By adopting a new administrative regulation, the German cabinet has determined that government procurement would become more climate-friendly as of January 2022. The procurement regulation “AVV Klima” will include a negative list of items that should not be purchased, such as disposable tableware and beverages in disposable packaging for events and canteens, as well as outdoor heaters and air conditioning appliances that utilize certain cooling agents.
All government agencies will be affected. “The federal government is setting a good example and will be purchasing in a climate-friendly way in the future,” said federal economics and energy minister Peter Altmaier. “The public sector can make a substantial contribution to encouraging innovative and climate-friendly products and technology.” Because of the enormous purchase volume, which the OECD estimates to be 100 billion euros per year, the federal government can make a major difference by changing its purchasing regulations, Altmaier noted.
According to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the German public sector as a whole (including state governments and administrations) spends about 500 billion euros per year on everything “from pencils to buses for local public transportation.
” The Climate Action Law mandates that the federal government become carbon-neutral by 2030. The government stated while establishing a new catalogue of measures for a sustainable administration in August 2021 that this comprises primarily activities such as building construction and operation, transportation, business trips and staff commutes, but also procurement. The AVV Klima recognizes that purchasing environmentally friendly products can cost more in some circumstances, but that these higher prices can be “compensated by lower life cycle costs of the acquired service.”
The AVV Klima has been expanded to cover criteria from the German Climate Action Law. A prediction of greenhouse gas emissions generated over the whole life cycle must be incorporated in the procurement process as far as feasible in the future, in addition to energy efficiency considerations.