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Green Public Procurement (GPP) is defined by the European Commission as “a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function that would otherwise be procured”.*In the GPP-Bhutan project, this also includes Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) where public authorities seek to achieve the appropriate balance between the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – when procuring goods, services or works at all stages of the project.
Through GPP, public authorities can signal businesses and industries to produce and supply green technologies and products in Bhutan.
Governments spend a significant portion of their budgets on procuring goods, services and infrastructure. Bhutan is no exception, its government being the largest buyer in the country, with public procurement accounting for 60-70% of the government budget or around 35% of GDP in 2012/13. Integrating environmental and social considerations into these large volumes of public spend is a practical way to incrementally promote sustainable consumption and production (SCP) across the Bhutanese economy. GPP can provide strong signals for the market to provide more sustainable products at affordable prices. GPP leadership by government can, in turn, encourage private consumption of sustainable products. International experience shows that, if carefully and strategically implemented, sustainable goods are not necessarily more expensive than their traditional alternatives.Bhutan already has many advanced policies that foster sustainability. GPP is a logical next step that could make SCP a driver for its domestic economy and the ‘brand Bhutan’. Thereby it contributes to advancing industrial development and employment in line with the country’s approach to development, as enshrined in the Gross National Happiness development philosophy, the 11th Five Year Plan (2013-18), the National Environment Strategy (‘The Middle Path’), and the New Development Paradigm.
GPP is beneficial in many areas as it provides environmental benefits, social benefits, political benefits and even economic benefits.

  1. Environmental benefits
    GPP helps government to achieve environmental targets by helping control CO2 emissions , air & water quality, resource use, and waste generation, all of which affected by the purchases we make. It can also encourage sustainable agriculture practices.
  2. Social benefits
    GPP has the potential to enhance our quality of life through reducing the use of toxic chemicals in cleaning products, providing better and innovative alternative solutions to fulfill our needs and even addressing inequality by purchasing from local farmers and small & cottage industries.
  3. Political benefits
    GPP can demonstrate the Bhutan’s commitment to a holistic development inspired by GNH philosophy by taking environmental, economic and social concerns into account.
  4. Economic benefits
    GPP actually saves money. Over the whole life-cycle of a purchase, GPP often leads to savings for the government and for society in general. For example, an energy and water-efficient building may cost more up-front, but will save money in the long run. By creating demand for green goods and services, GPP also provides incentives to industry to innovate. It can encourage farmers, manufacturers, innovators and entrepreneurs in Bhutan to produce and supply environmentally sustainable and socially responsible products and be competitive in the global market.
The GPP knowledge platform will be housed under the department of finance and business at Royal Institute of Management (RIM). The content of the program will be evaluated through the academic committee of RIM. The department of finance and business currently offers services to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply as an exam centre and offers training on procurement compliance for both government and private employees inclusive of procurement officer, finance officers, engineers, administrative officers etc. It is a reasonable step to complement existing procurement training by integrating the GPP knowledge platform into the educational portfolio of the department of finance and business. The department of finance and business is also responsible for supporting national CSMI development through various government training programs at RIM. The GPP knowledge platform will enhance the capacity for such activities and will provide required GPP resources for RIM faculty as well as external researchers. This will on one hand support their related research work and will on the other hand facilitate the development of GPP training components for the wider outreach of GPP knowledge in Bhutan.