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The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais completes ICLEI´s Sustainable Procurement process

December 15, 2008

The state of Minas Gerais has dedicated itself to implementing sustainable public procurement criteria into its administrative structure.  Within the framework of a partnership with the Centre for Sustainability Studies of the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (GVces) in São Paulo, begun in 2004, the technical aspects of SPP have been developed specifically for São Paulo and Minas Gerais, to be replicated throughout the country.

Sustainable Public Procurement

Sustainable procurement involves a shift in the spending of public money to purchase responsibly in order to foster sustainable development.  A key attribute of the sustainable procurement process is that it underscores the importance of tools to measure results, enabling the comparison of products and fostering continual improvement.

Project phases

The framework adopted by the project’s Brazilian participants includes the following phases:

  1. Survey of the procurement profile of the government;
  2. Selection of emblematic products;
  3. Survey of alternatives available in the market for the selected products;
  4. Completion of a baseline inventory of the selected products;
  5. Inclusion of sustainable alternatives in the tender documentsand procurement catalogue;
  6. Procurement of sustainable products and a production of a second baseline inventory to assess the performance of the governments.

20 products studied

Minas Gerais selected 20 products to be studied during the third phase (survey of alternatives available in the market for the selected products). The research was carried out by the Center of Sustainability Studies of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation  (GVces). Among the products chosen were asphalt, office supplies and equipment.

Follow-up inventory

The second inventory revealed the adoption of many sustainability criteria in the govenment´s procurement activities in 2008. For example, over 14,000 LCD monitors were purchased, representing a large energy savings for the local administration. The State also procured new flush valves, faucets and lavatories, among other products, that reduced water consumption.

Leading the way toward sustainability

Participating governments will share experiences; facilitating the introduction of sustainable procurement in other administrations across Brazil. Furthermore, it is expected that the pilot governments will serve as role models for other local authorities, resulting in reduced pressure on natural resources and ecosystems.