Buying Social and Green from Social Enterprises – RREUSE Updated Position paper on the Public Procurement Directive 2014/24

by | Apr 17, 2023 | Position Papers, Publications

Accounting for 14% of the EU GDP, public authorities’ purchasing power represents an immense potential to ensure inclusive labour markets within the circular economy and the successful implementation of social and green policy objectives. Supporting the social economy sector, including via public procurement, can facilitate the transition of the economy towards a more socially and environmentally sustainable model. However, access to public procurement opportunities by social enterprises and other social economy actors is often hindered for reasons including:

  • Lack of training for procurers about the characteristics of the social economy;
  • Lack of appropriate legislation at the Member States’ level;
  • Lack of knowledge and use of green and socially responsible public procurement across the EU;
  • Lack of data on best practices of green and socially responsible public procurement.

RREUSE finds the existing voluntary approach to foster social and environmental considerations in public purchases insufficient to encourage using public procurement to achieve key policy objectives. Where relevant, social and green criteria should be mandatory and used jointly in those sectors that have the potential to promote an inclusive green transition, as is the case in the circular waste management activities of re-use and repair social enterprises.