Starting 1 January, purchasers include environmental criteria in public procurement

Green public procurement will become mandatory from 1 January, which means that the contracting authorities for certain categories will no longer be able to use price as the only criterion when awarding contracts. The selection of the offer will be influenced by a set of environmental aspects such as the life of the product, maintenance costs, water and electricity and recycling of goods when they become waste. By the end of the year, a sub-legal act is expected that will define these cases in more detail, so that implementation can start on time, NALED announced today.

Until now, the Law left the opportunity to the contracting authorities to use quality criteria, but did not oblige them to do so. According to the official report, although the trend of using environmental standards has improved slightly, only 0.44% of the total number of procurements carried out in 2022 was green. Also, the lowest price was the only criterion for awarding the contract in 96% of cases, which is why the need for additional measures arose.

Through the project "Public Procurement and Good Management for Greater Competitiveness", NALED, in cooperation with the Swedish Agency for International Development and Cooperation (Sida), supported the obligation to implement green procurement for contracting authorities, with the recommendation to gradually increase the number of areas in which the application of environmental standards will be mandatory.

- The Institute for Economics and Law conducted an analysis for the needs of NALED, which showed that out of the observed 23 procurement items, mandatory application of green criteria could be prescribed in 13 cases, without restricting competition on the market. It is proposed that green public procurement be applied, to begin with, to items such as photocopier paper, sanitary ware, printers and scanners, computers and laptops, sanitary equipment, paper goods, air conditioners, white goods, cleaning products, cleaning services, tires, furniture, paints and varnishes - said the director of the Institute, Miloš Knežević.

For purchasers, this will mean a more thorough preparation for the procurement process and not only a good analysis of market conditions, but also a detailed knowledge of the subject of procurement from the point of view of sustainability and its effects on the environment. On the other hand, bidders will now submit certificates of compliance with environmental standards, such as the eco label and other certificates, as part of the tender documentation.

This change is in accordance with the best practices of the EU, but also with the expectations of the citizens of Serbia. A survey conducted by NALED last year showed that 69% of citizens believe that in public procurement quality should be prioritized over price, and they see the health, education, environment and infrastructure sectors as priorities for investment.

Policy Coordinator in NALED, Nikola Komšić, stated that the amendments to the law, in addition to green public procurement, bring another good news for the system, namely that quality criteria will be mandatory for software development, contracting consulting, architectural or engineering services, as well as a translation service.

- In this field, the contracting authorities will have to know the subject of the procurement well, research the market in order to better compile technical specifications and carefully choose the conditions for participation and criteria for awarding the contract, in order to encourage competition and ensure the best possible quality. In order to help both bidders and clients, NALED will continue to organize trainings for the application of regulations, preparation of procurement procedures or bids, and for representatives of the public sector and business we have developed a free e-learning platform where they can improve their knowledge about public procurement, which has been used by more than 1,100 users - concluded Komšić.

Related Content


Did electronic procurement meet expectations?


Electronic public procurement has improved the transparency of procedures, a new portal was launched on which 1,930 new purchasers and...Read more

Citizens prefer quality over price, while purchasers go for cheapest options in in 95% procurements


Healthcare is a priority area in which Serbian citizens would invest the most money through public procurement, followed by education, infrastructure and environment protection. Also, as many as 69% of citizens believe that priority should be given to quality, not price, in public procurement.

...Read more


...Read more

In more than 90% procurements, price is still more important than quality


For procurement of software development, consulting or architectural services,...Read more

This website uses cookies to ensure the best user experience. By continuing to browse the site, you consent to the use of cookies.