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Green Public Procurement in China: Quantifying the benefits (Discussion Paper)

Since the official introduction of green public procurement (GPP) in China in 2006, the country has made much progress in increasing the environmental and energy-efficiency performance of purchased products.

Nonetheless, as this discussion paper argues, there is large potential for further increasing both the volume and the stringency of green requirements to scale up GPP, thereby contributing to the development of eco-civilization and other Chinese priorities. The first-of-its-kind model developed by IISD and presented in this paper shows there are significant environmental, social and economic benefits that China could achieve by leveraging the huge sums involved in public spending. The model points to reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, reduced health costs, green jobs, energy savings, green economic development and competitiveness. The major areas of Chinese public spending covered by the model are air conditioners, vehicles, information technology equipment, lighting, cement and paper. The paper further provides an overview of the country’s public procurement systems; outlines the current approach to GPP implementation, including its legal framework; undertakes a preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of current GPP practice; and discusses the current policy and institutional reforms that benefit GPP. The paper concludes with a set of preliminary recommendations to scale up GPP. This product was launched at a joint IISD–Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies event on April 20, 2015, where Chinese and international experts discussed its findings and how to advance GPP in China.