How can public demand for environmentally friendly products be promoted?

Demand determines supply. Increasing demand for environmentally friendly products and services increases their sales market. Thus, it increases the possibility for companies to sell larger quantities of the products and services and increase their prices. These additional profit opportunities generate incentives for companies to invest more in developing and adopting environmentally friendly products and services.

The public sector accounts for a large share of demand in Germany, with around 500 billion euros, and has a role model function for private consumers in procuring products and services (BMU, 2020). Therefore, the German public procurement law encourages additional award criteria besides the lowest price in public tenders. Public tenders with award criteria on environmental characteristics, such as energy efficiency, are referred to as green public procurement.

Green public procurement increases the incentives of companies to invest in green products and services by increasing the likelihood of green companies winning public procurement contracts (Krieger and Zipperer, 2021). However, the share of green public procurement in the number of all economically relevant tenders within Germany was only 2.4 per cent in 2015 (Chiappinelli and Zipperer, 2017). The German government also remains fundamentally behind the demands of the EU Commission to take greater account of additional award criteria within public tenders (Bündnis 90/Die Grüne, 2019). The reluctant use of green public procurement, therefore, raises questions about the difficulties of its implementation – especially since initial research results have documented the success of green procurement in reducing environmental damage.

What are the primary and secondary objectives of green public procurement?
Who is involved in green public procurement?
What challenges will involved individuals and organisations have to face?
What support for green public procurement already exists?
How can you concretely support the implementation of green public procurement?

Must-Read – the team should read this before the Kick-Off. English literature may be available on request.

UBA (2020): Kurzes Erklärvideo zur umweltfreundlichen öffentlichen Beschaffung.

Chiappinelli und Zipperer (2017): DIW Wochenbericht zur Funktionsweise und Verbreitung von umweltfreundlicher öffentlicher Beschaffung.

BMU (2021): Informationsseite des Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit zur umweltfreundlichen öffentlichen Beschaffung.

UBA (2019): Sammlung von Schulungsskripten zur umweltfreundlichen öffentlichen Beschaffung.

Bündnis 90/Die Grüne (2019): Onlinemeldung der Grünen zur nachhaltigen und fairen öffentlichen Beschaffung.

Krieger und Zipperer (2020): Wissenschaftliches Diskussionspapier zum Effekt umweltfreundlicher öffentlicher Beschaffung auf die Einführung neuer und umweltfreundlicherer Produkte.

Rainville (2016): Wissenschaftliches Diskussionspapier zur Wirkungsweise von umweltfreundlicher öffentlicher Beschaffung auf verschiedene Innovationsaktivitäten von Unternehmen mit einem besonderen Fokus auf Umweltstandards.

Edquist und Zabala-Iturriagagoitia (2020): Wissenschaftliches Diskussionspapier zum Effizienten Design von öffentlichen Beschaffungsaufträgen um Innovationen, Umwelt und Wohlfahrt zu fördern.

Scientific Partner

Supporting Researcher

Bastian Krieger

Photo: FOTO Borchard/lnh.A.Löffler

BBastian Krieger is a researcher at ZEW’s Research Department “Economics of Innovation and Industrial Dynamics” and a doctoral student at the Doctoral School of Economics and Finance at the University of Luxembourg. His research focus is on the empirical analysis of issues related to the economics of innovation. His current projects combine community innovation survey data with information on firms’ public procurement awards, service trades, local universities, and publication activities to tackle a variety of research questions.