Barrier Analysis Dialogue Series

Discussion as part of the project "Proliferation of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Asia" with Ashleigh McLennan

24.05.2022 14:00 Uhr  - 24.05.2022 16:00 Uhr


When it comes to transforming our economy and society into a more sustainable one, it is important that governments ‘walk the talk’. One of the most direct ways they can do so is by making their own purchasing more sustainable through Green/ Sustainable Public Procurement (GPP/ SPP). GPP/SPP can reduce the environmental impact of a government’s operations, can incentivise companies to invest in transformation, and can even save public money through the purchase of more energy efficient, longer-lasting and thus more sustainable products.

A major barrier to GPP/ SPP, however, is the ‘least acquisition cost paradigm’. Put simply, procurers are often required to purchase the cheapest products. While this saves money upfront, cheap products are often suboptimal in quality and cost more money over their lifetime, including through energy, maintenance and disposal costs.

To implement GPP/ SPP, the ‘lowest cost’ principle needs to be replaced with ‘value for money’ as a fundamental principle of procurement. This will require political commitment, clear legal backing for SPP, as well as guidance for procurers on evaluating value for money, including the use of methods like Life-Cycle Costing (LCC), Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) and Product-Service Systems (PSS). In addition to these advanced methods, buying ecolabelled products and services can also help procurers identify products of a higher quality, as well as compare the true costs of products. This dialogue will therefore present the theory of overcoming the ‘least acquisition cost paradigm’, as well as real life examples where SPP is being used to buy best value and reduce environmental impacts. 

The Dialogue Series is part of the projects “Proliferation of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Asia – the Next 5 Countries (SCP Outreach)” and “Scaling Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP): Ecolabelling and Sustainable Public Procurement for a Low-Carbon Pathway in South-East Asia (Scaling SCP), commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). The goal is to highlight the barriers, strategies and potentials for realizing circular economy principles by effectively designing and implementing a sustainable product policy framework.

In the next discussion on May 24th Ashleigh McLennan (Öko-Institut) will give an input on "Moving from a lowest cost to best value mindset".

See the factsheet with information on the following events here.


Online via KUDO



Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

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