Public authorities wield great purchasing power in Ukraine:
- Public procurement expenditure accounts for a large part of Ukraine’s GDP: 15% in 2020 (World Bank).
- Approximately $20 billion of goods and services are transacted each year through public tenders in Ukraine.
Since 2014 Ukraine has been implementing activities on SPP with support from a number of projects and donors, such as UNEP (via the EaPGREEN and EU4Environment programmes), GIZ, SlovacAid, and the WorldBank.
The potential for the further development of the use of eco-labelling and its introduction to public procurement is significantly exacerbated by changes in national legislation that occurred in the period 2017-2020. The Law of Ukraine On Public Procurement (PPL20), updated in 2019, empowers public authorities to purchase safer and more environmentally friendly goods, works, and services. The new law allows suppliers to apply sustainability and/or non-price criteria on a voluntary basis, without restrictions.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CRITERION BASE FOR SPP
The PPL 2020 enabled applying environmental criteria, namely SPP criteria, developed by several technical assistance projects in Ukraine for 15 product categories:
- Detergents and cleaning products;
- Paint and varnish materials;
- Thermal insulation materials.
- Road repair;
- Repair and construction work;
- Computer equipment and office equipment;
- Catering services;
- Furniture (school, office);
- Linen (bedding, underwear);
- Cable products;
- Office paper and paper products;
- Cleaning services.
- Household appliances and equipment;
- Outdoor lighting.
The Type I ecolabelling program’s ecological criteria considered as SPP criteria by contracting authorities if they are established in accordance with DSTU ISO 14024 and the certification body's competence aligns with accreditation requirements as per the Ukrainian Law "On Accreditation of Conformity Assessment Bodies."
ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF THE SPP MONITORING SYSTEM
In 2017- 2019, over 150 tender procedures recieved support from UNEP’s subcontractor NGO “Living Planet”, guided by EaP GREEN Project SPP experts on on implementing the SPP approach. By January 2023, the number of tenders utilizing SPP criteria had exceeded 500.
The business intelligence module ВІ Prozorro as a part of the Ukrainian Prozorro e-procurement system developed to analyze and monitor information within the electronic procurement system. However, as of 2023, it is still undergoing refinement, resulting in the current reliance on manual methods for monitoring SPP criteria implementation in Ukraine.
Analytical studies and Living Planet's consultations with procurers identified barriers to eco-label use in public procurement and potential solutions. One primary obstacle is the lack of defined environmental goods and services (EGSS) along with statistical reporting in this sector, as outlined in EU Regulation No691/2011. Although EGSS is a crucial component of European statistical reporting, the National Statistics Development Program does not fully adhere to these reporting standards, limiting the integration of eco-friendly products in procurement due to incomplete implementation of EU regulations.
ECOLABELLING PRACTICES IN SPP
Type I, II, and III eco-label products are readily available in the Ukrainian market.
In 2003, the NGO "Living Planet" became a pioneer in Ukraine by developing the Type I eco-labeling program "Green Crane." Today, Green Crane is the first and only Type I eco-labeling program in Ukraine to hold national accreditation (ISO/IEC 17065) and international recognition as a GEN-member.
Throughout its 20-year history, Green Crane has certified over 1500 product and services. As of 2023, the program operates by 54 environmental criteria, with active certificates held by more than 120 companies, both local and globally renowned.
Currently, Ukrainian procurers often include requirements in tender documentation, such as:
- Product compliance with environmental criteria for life cycle assessment according to DSTU ISO 14024 (ISO 14024:2018, IDT), along with submission of copies of environmental certificates as supporting documents;
- Compliance with other environmental standards, including the need for applying environmental protection measures to the procurement subject
Below are some examples of successful sustainable procurement tenders using Type I ecolabels
The Ministry of Environment of Ukraine has set a positive example by applying environmental criteria in its procurement. To allow employees to work remotely from quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic and to upgrade its equipment, the Ministry purchased laptops. The Ministry required tendered products to comply with type I environmental labeling (as in Ukrainian standard DSTU ISO 14024 for a domestic manufacturer or an equivalent standard for a manufacturer from another country). Thanks to this requirement, the Ministry purchased products that are more energy-efficient, easier to repair, safer in terms of emissions of hazardous substances and user comfort, and that promise an extended period of use. At the same time, the purchase price did not exceed the market average.
- Detergents and cosmetics
Technical requirements include certification of conformity with environmental criteria developed according to DSTU ISO 14024:2002:
Certificate (s) of conformity attesting that the products meet the environmental criteria developed in accordance with DSTU ISO 14024: 2002" or more specifically: "Copies of the certificate of conformity of the proposed product to the environmental criteria for life cycle assessment (eco-certificate) developed in accordance with the international standard ISO 14024: 1999, IDT (DSTU ISO 14024: 2002) issued by the conformity assessment body accredited by NAAU. In the absence of accreditation certificate in the accreditation body, the results of the peer conformity assessment of the conformity assessment body shall be attached to the certificate of conformity, confirming its compliance with all requirements of DSTU EN ISO / IEC 17065 and with the requirements of DSTU ISO 14024, as well as technical capability of the conformity assessment body to conduct relevant studies and to issue on the basis of their results a certificate of compliance with environmental criteria for life cycle assessment (eco-certificate)”.
- Paints and varnishes
A requirement is present for a certificate of conformity with environmental criteria for products developed in accordance with DSTU ISO 14024.
- Pipes (water, sewer)
Approximately 30 tenders required certification in accordance with DSTU ISO 14024. Documentation demanded evidence of compliance with eco-labeling criteria for polypropylene pipes.
In the technical requirements:
“A document to confirm the conformity of ecological characteristics of pipes to ecological criteria of Eco-labelling type I according to DSTU ISO 14024: 2002 for products made of polymeric materials” or submission of “the certificate of conformity to requirements of DSTU ISO 14024: 2002 for pipes of polypropylene, issued by the relevant authorized body valid for the entire period of delivery of products”.
- Fruit and vegetable juices
Certification of environmental standards and product labeling according to DSTU ISO 14024:2002 is required (ISO 14024, IDT)
Technical specifications mandate a certificate of compliance with environmental criteria developed according to DSTU ISO 14024.
- Textile products
Products must comply with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 eco-friendly textile standard.
- Paper products
Tender documentation requires the submission of a photo of the product or packaging with any ecolabel.
- Services for Administrative Premises Maintenance
The requirements for the subject of the procurement state that: “Dry building mixtures, paints and varnishes must meet the requirements of environmental criteria for this product category, established in accordance with DSTU ISO 14024. To confirm the requirement, the bidder shall provide a copy of the certificate of conformity of the dry construction paints and varnishes in accordance with DSTU ISO 14024 and a copy of the accreditation certificate of the conformity assessment body (Ecolabelling body) that issued the certificate."
ADVANCING THE COMPETENCY AND AWARENESS OF SPP STAKEHOLDERS
SPP is much more effective if a favorable procurement framework is in place. This entails several elements, including skilled and trained personnel and clear communication of environmental criteria for bidders.
- Since 2018, a series of procurer training activities have been conducted on the initiative of "Living Planet" for contracting authorities and suppliers focusing on priority products. This comprises over 20 training sessions with the participation from more than 1000 individuals.
- In collaboration with NGO "Living Planet" and various stakeholders, the State Environmental Academy of Postgraduate Education and Management executed a comprehensive communication strategy to promote SPP policy, engaging government authorities, local institutions, representatives of electronic procurement platforms, manufacturers, suppliers, and other relevant entities. This multifaceted approach leveraged conferences, digital platforms, the development of informative materials such as booklets and SPP- guides, as well as media to serve as key communication conduits.
- The Ministry of Economy posts on the Infobox ProZorro (chapter of the Prozorro e-procurement system of Ukraine) the methodical materials, explanatory articles, on-line self-study courses, a library of sample specifications and a forum for discussing public procurement issues.
- Several High Educational institutions offer public procurement professionalization courses and programs.
THE NEXT STEPS IN THE FRAMEWORK OF SPP AND ECOLABELLING
As part of Living Planet's initiatives within the framework of SPP in Ukraine, the following steps are planned.
- development of new SPP criteria , consultations and training on the application of existing ones;
- Initiating and participating in projects to enhance the role of eco-labels in the SPP system;
- facilitating the integration of SPP criteria into the national e-procurement ProZorro system;
- improving SPP monitoring and reporting systems, and identification and accounting purchases with ecolabels;
- development a module for Life cycle cost calculators using SPP criteria, enabling a comparison of the benefits between purchases of conventional and environmentally friendly, Ecolabeled products and services.
This concerted effort towards sustainable public procurement practices, bolstered by ecolabelling initiatives, not only contributes to environmental protection but also fosters a culture of responsible consumption and procurement, ultimately leading to a more sustainable and eco-conscious future for Ukraine.