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Sustainable Public Procurement: A Tool for Greening the Economy

The human ecological footprint exceeds what the planet can sustain and reproduce, so there is a need to find solutions and opportunities. This research project will focus on positioning public procurement as a policy approach to support green growth throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Solutions will have to rely on a mix of policies that promote social and economic changes, along with market-driven incentives to encourage positive change. Governments can play a significant role through their public procurement power. After all, they are important players in the market. This is particularly true in developing countries, where public procurement accounts for a large percentage of gross domestic product. This makes governments the single-largest buyer in most economies, with the power to influence market trends, and production conditions and requirements.

Promoting sustainable public procurement
This project will promote knowledge on sustainable public procurement and build skills. The project team will specifically target the Inter-American Network on Government Procurement (INGP) and policymakers in LAC. The team will:
-create a practical handbook and policy papers for policymakers on how procurement policies and preferential purchasing programs can be designed to support small- and medium-enterprises, minority suppliers, and women-owned enterprises
-include information on how to integrate environmental and social criteria across the public procurement cycle, from supplier qualification to technical specifications, award criteria, and contract conditions in materials for policymakers
-carry out two case studies in INGP member countries to test the validity and value of the Green Procurement Handbook and to demonstrate the multiplier benefits of sustainable public procurement
-produce and deliver two training modules and an online course on sustainable public procurement and
-raise awareness of policy reforms through events and awards that highlight the importance of sustainable public procurement.

INGP is an organization that brings together the heads of public procurement offices across the region. The Organization of American States oversees the Executive Secretariat. The Inter-American Development Bank provides strong financial and institutional support. INGP has gained a profile as the most relevant regional mechanism on public procurement. It sets the agenda, shares emerging trends, and tests and adopts procurement policy innovations.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
30 months
IDRC Officer
Ben Petrazzini
Total Funding
CA$ 636,500.00
South America
West Indies
Employment and Growth
Employment and Growth
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Helena Fonseca
General Secretariat of the Organization of American States/Secrétariat Général de l'Organisation des États américains/Secretaria General de Organización de los Estados Americanos