Towards a Sustainable Supply Chain: Germany’s Green Public Procurement System

German authorities have acknowledged the ‘bluesign’ system as a qualifier for Green Public Procurement (GPP). The system is meant to be a solution for a sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances in manufacturing process and sets standards for environmentally friendly and safe production. It not only intends to ensure that the final textile product meets very strict consumer safety requirements worldwide, but also to increase consumer confidence in buying a sustainable product.

The impact of business and manufacturing practices on the local and global environment has become evident in the past years. Governments and public authorities are now trying to influence GPP practices for the large volumes of goods and services they purchase. The rules and requirements for public procurement in the EU have already been defined by the European Parliament and the Council. Provided that the requirements are fulfilled, the labels concerned can be used in public procurement processes according to applicable procurement guidelines.

For the latest criteria revision of the bluesign environmental label, more than 500 stakeholders were invited to participate in the consultation process. They provided valuable feedback for revision and insights into the needs of different groups. The German acknowledgement may be a valuable incentive to green public procurement throughout the EU.