The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) today joined other government agencies in launching a green public procurement project that will promote the use of environment-friendly products and services in the supply chain.

The launch was capped with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the “Pilot Project for the Implementation of Green Public Procurement among selected Government Institutions” at the Quezon City Hall.

Signatories to the MOU include Undersecretary Analiza Teh for DENR, Executive Director Estanislao Granados for the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Undersecretary Zenaida Malaya for Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Undersecretary Loreta Ayson for the Department of Energy (DOE), Industrial Technology Development Institute Dir. Nuna Almanzor for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Dr. Nereus Acosta for the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI); Dr. Lilia De Lima for the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA); Antonio Kalaw, Jr. for the Development Academy of the Phlippines (DAP); Mayor Herbert Bautista for Quezon City local government, and Shantanu Roy for the International Green Purchasing Network (IGPN).

The DENR, DTI, DOST, DOE, PCEPSDI, DAP and IGPN form part of the Board of the National Eco-labelling Program of the Philippines-Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP), which promotes Green Procurement by educating institutional and individual consumers on using environment-friendly products and services.

In a speech read by Teh, DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje expressed optimism that the signing of the MOU would hasten the implementation of the Green Procurement Program in the public sector, which he described as the country’s biggest consumer of goods and services.

“With the MOU, and with government being the country’s biggest consumer of goods and services, we hope to encourage more companies, especially small and medium enterprises, to shift to environment-friendly business practices, provide choices by making green products and delivering green services not only for the government’s supply chain but for every consumer in the country as well,” Paje said.

The Green Procurement Program of the government was established by virtue of Executive Order No. 301 issued in 2004. However, Paje noted the difficulty of government agencies in implementing the directive “due to inadequate supply of environmentally-preferable products and services.”

Green procurement refers to patronizing goods and services that have less environmental impact, aside from considering their price and quality. The project is also seen to form part of government’s long-term solutions in adopting and mitigating the destructive effects of climate change.

Under the MOU, the DENR, DBM, PEZA, DTI, DOST, DOE and QC will undergo training on Green Procurement and enlist the participation of all officials, related offices, businesses and other stakeholders involved in their supply chain. They will also assist the PCEPSDI, which acts as the NELP-GCP Secretariat, in data gathering, report preparation, and promotion and advocacy campaign for the Green Procurement Program.

Meanwhile, the PCEPSDI, DAP and IGPN are tasked, among others, to conduct training on Green Public Procurement, ecolabelling, and other sustainable consumption and production tools; assist the participating government institutions in developing their Green Procurement Program; and document project implementation.

All parties to the MOU are also tasked to designate focal persons who will closely coordinate with each other on the implementation of the project.

Earlier, the PCEPSDI, a non-government organization acting as the NELP-GCP Secretariat, entered into a partnership with the IGPN, through the Japan Fund for Global Environment, to fund the five-month pilot project to train the DBM, PEZA and the Quezon City local government on the establishment of Green Public Procurement programs.