Green procurement is a process whereby purchasers seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared with goods, services and works with the same primary function that would otherwise be procured.
Green purchasing is about setting an example and influencing the market place. Total public procurement in the EU – i.e. the purchases of goods, services and public works by governments and public utilities - is estimated at about 19 % of the Union’s gross domestic product or 2 trillion Euros. Its importance varies significantly between Member States ranging between 11 % and 20 % of their gross domestic product. By using their purchasing power when choosing goods and services that respect the environment, buyers can make an important contribution towards sustainable development. Regular demand for eco-efficient products would motivate suppliers to offer more products and services that comply with modern quality and environmental requirements. For companies, innovation-driven procurement will become one of the key competences to keep the pace of innovation sufficiently high in the ever faster changing world.