One of the challenges of improving the environmental performance of vehicle fleets is that such ‘cleaner’ vehicles can be more expensive than ‘less clean’ competitors. Thus, there is a barrier to expanding the role of ‘cleaner vehicles’ in fleets, and so to delivering the associated environmental benefits. For cars, EU legislation, including the Euro 6 air pollutant standards and the passenger car CO2 Regulation, is ensuring that manufacturers put cleaner vehicles on to the market. Green public procurement (GPP) has the potential to contribute to generating a demand for such vehicles.
GPP is when public authorities purchase goods, services and works that have less environmental impact. This has the potential to accelerate the market uptake of such technologies. Additionally, in putting GPP into practice, public authorities can demonstrate leadership on environmental issues, help to raise awareness of the solutions amongst their citizens and contribute to improving the local environment. There is also the potential to save money in the longer-term as the higher purchase costs of cleaner products are usually more than covered by the cost savings associated with their use.
In Slovenia, the city of Ljubljana and the national Public Procurement Agency have both applied GPP criteria to the purchase of vehicles. This is at least in part stimulated by Slovenia’s National Action Plan on GPP, which sets a target for the proportion of public procurement that should include GPP criteria1. The Slovenian capital took a decision in 2009 to replace its existing car fleet with a leased fleet that contained at least 10% hybrids. The technical specifications explicitly required 6 of the 60 cars to be purchased to be hybrids, and set maximum values for the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of these cars2.
In 2011, the national Public Procurement Agency in Slovenia undertook a joint procurement exercise on behalf of 130 public authorities, which included the purchase of nearly 60 vehicles from small cars to mini-buses. The tender specifications included that all vehicles should meet Euro 5 emissions standards or equivalent, while maximum levels of CO2 emissions were also set, ranging from 115 g/CO2km for small cars to 180 gCO2/km for mini-buses. Additional points were also awarded to vehicles that had other devices that helped improve their environmental performance, such as gear shift indicators and tyre pressure monitors. As a result, the offers received all included vehicles with lower CO2 emissions than for previous tenders3.
1. GPP in practice – Green electricity and vehicles, European Commission good practice in procurement; see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/pdf/news_alert/Issue17_Case_Study40_Slovenia_vehicles.pdf
2. GPP in practice – Hybrid cars for city administration, European Commission good practice in procurement; see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/pdf/news_alert/Issue5_Case_Study10_Ljubjana_hybrids.pdf
3. Slovenia Joint Procurement of Cars and Vans – Clean Fleets case study; see www.clean-fleets.eu/fileadmin/files/documents/Publications/OLC_in_Slovenia__case_study_Final.pdf
Other relevant references:
Clean Fleets case studies; see www.clean-fleets.eu/case-studies/
Matjaž Uhan, Slovenian Ministry of Finance ( Matjaz.Uhan@mf-rs.si)
Andrej Piltaver, City of Ljubljana ( email@example.com)