Italy has strong focus on the implementation of a Sustainable Development strategy among Public bodies and the private sector. Since 2000, actions on green (public) procurement were put in place. All the EU countries, including Italy, were committed to reach a 50% target of GPP in all public works by 2010 (as requested by the European Commission with the Communication n. 400 of 16 July 2008). Although this target was not reached, there is a growing interest towards GPP policies and further interventions on this field are expected.
Italy has adopted European regulations in the area of sustainability through the enactment of:
- NAP GPP – National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement;
- NEEAP – National energy efficiency Action plan.
Starting from the legislative framework, Italy turned legal principles into real actions by including Green Public Procurement (GPP) in the governmental financial plan and introducing green criteria into public contracts. Green criteria or minimum environmental criteria for public contracts enable the relevant contracts to be classified as “sustainable”. For Italy, the Ministry of the Environment adopted green criteria with an ad hoc decree in 2007.
Green criteria can be included into public tenders as technical requirements, if the contract is awarded to the economically most advantageous offer. A “score” system is used, with specific “points” assigned to the environmental quality Only products fulfilling the specific green characteristics (i.e.: energy consumption, end of life collection, recycling and disposal) are awarded. Other ways to introduce green criteria into public tenders are through contract performance clauses and qualification/selection criteria.
In July 2011, the second Italian Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (NEEAP; as required by Directive 2006/32/EC) was approved. Within the NEEAP, a specific chapter is devoted to green procurement, where the targets of the AP on GPP are stated.