­Energy efficiency in Public Procurement

The public sector is a major purchaser of goods, works and services in Finland, with the value of its procurement contracts amounting to approximately EUR 47 billion a year. As a major player, the public sector has the opportunity to influence the supply by directing the demand.

Public Procurement has a significant impact on the life-cycle energy consumption of products and services. The Act on Public Procurement encourages contracting authorities to take environmental considerations into account. 

According to the Energy Efficiency Directive, central governments can, under certain conditions, purchase only products, services and buildings that meet the energy efficiency requirements laid down by EU legislation, such as the Energy Labelling Directive, the Ecodesign Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, and the Energy Star Programme. Local and regional public sector operators are also encouraged to pursue energy efficiency in public procurement. As a procurement criterion, the importance of energy efficiency will increase due to the proposal of the Energy Efficiency Directive recast, which would extend the requirements currently applying to central governments to municipalities, regions and other contracting entities under the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has issued guidelines on energy efficiency in public procurement. The aim is to instruct State authorities, municipalities and other organisations to take into account measures that promote energy efficiency. Private sector operators, too, can apply the guidelines.

More information: pia.kotro(at)gov.fi and eriika.melkas(at)gov.fi