Eco-friendly Public Procurement Discussed at HSE Perm
The 2nd international research seminar ‘Public-Private Interaction: Design and Deliberation’ has been held at the HSE campus in Perm. It addressed issues relating to public procurement, public-private partnership (PPP), NGOs and social entrepreneurship. There was also a roundtable discussion on eco-friendly public procurement.
Barbara Morton, an expert on sustainable procurement and consultant for the Government of Sweden on this issue, spoke on the role played by eco-friendly procurement in the economy and society, and also shared examples of successful international experience of eco-friendly procurement.
She highlighted three main factors determining sustainable procurement: economy, society, and environment. Public procurement should deliver profits for the economy and benefits to society while also decreasing harm to the environment.
Elena Shadrina, Associate Professor at the HSE Campus in Perm, spoke about how ready Russian purchasers are to engage in eco-friendly transactions today.
In 2015, over 6 trillion roubles were spent on public procurement in a system involving more than 330 purchasers. Analyzing the documents, one can see that just one third of purchases involve environmental requirements. The main barrier to the application of environmental criteria in this purchase documentation, the purchasers say, is the lack of knowledge. Other factors impeding the implementation of this environmental strategy are a lack of general political support and the absence of guidelines.
Elena Shadrina noted that standard environmental criteria for use by purchasers is currently being developed in Russia.
The roundtable discussion covered such topics as society’s readiness to implement the environmental strategy and the manufacturers’ lobby, which does not profit when people purchase less. The public procurers also expressed their views: they do not require orders from above in order to implement a ‘green office’ strategy in their respective institutions. Many already have them in place.
Pilot schemes implementing eco-friendly purchasing can be launched in one region, municipality, or organization. Galina Volodina, Director of the HSE Campus in Perm, suggested that the HSE campus in Perm becomes just such a pilot platform.