Field: Indicators for eco-efficiency
Global Technical function: Responsible purchasing
Technical Function Unit: Networking, Protecting, Sustainability criteria, Sustainable procurement
Geographic Area: Austria

“ÖkoKauf Wien" – A programme for sustainable public procurement

The ÖkoKauf Wien programme supports Vienna City Administration to purchase its goods and services according to sustainability criteria — from laundry detergents and office supplies through to construction services.

The challenge
Climate change, excessive amounts of waste sent to landfill, air pollution, increasing allergy sufferers and so on... The effects of our lifestyle and a lack of environmental consciousness are palpable.

With the programme “ÖkoKauf Wien” (“EcoBuy Vienna”), the City of Vienna, Austria, is using responsible purchasing to make an essential contribution to confronting the negative side effects of modern industrial society. [e1] 
 

The measure
Thanks to "ÖkoKauf Wien", the Vienna City Administration has applied ecological criteria to public procurement  procedures for over ten years, leading to a cut in annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 30,000 tons and savings of around EUR 17 million per year. For instance, the installation of water saving fittings in public schools, kindergartens and office buildings has helped reduce costs by as much as EUR 1.5 million.

The central management tool for this is the list of green criteria created by “ÖkoKauf Wien”. It details  Eco-innovation and eco-efficiency indicators along with requirements which are to be placed upon products and services in terms of environmental impact, usability, efficiency, quality and occupational safety. By executive decree, this sustainable procurement criteria list and its’ indicators for eco-efficiency is binding for all departments of the Vienna City Administration.

This procedure ensures that ecology is sufficiently taken into consideration over the course of public procurement and tendering by the Vienna City. In addition, the results contribute to sensitising City Administration employees and serves as a means of orientation for the economy as well as private households.

Lessons learnt
The City of Vienna's programme for sustainable public procurement, ÖkoKauf Wien, has been commended by the European Commission (EC) as one of the most effective projects to promote resource efficiency. Thanks to its sustainable procurement system, the City of Vienna has managed to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30,000 tons per year.

With its ÖkoKauf project, the City of Vienna has become an international role model in terms of sustainable public procurement. Now "ÖkoKauf Wien" is among three outstanding sustainable procurement initiatives awarded by the EC.

Further deployment
"Ökokauf Wien“ has made international networking a key priority. After all, cooperation across national borders is essential when it comes to protecting our environment. As the recognition from the EC proves the program has been very successful and could be exported replicated in other regions easily. The estimated GML is 7.

Links

 [e1]I like this but it sounds a bit dramatic compared to other “challenge” sections!! ..maybe we should change the others to make it sound epic like this!