national conditions of China —— implementation of green government procurement.     

      The Suggestions of the CCCPC and State Council on Accelerating the Development of Ecological Civilization released on April 25, 2015 points out that China should develop green lifestyle and advocate the consumption outlook on hard working, thrifty and conservation. China should widely carry out green life activities and promote fast transformation of public consumption to thrift, green, low-carbon and healthy pattern in areas such as clothing, food, shelter, travel and tourism. China will firmly boycott and fight against various kinds of extravagance and waste and inappropriate consumption. China will actively guide consumers buying energy-saving, resource-saving, environment-friendly and low carbon products such as new energy powered automobiles, energy-efficient household appliances and water saving devices.

       The Outline of the “13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China” was released on March 17, 2016. Section 1 of Chapter 48 of the “13th Five-Year Plan” clearly requires that China should make an overall plan for the implementation of green labeling and certification as well as green government procurement system.  


 



    “The International Workshop on Green Government Procurement and Green Consumption & Tenth Anniversary of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products” was held in Beijing on December 14, 2016 to exchange Chinese and international successful experience in green procurement and green consumption. Meanwhile, it has established a platform for domestic and international exchanges to facilitate the development of government green procurement and green consumption in our country.

Implementation

     Based on effective work on environmental labeling, the former State Environmental Protection Administration and Ministry of Finance jointly released the Suggestion on Implementation of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products and the first List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products in 2006. They define clear requirements for the scope, list, procedures, specific regulation methods and schedule of government procurement of environmental labeling products; provide China with important institution and policy guarantee for vigorous implementation of government procurement of environmental labeling products; and mark the official implementation of government procurement of environmental labeling products in our country.

     Ministry of Environmental Protection and Ministry of Finance have published 19 issues of the List for Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products over the past decade with the increase from 14 to 59 in product types, 81 to over 3000 in the amount of enterprises and 856 to 201641 in product models.  




      According to the statistics of Ministry of Finance, the total volume of government procurement of environmental labeling products in 2015 reached 136 billion yuan, accounting for 81.5% of total procurement of similar products, up by 6.2%. The types of environmental labeling products under government procurement include the following:


Mode of government procurement of environmental labeling products
 Ministry of Finance and MEP are in charge of developing the “List of Governmental Procurement of Products”. Ministry of Finance and MEP will choose the environmental labeling products included in the “List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products” based on factors such as environmental performances, technical level and market maturity, which have obtained the certification of certification agencies; and regularly publish it at the media designated by Ministry of Finance and MEP. 

Relevant products go through the procedure of applying for the “List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products”:
Certification 
Product obtains the certification certificate of environmental labeling products from certification agency of environmental labeling products, which is adopted by Ministry of Finance and MEP. 
Publicity 
Ministry of Finance and MEP will publish amendment of the “List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products” at designated media for 15 working days. Relevant enterprises should submit relevant documents based on the requirement of the public notice. In case of any objections on the published “List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products”, relevant enterprises should submit its objection documents in accordance with the notice. 
Release 
Ministry of Finance and MEP officially release the amended List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products in designated media. 
Corrections 
Any one should submit his objection documents (the specific requirements for submitting objections are same as the requirements in the public notice) and relevant certificates within 7 working days after the date of official release of the List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products in case of any objection. If any applicant meets the qualifications for the current “List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products” and has submitted relevant documents within the period of public notice in accordance with relevant requirements, Ministry of Finance and MEP should correct relevant text. 
The time for publishing the adjusted “List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products”:   
In general, the time of publishing the “List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products” is January and July each year. The List releasing in January would be published in December last year. The List released in July would be published in June of the same year. The specific publishing time will be subject to the time specified in the previous issue of the “List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products”.  
The websites publishing relevant information:   
Relevant information is published through the following designated media: 
The website of Ministry of Finance: www.mof.gov.cn; 
The website of MEP: www.mep.gov.cn; 
The website of Chinese Government Procurement Network: www.ccgp.gov.cn; 
The website of China Green Procurement Network (www.cgpn.org)。
CEC has carried out many cooperation projects with international organizations focusing on government procurement of environmental labeling products:
1. The “Sustainable Public Procurement 10 Year Framework Plan (SPP 10 YFP)” is included in the “Sustainable Production and Consumption 10 Year Framework Plan” launched by UNEP. With successful cases, it has promoted sustainable public procurement as well as sustainable production and consumption in the world by means of establishment of network and capacity building. At present, 100 organizations across the world take part in this project. With the approval of MEP, Environmental Development Center participated UNEP SPP 10YFP and its council in 2014 and has taken part in the activities of all working groups. As the implementation organization, CEC has been involved in the management of the council, shared its experience at the meeting of working groups, provided case study and feedback, taken part in relevant studies and participated in relevant activities such as the completion of the Global Report on Sustainable Public Procurement.  
2. The Study on the Performances of China in Government Green Procurement in cooperation with IISD has published its report to the international community.  
3. The component on public procurement in the “Study on the Feasibility of Sustainable Measurement Reporting System in China” as a cooperation project with The Sustainability Consortium.  

4、与倡导地区可持续发展国际理事会一起主办“ 2016 年生态文明贵阳国际论坛—政府绿色采购分论坛”。



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