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With approximately 19% of the EU’s GDP going to government purchases, “green procurement” policies could potentially have a sizable impact on carbon emissions, and moreover could bolster the larger consumer market for sustainable goods. This white paper reviews current EC policy in this area, focusing particularly on the way in which the EC treats lifecycle analysis and non-product related “process and production methods” (PPMs), criteria that relate to the way in which the product was produced rather than to the physical properties of the final product. The paper also addresses some of the factors that may have stymied better uptake of green product procurement in the EU. Despite these limitations, the paper explains that the EC is in the process of adopting policy changes that will likely enhance the ability of EU Member States to take upstream environmental impacts into account. This, in turn, could enable the EU to influence the broader market for green products by encouraging a shift towards upstream, supply chain carbon accounting.


Environmental Law | Law