Only 21% of the Romanian authorities complied in the last 2 years with the eco-paper procurement legislation
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Only 21% of the Romanian authorities complied in the last 2 years with the legislation regarding the obligation to buy green products and services – namely, to buy ecological paper and this is while paper is one of the most significant categories of supplies consumed by public administrations, generating a major environment impact and significant expenses.
The green public procurement uptake in Romania is extremely slow versus the urgency to implement measures regarding the climate neutrality targets, which can thus not be achieved by Romania by 2050 (according to the EU objective) – this is the main conclusion of Phase 1 of the first National Study on the Use of Green Public Procurement in Romania, developed by ARDLD – Romanian Association for Local Sustainable Development and ONV LAW.
The European Union requires the member states that at least 50% of the total public procurement to be green products and services. In Romanian legislation, an Order has been introduced since 2018, obliging the public authorities to comply with a series of minimum requirements for environment protection related to 6 categories of goods and services. Up to present, no official instrument for measuring the local public authorities compliance with the Order has been set.
„On average, out of a total number of 202 tenders for copy and graphic paper published in SEAP – the public procurement electronic system between November 13, 2018 – May 15, 2021, 79% of the authorities did not comply with the legislation, namely did not introduce green criteria in the tender books. 7% of the total number of procedures partially complied and only 14% fully complied with the green public procurement Guide,” states Alina Bilan, President of ARDLD and Partner of ONV LAW.
The 1068/1652/2018 Order from October 4th, 2018 for the approval of the green public procurement Guide stipulates that the local public authorities are obliged to comply with „green” public procurement criteria for 6 categories of goods and services that they frequently buy through tender or direct acquisition: copy paper and graphic paper, indoor and outdoor furniture, furniture renovation/refurbishment services and end-of-life furniture collection and reuse services, food and catering services, transport vehicles, cleaning products and services, office IT equipment. „Thus, although the green public procurement Order is mandatory, the data shows that, more than 2 years after its addoption more than 70% of the authorities do not comply with it,” Alina Bilan, the Study coordinator ads.
As EU member state, Romania is obliged to implement and promote the sustainable development principles and Green Public Procurement is part of an EU strategic objective – No. 12 Sustainable Development Objective. Each member state must adopt a National Action Plan for Green Public Procurement and most of the member states are already publishing the 4th or even the 7th edition of these plans (22 states).
At the moment, Romania is one of the last 3 European states (together with Luxembourg and Hungary) which have not yet adopted or at least published a National Action Plan for Green Public Procurement, which explains the reduced percentage of applicability of the green obligations by Romanian authorities. By 2030, EU targets the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% as compared to 1990 and the adoption of the European Climate Law for reaching this target. Thus, Romania will have to radically change its consumption pattern.
The following phases of the Study will publish the adoption degrees of green criteria in public procurement tenders for the other products and services categories, as described in the Order, namely transportation vehicles, furniture, IT&C equipment, cleaning products, etc.
ARDLD – The Romanian Association for Local Sustainable Development is a non-governmental non-profit organisation, established in 2000, which focuses on sustainable development. For this purpose, it supports the 17 objectives included in the 2030 Agenda to become a common concern, both for the Government, central and local authorities, but also for the business environment and civil society organisations, through research and study programs that become tools for achieving the goals included in the 2030 Agenda.
ONV LAW is one of the most dynamic business law firms, established for more than 20 years. It has extensive expertise in public procurement practice for over 15 years resulting from consultancy with public authorities and private operators and solving specific legal challenges in the field of public procurement, concessions, public utilities and infrastructure. Within their work, ONV LAW specialist lawyers encourage contracting authorities to use green criteria in tenders by helping them implement ecological criteria at the level of tender books, qualification or selection criteria, at the level of evaluation factors or contractual terms.