Local Authority Environmental Management Systems and Procurement

The LEAP project was funded by the European Commission LIFE-Environment fund.  It started on 1st November 2003 and ended on 31st October 2006.

The Buying Power of the Public Sector

Green public purchasing has already contributed a great deal towards  environmental improvement in Europe, but there still exists a huge potential to futher improve the environmental performance of the goods and services purchased by public authorities.


Research has shown that public authorities in Europe buy huge quantities of products. It is estimated that they purchase 2.8 million computers a year - if all those computers were energy efficient, significant savings in energy, both in monetary cost and carbon dioxide emissions could be made.


The objectives of the LEAP project were to:

  • develop a suite of tools and guidance for public authorities to systematically, effectively and efficiently deal with green procurement as part of and Environmental Management System
  • test joint procurement approaches to overcome market barriers in Europe for green procurement

Why Link Green Procurement with Environmental Management Systems?

In most public authorities in Europe procurement is a relatively decentralised process involving many individuals in different departments. 

Even where central purchasing units exist, some procurement responsibilities will still rest with staff in other units.  In such situations ensuring the implementation of effective communications between and within departments, clear priorities are needed.

In an increasing number of authorities environmental management systems are being put in place to provide a useful framework for co-ordinating environmental improvements.  As public procurement is an activity with substantial consequences in terms of environmental impact, it clearly makes sense to promote the integration of green procurement actions into such management systems.

The LEAP project has developed a set of tools and guidance to facilitate the integration of green procurement principles into environemntal management sysytems.

The LEAP Project Partners