On 23rd August 2016, GPP Bhutan delivered a Sensitisation and Awareness Raising (SAR) event on the relevance of Green Public Procurement (GPP) to manufacturers, suppliers and other cottage and small businesses in Thimphu. The SAR event was conducted to make local businesses and suppliers aware of sustainability and the role of businesses in greening the economy. The 22 participants at the event came from diverse business background ranging from vegetable vendors, hoteliers, handicraft, handmade paper, furniture, ICT, bricks etc.
Sustianability in business, business case for GPP and lifecycle thinking were some topics covered in the half-day event. The participants expressed that GPP is a very good initiative and the project should work more closely with the government so that the green concept are not only incorporated in the relevant documents but also implemented on the ground. The participants also shared their concern and discussed on negative impact that giant global business companies have on the environment and ways to mitigate it.
The manager of Lamla Sales and Services, who supplies ICT equipment expressed his concern on future e-waste management in Bhutan.
Ten Dorji, proprietor of Blue Poppy Handicraft and Textiles raised his concern about green products’ competitiveness in the current realities in Bhutan where public procurers opt for lowest price in most cases.
Ms. Pem Lama of GPP Bhutan explained to the participants that while government policies and procurement practices would be important factors for adopting GPP, the role of businesses and leadership from business community of Bhutan would be equally critical. For example, she said that retail businesses in Bhutan supplying electronic and IT equipments could consider providing buy-back programs and better after-sales services and even tie-up with sellers and manufacturers of those products and find strategies to mitigate e-waste. She urged the participants to seriously consider how their own business could become more sustainable and encouraged them to lobby with public authorities to give preference to green products and services.
Similar SAR events are will be conducted in Phuntsholing and Gelephu to raise awareness about Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and GPP.