Sustainable Public Procurement and Ecolabelling

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In the last decade, UNEP has been actively supporting developing countries in the implementation of SPP and ecolabelling through the UNEP-led Marrakech process aimed at advancing sustainable consumption and production practices. The experience of the UK and Switzerland served as best practice for developing a specific SPP methodology, which was tested by UNEP in 7 pilot countries and subsequently revised and improved on the basis of the lessons learned. This stepwise methodology, which is now known as the UNEP Approach to SPP, lies at the core of the project “Stimulating the demand and supply of sustainable products through Sustainable Public Procurement and Ecolabelling” (SPPEL)  running over the period  May 2013 to December 2017. This project builds on the foundation laid by UNEP’s work in the fields of Ecolabelling and SPP and seeks to combine these two instruments to better deliver the common goal of stimulating the demand and supply of sustainable products.

The SPPEL project is supported by the European Commission.

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The project aims at providing capacity development and technical assistance to different stakeholders (policy-makers, procurers, businesses) on the development of SPP policies and the use of internationally recognized ecolabelling systems. In addition, project countries are assisted in the coordinated implementation of sustainable public procurement policies and ecolabelling.


In order to reach the above mentioned objectives, the project is implemented at the national, regional and global levels. 

Through its national component, the project provides capacity building and advisory services for the combined implementation of SPP and ecolabelling in 13 countries. In 4 “core countries” with established ecolabelling programmes (India, Vietnam, Colombia, Brazil), the aim is to implement UNEP Approach to SPP, combined with a proactive use of ecolabels. In these countries, the project seeks to align the goods and services prioritized through SPP with those covered or under development by existing ecolabels.

In 9 other countries with no established ecolabelling programmes (Mongolia, Morocco, Togo, Mauritius, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador) the project focuses on the development and implementation of SPP policies, together with awareness-raising activities about the opportunities that ecolabels represent for the strengthening of the national SPP programme.

At the regional level, the SPPEL project aims to encourage South-South cooperation, regional collaboration on ecolabelling, voluntary standards, and the sharing of experiences related to SPP implementation in two sub-regions, the Southern Cone (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and South East Asia (ASEAN countries).

The project also includes a knowledge management, outreach and communication component which aims to disseminate the tools and lessons learnt regionally and globally, and facilitate linkages and synergies with key international stakeholders and related initiatives. The knowledge management component relies on an existing online platform, the SPP Community of the Global SCP Clearinghouse, and a collaborative international framework, the SPP Programme of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production patterns (10YFP SPP Programme).

SPPEL seeks to provide the access of project partners and stakeholders to the SCP Clearinghouse resources and collaborative tools while ensuring a regular flow of information between the project and the online platform.

Additionally, the learnings and results of the SPPEL project and the 10YFP SPP Programme feed into one another, thus building synergies and improving coordination between different SPP on-the-ground projects.  An online platform for the Latin American region on SPP and means of verification will also be established as part of this component.

The SPPEL project implementation is supported by the UNEP Regional Office of Latin America and Caribbean (ROLAC) as well as the UNEP Regional Office for Asia Pacific (ROAP), with the overall coordination and project management from the DTIE office in Paris.