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A Handbook on green public procurement – 3rd edition


This handbook by the European Commission is designed to help public authorities successfully plan and implement Green Public Procurements (GPP). It explains the possibilities offered by European Union law in a practical way, and looks at simple and effective approaches to greening contracts. The handbook follows the logic and structure of a procurement procedure. It also gives many real examples of green purchasing by public authorities across the EU.


The handbook mainly addresses public authorities, but many of the ideas and approaches are equally relevant for corporate purchasers. It should also help suppliers and service providers – particularly smaller companies (SMEs) – to better understand the environmental requirements increasingly encountered in public tenders.


Green contracts include:


  • Energy efficient computers
  • Office furniture from sustainable timber
  • Low energy buildings
  • Recycled paper
  • Cleaning services using ecologically sound products
  • Electric, hybrid or low-emission vehicles
  • Electricity from renewable energy sources


The third edition of the handbook includes:


  • Guidance on how environmental considerations can be included at each stage of the procurement process in the current EU legal framework (adopted in 2014).
  • Practical examples drawn from contracting authorities across EU Member States.
  • Sector specific GPP approaches for buildings, food and catering services, road transport vehicles and energy-using products.



To download the handbook, please visit the relevant European Commission webpage: