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UNECE to develop a guide promoting green and sustainable PPP procurement for the SDGs 

UNECE to develop a guide promoting green and sustainable PPP procurement for the SDGs 


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require a massive transformation of our economies and societies, and a shift towards more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are a powerful tool to support this transformation, as they can mobilise private sector capital and expertise to deliver public services and infrastructure that are aligned with the SDGs.  

However, to realise the full potential of PPPs and achieve the SDGs, PPPs must be structured to deliver better environmental and social outcomes. UNECE is at the forefront of promoting this approach and identifying ways governments can adopt green and sustainable PPP procurement practices, which involves integrating sustainability considerations throughout the PPP procurement and implementation process. 

Unlike traditional public contracts, PPPs involve procuring long-term, privately financed and integrated arrangements between public and private actors. This gives governments a unique opportunity to incentivise SDG-driven projects and to monitor the performance of those projects for their environmental and social impact. 

This also requires, however, governments to adopt the right policies and instruments to ensure that green and sustainability considerations are integrated throughout the three stages of PPP procurement: 1) Planning (including needs assessment); 2) Process (including bidding, evaluation and award); and 3) Implementation (including contract management). 

To address this challenge, the UNECE Working Party on PPPs has established a team of international experts to develop a practical guide for public officials on green and sustainable PPP procurement. The guide will provide policy recommendations and best practices on how to embed environmental and social aspects into PPP procurement processes and contracts, and how to better align PPP projects with the SDGs. 

UNECE has also organised several workshops and policy discussions on this topic in the last two years, involving stakeholders from governments, private sector, academia and civil society. The most recent ones were held on 26 January 2024 in Brussels and on 9 February 2024 in New York. These events have helped to promote green and sustainable procurement in PPPs and collect insights and recommendations on how they can be applied along the three stages of PPP procurement. 

The knowledge gathered at these events will be used to develop the UNECE guide on green and sustainable PPP procurement for the SDGs which will be presented at the 8th UNECE International PPP Forum in Istanbul on 8 to 10 May 2024. The Forum will then further inform the finalisation of the guide in the second half of 2024.