Public procurement should be not only transparent, but the public procurement authorities should also take care of environment. This is required by the European Union and finally, it is beneficial for all. Non-governmental activists from Ukraine following this philosophy have approached Slovak experts with a request to assist in the implementation and application of the legislation related to this issue in Ukraine. At the same time, they expect that the Slovak experience will help them to avoid eventual mistakes.
“Environmental public procurement contributes to sustainable development. Unfortunately, in Ukraine, it is not a known issue. Environmental problems do not really concern people. After the explosion in Chernobyl the public was for few years interested in the environment, but today they are not anymore. It seems that only catastrophes induce people to think about such themes. But we want to change this and to raise more awareness on this important issue”, – says Marta Ruda, the legal expert of Ukrainian NGO GoLOCAL.
“Cooperation with Slovakia is the best option for us. We have very similar experience from the past, similar mentality, and problems, especially in the field of environment. Your knowledge is very beneficial for us, even more than the experience from other countries because their journey towards the green public procurement is absolutely different than our”, – adds her colleague Volodymyr Glukhov.
Green public procurement is a tool for the public procurement authorities to integrate environmental requirements into the procurement process. Its application supports the sustainable use of natural resources and prevents further devastation of the Earth. The Ukrainian organization GoLOCAL cooperates with the Slovak Centre for Communication and Development with the financial support from the Official Development Assistance program SlovakAid.
“Even if the issue is not broadly known and recognized in Slovakia, we think that it is very important. After all, European Union requires more and more to apply the environmental principles. Our country is, however, a bit further than Ukraine and we can share our experience”, – says Zuzana Jezerská, the Director of SCCD.
The Slovak NGO has invited experts from the legal consulting company Tatra Tender, who assist the Ukrainians with the elaboration of specific documents based on the Slovak experience. The experts of the company admit that the public procurement authorities in Slovakia still prefer environmental solutions only rarely, but the situation is changing slowly.
“Two years ago when we started with training, the interest in public procurement was smaller, but with the pressure of the European Union and public funds providers, which require right the application of green criteria, the interest of public procurement authorities constantly raises. They develop the project that is environmentally friendly. In my opinion, public procurement should not be seen from the short-term point of view, but people should be interested in long-term perspective. Green public procurement not only reduces the negative environmental impacts but in the end, it reduces the costs of the organization. Which means, with the higher costs at the phase of the purchase the total costs during the lifetime will be more economically effective. Lighting is a common example. Energy efficient bulbs are more expensive but the savings will return in about 3 years,” – says Lucia Cencerová from Tatra Tender.
GoLOCAL is an NGO established in 2015 that implements regional and municipal development projects in close cooperation with civil society, local authorities, and International Financial Institutions.
Slovak Centre for Communication and Development (SCCD) is a non-governmental organization established in 2005. It works in the field of development cooperation and global education. It is a non-confessional and apolitical organization, which currently belongs to the leaders in this area on the NGO market. More information on http://www.sccd-sk.org/