An innovative and open learning resource for professionals of the furniture industry to expand their knowledge and provide added value for the Green Public Procurement

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In 2002, the OECD adopted a Recommendation on green public procurement. As a follow-up within the EU, the potential of GPP was first highlighted in the 2003 Commission Communication on Integrated Product Policy. In this way the Commission launched in 2008 the Communication “Public procurement for a better environment”, as part of the Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy, to implement a new instrument, the Green Public Procurement (GPP).
Although GPP is a voluntary instrument, it has a key role to play in the EU’s efforts to become a more resource-efficient economy. It can help stimulate a critical mass of demand for more sustainable goods and services. It is acquiring more importance with time and in a few years it is expected that all the public authorities incorporate the GPP in their daily purchase decisions. The European Commission set an indicative target that, by 2020, 50% of all public tendering procedures should endorsed common core EU GPP criteria.
The issue to address is that in the EU just 12% of SMEs have participated in public procurement tenders that included environmental requirements, just 7% succeeded with their bids. The SMEs did not participate in a public procurement tender with environmental requirements they consider the process too complicated (20%) and too much paperwork (16%).

The European furniture sector is a key driver of sustainable growth with a significant contribution to Europe‘s overall economic health, competitiveness, creativity, innovation, employment and export. It provides 1.08 million jobs to the European economy, with a turnover of €90 billion.
The Roadmap to a Resource-Efficient Europe outlines the significant impact of manufacturing goods on natural resources, energy, the environment and climate change. In this way, significant improvements in furniture manufacturing processes and materials have the potential to contribute to a competitive furniture sector and related industries, as well as to their sustainability and energy efficiency. Thus, the Commission set in its “7th Environment Action Programme” that by 2020 50% of all public tendering procedures should endorse common core EU GPP criteria. For that purpose, it has already been established a set of GPP criteria for different aspects of the furniture, such as production, use and waste.