The United States of America
On August 8, 2006, the New York City announced the schedule for the enactment of the relevant rules for Green and Healthy Procurement Act enacted at the end of last December.
The enforcement regulation of New York State Green and Healthy Procurement Act which will be enforced in 2007 includes the following provisions: ▲ the stipulation which prohibits purchasing electrical and electronic products containing six dangerous substances; ▲ setting of the lowest energy efficiency standard for energy use products; ▲ The maximum allowable mercury content of mercury-containing lamps; ▲ establishing emission standard for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for certain products. New York City will announce its rules in October of this year and will hold a forum for feedback at least once.
The official hearing will be held around November and the final rule will be adopted in December.
Thies new Green and Healthy Procurement Act requires: ▲ the appointment of the Green Procurement Director to manage and supervise the implementation of green procurement at all public institutions and the appointment of green procurement officers at each agency ▲ preparation of a plan for reuse or recycling of certain electrical and electronic products purchased or leased by the municipal government and agencies until January 1, 2008, and ▲ procurement of environmentally friendly products such as energy-efficient products and products with reduced toxic chemical substances.
The request for the reuse/recycling plan for electrical and electronic products to the municipal government reflects the 'Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act' proposed by the New York City Council. This bill obliges producers of electrical and electronic products to prepare and submit a plan to reuse, recycle and properly dispose of waste products.
The bill proposed in May 2005 was temporarily postponed without finalizing its enactment last year.
Although it is not brought in this year, the city council is expected to actively proceed it next year.
Meanwhile, the United States as the world's largest consumer of energy products oblige the purchase of energy star products as federal procurement goods, or the products designated by FEMP( Federal Energy Management Program), and products whose standby power is less than 1W pursuant to Executive Order 13221 through the The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and Executive Order 13123.
In addition, Section 6002 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires federal agencies to purchase recycled products. Under this law, federal agencies, state governments which use federal fund and municipalities must also purchase recycled products for annual procurement of more than $ 10,000.
In the EU, the use of environmental labels for green procurement of public institutions is positively being examined. The Green Public Procurement (GPP) conference, co-hosted by the European Commission and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), held in Graz, Austria, for two days from April 3-4.
At this conference, use of EU eco-label, 'EU Flower' in the green procurement process has been discussed in depth.
In a special session on the eco-labeling and environmental database, best practices of toilet paper procurement using EC eco-labels were presented.
In addition to this, various cases including eco-label standards in the bidding for various items such as paints, varnishes, and multi-use cleaners were presented. Participants, including public institution purchasing managers and policy makers, responded positively to the use of eco-labels in the green procurement and hoped to obtain relevant information.
Recently, the Commission has been actively promoting the use of EU Flowers in the public procurement, and it is expected that 'EU Flower' will establish a solid foothold in Europe in the future.
It is known that the European Union (EU) is expected to designate a professional operating organization and reorganize its program operating system which prepares grounds to support incentives through the amendment of the EU Flower Flower Act (Regulation EC 1980/2000) to designate a professional operating organization and provide incentives.
The partially revised bill on the “Basic policy on promoting procurement of environmental goods” based on the Act on Procurement of Environmental Goods, etc. (Green Purchasing Act) is expected to be decided at the Cabinet meeting held on February 28.
The basic policy that stipulated specific procurement items (items for which procurement should be pursued mainly) and criteria of Green Purchasing Act is being reviewed every year so as to faithfully reflect the status of development and distribution of goods or the state of science and technology. Accordingly, after about 50 items were designated as procurement items in 2001, 24 items in 2002, 23 items in 2003, and 6 items in 2004 were designated as specific procurement items.
The amendment includes the addition of items to check the legitimacy of raw timber in the judgment criteria of timber and timber products as a measure against illegal logging, additional designation of 13 items as specific procurement items, and review of 68 criteria.
The amendment include: (1) adding 13 items such as recording media (CD-R, DVD ± R), primary batteries, small rechargeable batteries, 2-cycle engine oil and vinyl flooring to specific procurement items, (2) adding legitimacy in accordance with the Forestry Agency's "Guidelines for Legal and Sustainability Verification of Wood and Wood Products", (3) adding check of the information whether certain hazardous substances of RoHS (lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBB, PBDE) are contained in the EU electrical and electronic products such as display, electric refrigerator, and air conditioner.
Following the introduction of the Green Purchasing Act in 2001 by Japan and adoption of Green Purchasing Act which obliged to purchase eco-friendly goods by public organizations in 2004 by Korea, China is also pursuing the legislation of this act. As part of its efforts to build a sustainable production and consumption system, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment is strongly pushing for the adoption of the Green Purchasing Act ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Especially, there is much attention towards the fact that China is examining ways to make green purchasing compulsory for public institutions focusing on environmental labeling system. Indeed, CEC, the operating organization of China Environmental Labeling Scheme is actively supporting the adoption of the Green Purchasing Act in China.
With regard to this, Chairman Chen Yanping of CEC stressed that the green purchasing potential of the Chinese government would be an important means to promote green consumption in China and also said that the Chinese government was actively promoting the introduction of the green purchasing system by improving the related systems with reference to the experiences of developed countries at the 'China-Germany Environmental Cooperation Seminar' held on January 13th.
According to his speech, China is promoting (1) the vitalization of eco-friendly product and service certification, (2) government’s strong drive for green purchasing, (3) building an effective green trade including international mutual recognition, (4) encouragement of consumers’ green consumption through the enhancement of education and promotion, as a planning to establish a sustainable consumption system.
According to the related news, Chinese government’s purchase reached 166 billion yuan in the same year after the "Government Purchasing Act" in 2003. It is equivalent to 6.7% of the gross national product in the same period, which shows growth with a 64.4 percent increase compared to 2002.
In 2005, the Chinese government procurement amounted to 250 billion yuan and it is expected to exceed 300 billion yuan this year. The rapidly growing size of the Chinese economy shows that there is sufficient market sentiment for China to pursue its green purchasing policy. In particular, the China Environmental Labeling Scheme that is expected to be linked to the green purchasing of the Chinese government has been rapidly growing as over 1,100 companies for 56 items have obtained certifications for about 22,000 kinds of products (Size of 90 billion yuan) since its enforcement in 1993.
Considering the importance of the Chinese market to the Korean export industry, the recent trend to introduce the green procurement system in China is noteworthy. In particular, the fact that the China Environmental Labeling Scheme is actively supporting the implementation of the Green Purchasing Act suggests that the China Environmental Labeling Scheme will be used as the main means of entering the Chinese market.
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has published a Manual on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements to ensure the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements (MEA).
Over the decades, the international community has been interested in concluding international treaties such as the Protocol and other multilateral environmental agreements, but now their attention has shifted to how much this multilateral agreement will be achieved.
The reason is clear, as many countries are struggling to implement environmental commitments under the Convention as Parties.
These countries are facing a number of problems such as from where to start, what is more, efficient and effective implementation, and how to achieve full implementation with limited resources.
For this reason, UNEP has published this manual in support of countries that faced many challenges in implementing commitments under multilateral agreements.
This manual complements the Guidelines for the Adherence and Conduct of Multilateral Environmental Agreements approved and promulgated by the UNEP Governing Council in February 2002 and is expected to facilitate the use of these guidelines.
It includes examples of the various strategic approaches available to stakeholders such as governments, NGOs, and other relevant agencies to implement compliance with the treaty as well as detailed explanation of individual approaches.