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Capacity Building for Sustainable Public Procurement in Developing Countries

February 2010

Quarterly Newsletter

Issue #02

Welcome to the newsletter of UNEP’s Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) project which aims at promoting the implementation of effective SPP policies in developing countries.
The SPP project is supported by the European Commission, Switzerland and the Organization of Francophone Countries.
For more information about SPP, click here.

Latest News from Marrakech Task Force Pilot Countries



Costa Rica, Chile, Tunisia, and Mauritius have signed agreements with UNEP to begin the implementation of the project. Uruguay will follow soon. For more details on the project visit our site.

Lebanon will join the project in 2010, thanks to the support of the IEPF (Institut de l'Énergie et de l'Environnement de la Francophonie).

Mauritius is the leading pilot country in the implementation of the Marrakech Task Force (MTF) on SPP Approach. Our partner in Mauritius, the Public Procurement Office (PPO), completed the SPP Status Assessment and has submitted the first draft of the Market Readiness Analysis.  The PPO has also confirmed that  thelegal framework in Mauritius is compatible with sustainable public procurement.

In Tunisia, 10 government representatives attended the regional training on the MTF approach to SPP that took place in Tunis on 7-10 December 2009. The implementation of the project officially started on 1 January 2010.

Following the successful implementation of its procurement reform, Ghana is ready to embark on SPP. Ghana has been a member of the MTF on SPP since 2006 and will be one of the pilot countries to test the SPP approach.

Since the enactment of the Public Procurement Act in 2003, Ghana has undertaken a steady approach to reform its procurement system and to monitor compliance with its new law. In Partnership with Switzerland, Ghana has developed a management system to assess performance of the procurement entities known as the Public Procurement Model of Excellence (PPME). This management performance tool is now recognised by development partners in Ghana, including the World Bank, as a tool for assessing compliance with the country’s procurement rules.

Following the successful implementation of its procurement reform, Ghana is now ready to embark on SPP.  The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) will lead the introduction of SPP in the country with local stakeholders called the Ghana Task Force. The government has also given its support to launch SPP in Ghana. The private sector is already vibrant on sustainable development with more than 100 companies which have signed on to the UN Global Compact. (Nadia Balgobin)

Follow the latest developments in of the pilot countries by visiting our website

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Regional Trainings on Sustainable Public Procurement


Training Workshop for Francophone Countries (Tunis, Tunisia)

Around 120 experts from  48 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe took part in training delivered by UNEP on the MTF on SPP during 2009 in Santiago, Mexico, Paris, Tunis and Kuala Lumpur.  To see agendas and participant lists of the trainings click here.

Tunis (Francophone Countries)

A regional training on the MTF approach on SPP for African Francophone countries took place in Tunis, Tunisia on 7-11 December 2009 with the participation of 28 government officials and NGO’s from 9 countries, including 2 representatives from Lebanon (the next pilot country) and a representative from the West African Economic and Monetary Union. The training workshop was organized by UNEP in collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (Ministère de l'Environnement et du Développement Durable - MEDD), the Institute for Energy and Environment of the Francophone Organization (Institut de l'Énergie et de l'Environnement de la Francophonie – IEPF) and the IDEAS Centre. The workshop provided a platform for exchange and debate for all participants. Read what the participants had to say:


Mr. Cheikh Fofana

“The training workshop was an opportunity for many French- speaking government officials in charge of sustainable development and procurement to discover and / or deepen their understanding of the concept. Far from being just a new idea or “fashionable” concept, SPP really is an important tool for sustainable management of the environment. It offers the opportunity to operate transparently, with choices that are environmentally sound, economically viable and socially acceptable. The enthusiasm and interest of participants in the Tunis workshop call for multiplication of these activities particularly in Francophone countries of Africa, where much remains to be done on Sustainable Consumption and Production issues. The network sharing and exchange of information developed to this effect in Tunis should be strongly supported (technically and financially) for a proper diffusion of these concepts by all stakeholders” Mr. Cheikh Fofana, Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Interim Secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development – Senegal


Ms. Amal El Jurdi

“The training workshop was very interesting and rewarding. Firstly because we received important information on the Marrakech Process.   Second, because it gave us a clearer idea of "sustainable public procurement". Thirdly it enabled participants to exchange experiences of different countries in the area of procurement. I thank the many organizers and trainers and I hope the network will continue to develop more public procurement in Francophone countries.” Ms. Amal El Jurdi, Procurement Official Finance Institute Basil Fuleihan – Lebanon



Mr. Yeo Napari

“The training is, in my view, a key step in the implementation of the SPP process in the Ivory Coast, a country that is engaged in the process of sustainable development with particular emphasis on Sustainable Consumption and Production patterns. This training was an ideal opportunity for sharing experiences, knowledge and new skills. The big lesson I learnt from the training is that it is timely for all countries to initiate an SPP implementation process. Since no nation is really ahead, those that will successfully lead this process will quickly acquire a competitive advantage over others, and will also make substantial cost savings. That is, without a doubt, of the utmost importance in the current context characterized by an acute economic crisis. I am highly satisfied with this training and I would like to extend my warm thanks and those of my country, Ivory Coast, to UNEP, IEPF, and the Tunisian Government and to everyone for the establishment of great synergies on matters relating to SPP. May the network established at this time operate effectively and may the Sustainable Public Procurement Program be a success, and  be the main lever which will lead the process of change in Sustainable Consumption and Production patterns. Happy New Year 2010 to all members of the Francophone SPP network and all the craftsmen of Sustainable Development.” Mr. Yeo Napari Deputy Director, Commission for Sustainable Development – Ivory Coast

Kuala Lumpur (Asian Countries)


Training Workshop for Asian Countries (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

UNEP organized a training workshop on SPP from 11th to the 15th December 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, in collaboration with the Green Purchasing Network Malaysia (GPNM).  The training was attended by 23 participants from 15 Asian countries and from the Asian Development Bank. The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Halim, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Green Technologies. The participants said the following:




Ms. Nguyen Thien Phuong

“The training course on Sustainable Public Procurement organized by UNEP has provided us with much useful knowledge. In the past 10 years, Vietnam has worked hard to develop cleaner production in our country. However, we are still in the beginning stage of development policy on sustainable consumption. With the knowledge and experience that we have received from the training course as well as support that we hope to receive from UNEP in the future, we believe that appropriate policies on sustainable public procurement will be developed in o der to contribute to the environment protection in our countries.” Ms. Nguyen Thien Phuong, Department of International Cooperation and Science, Technology (ISD), Vietnam Environmental Administration – Vietnam



Ms. Lindo Ho

“As an invited representative from “Asia’s World City”, a city whose leaders have expressed a desire and commitment to transform Hong Kong into a genuine green city, it was my great honour and privilege to have participated in UNEP’s recent Training Workshop for Sustainable Public Procurement. At this highly informative and positive event, I had the opportunity to learn about, and offer my comments and suggestions regarding many aspects including the potential establishment and functioning of an Asia Expert Network on Sustainable Public Procurement.
As the Chief Executive Officer of the Green Council (www.greencouncil.org), a founder and initiator of the Hong Kong Green Purchasing Charter (www.HKGPC.org), and a member of the International Green Purchasing Network (IGPN – www.igpn.org), I intend to continue working closely and collaboratively with other local green purchasing practitioners and advocates, while also applying what I learnt at the UNEP Workshop to further promote and advance green and sustainable procurement in the public and private sectors in Hong Kong.” Ms. Linda Ho, CEO of Green Council – China

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Elisa Tonda, new Resource Efficiency Regional Officer in Latin America and the Caribbean


Ms. Elisa Tonda

Elisa Tonda recently joined the team of the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics. Based in the Regional Office in Panama, she is responsible for assisting UNEP DTIE colleagues in implementing Resource Efficiency / Sustainable Consumption and Production projects in Latin America and the Caribbean region.
Elisa joins UNEP after seven years with UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) in Vienna, where she contributed to the activities of the international network of National Cleaner Production Centres, with specific focus on the 12 Cleaner Production Centres located in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Prior to joining UNEP, she worked with the Cleaner Production Centres to incorporate Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) into their portfolio of services. Sustainable Public Procurement is one of the four thematic priorities identified in the Latin America and the Caribbean region by the Council of Government Experts for Sustainable Consumption and Production. Five countries are being assisted by UNEP and the Marrakech Task Force on SPP in the formulation and implementation of their National Policies for Sustainable Public Procurement: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Uruguay.

Elisa believes that defining a customized approach to SPP and engaging a multi-stakeholder approach are both challenges and opportunities for governments seeking to implement SPP.  Another key for success is the support provided to SPP by sub-regional institutions, such as the Central American Commission for Environment and Development, which is currently paving the way to the development of a Central American Policy for Sustainable Public Procurement.

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Other Procurement Related Events


International conference on Green Purchasing (Suwon, Korea)
The 3rd International conference on Green Purchasing took place in Suwon, Korea on 22 October, 2009. UNEP and the Swiss-led MTF on SPP organized two training sessions on the prioritization methodology developed by the Task Force (choice of priority spend categories by procuring entities).

In their final Declaration, the Suwon delegates called “upon all stakeholders around the world, including international institutions, central, regional and local governments, multinationals and Small and Medium Enterprises, Non Governmental Organizations and every consumer to cooperate more closely and commit locally and internationally to:

  • Put in place strong policies, strategies and regulations in support of green purchasing;
  • Assist private and public buyers to identify green products and services. For example, by providing product-specific purchasing criteria and guidance;
  • Encourage networking and exchange of information on best practices and experiences at the regional and international levels;
  • Promote eco-innovation to overcome the challenges to environmental sustainability and economic growth and ensure a growing supply of eco-products in the market;
  • Provide accurate information on the environmental performance of products and services to allow purchasers to make informed decisions. For example, through eco-labels and the development of database systems
  • Raise awareness of green products and services among all stakeholders, for example, through eco-products exhibitions, education and publicity;
  • Buy responsibly, buy green for our sustainable future.”

For more details click here

Buy Green – International Forum for Green Procurement. (Cremona, Italy)
UNEP participated to the third edition of CompraVerde-BuyGreen, International Forum of Green Procurement that took place in Cremona from 8th to 10th October 2009. In order to meet and dialogue,public authorities, universities, representatives of the third sector, professional and sectorial associations, more than 150 public or private organizations, municipalities, provinces, regions, associations, networks and companies attended the event. With more than 60 conferences, seminars and workshops and the involvement of 150 speakers, this forum confirms that “buying green” helps the environment, saves money and supports the green economy.

Many participants including representatives from public authorities, enterprises and non-profit organizations were present which encouraged dialogue between procurers and suppliers of green products and services. At the end of the forum awards were made for the “CompraVerde Award -best green tender and best Green Public Procurement (GPP) policy” and of the “MensaVerde Award”. To see the winners click here

For more details click here

Green Public Procurement – Taking it to the Next Level (Stockholm, Sweden)
The event Green Public Procurement – Taking it to the Next Level took place on 26th November, 2009 in Stockholm with approximately 120 people from all over Europe. The conference was held under the auspices of the Swedish EU Presidency and organized by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and The Swedish Environmental Management Council. Farid Yaker from UNEP also attended the meeting of the national EU GPP experts on Life Cycle Costing (LCC) which took place on 27th November 2009.

For more information about the GPP meeting click here. For more information about the LCC meeting click here. To read the conference review click here

High Level Forum on Public Procurement Reforms in Africa (Tunis, Tunisia)
Farid Yaker from UNEP took part in the 2nd High-Level Forum on Public Procurement Reforms in Africa that took place in Tunis from the 16th to the 17th of November 2009.  The Forum’s final Declaration highlighted the need to engage a second generation of reforms in order to improve the economic impact of public contracts and promote Africa’s sustainable socio-economic development. One of the key resolutions aims at “strengthening, pursuing and improving reforms of existing public procurement systems so as to make them more effective, efficient and transparent, through institutional capacity building and by ensuring systemic integrity”. A key outcome of the Forum was the establishment of an African stakeholders’ network in order to “mobilize stakeholders, facilitate information exchange, pool experiences and promote second generation public procurement reforms.”

To read more click here

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United Nations Sustainable Procurement Activities

UNEP’s Sustainable United Nations Team has developed Procurement Guidelines for UN procurers on paper, stationery, cleaning products and ICT.  Guidelines for vehicles, catering and logistic services are under development. To access these guidelines click here.

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For more information


To find out more about the project implementation in Latin American visit REDPYCS

To find out about current news on SPP and other project related issues, visit our site

Do you want to share your expertise in procurement? Register to our SPP expert Database here

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