Think green – buy green
The '"EcoBuy Vienna" project, which was launched in 1998 based on the "KliP Vienna" climate protection programme, is aimed at making procurement activities in the Vienna municipal administration and its affiliated enterprises more ecologically sustainable. As the City of Vienna's spending on products and services amounts to some EUR five billion annually, this field of activity harbours great potential.
As a reference framework for making procurement more ecologically sustainable, lists of ecological criteria, guidelines and other results have been drawn up for various areas of public procurement. These criteria are taken into account in public calls for tender. Currently, buyers working for the City of Vienna have more than 120 of these lists of criteria to fall back on in their day-to-day work. These criteria are binding within the city administration.
A good example of the sustainable impact of EcoBuy Vienna is a specimen folder for ecological printer paper. It lists products and vendors that meet the numerous strict assessment criteria defined by the municipal administration. As a consequence, the Austrian paper industry has been gradually changing its production in an effort to meet these criteria.
One of the key success factors of the project is its broad organisational structure, which includes more than 180 experts from various municipal departments as well as external contributors. 26 working groups are busy drawing up, evaluating and updating the relevant results of ecological criteria. In addition, advisory bodies have been set up to cover topics such as legal issues and public relations.
In 2003, the Chief Executive Director of Vienna's municipal administration decreed that the results of the EcoBuy Vienna project be used as a mandatory basis for procurement in the municipal administration and its affiliated enterprises.
The EcoBuy Vienna project is the only one of its kind worldwide, a fact that is reflected in the level of international attention it attracts.
Vienna's expertise in the field of sustainable procurement has already been showcased in Japan, Germany, and at the Green Week 2003 in Brussels, to name but a few occasions.
At the Dubai International Awards for Best Practices 2010, an initiative launched by UN-HABITAT, EcoBuy Vienna was one of the 12 winning projects, after being awarded as "Best Practice" project twice in the previous years.
The programme has also been a long-standing member of the EUROCITIES network's Responsible Procurement Working Group.
Studies corroborate EcoBuy Vienna's impressive results, such as 30,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved each year. From a microeconomic perspective, this equals savings of some EUR 17 million each year, with tendency to rise! The savings achieved from a macroeconomic angle are even more significant.
Facts & Figures
- Project timeframe: started in 1998
- Annual budget: EUR 300,000
- Carbon savings per year: 30,000 t
- Lists of ecological criteria for procurement: (German) more than 120 e.g., ecological criteria for the procurement of office supplies, wall paint for indoor use, guidelines on how to make events more ecologically sustainable
DI (FH) Volker Schaffler
Tel. +43 1 4000 84269
Fax +43 1 4000 7997