Leading by example

The public sector aims to reduce environmental and carbon impacts through creating demand for more sustainable goods and services. The EPA's National Waste Prevention Progrmme (NWPP) supports the public sector in its’ leadership and transition to the circular economy by collaborating on a cross-government level to build capacity, providing guidance and training. NWPP supports include Resource Efficiency Action Plans, Green Public Procurement, and facilitating local waste prevention through the public sector Local Waste Prevention Network (LAPN). 

Green Public Procurement

Green Public Procurement (GPP) is a process where public authorities seek to source goods, services or works with a reduced environmental impact. The NWPP leads on progressing the rollout and use of GPP in the public sector under the Climate Action Plan by providing up-to-date guidance on implementing GPP and through developing and delivering training for the public sector. GPP has a key role to play in delivering on ambitious national targets on climate and waste prevention. There are obligations on every public body to play its part. Under the Programme for Government, all procurement using public funds will have to include green criteria by 2023.

The EPA has successfully progressed Green Public Procurement activities required under the Climate Action Plan through:

  • Launch of the 2021 Green Public Procurement Guidance for the public sector.
  • Developing a new online training programme for public sector procurers and specifiers and promoting the training through existing procurement networks as well as through the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) and DECC. Over the course of the 2020 programme, 94 public sector procurers attended the training representing 63 public sector organisations, a mix of local authorities, government departments, state agencies, and educational bodies.
  • Developing GPP monitoring and reporting guidance and a template for government departments who are required to report on green public procurement in their 2020 departmental annual reports.

Resource Efficiency Action Plans

Government departments are required to prepare Resource Efficiency Action Plans (REAPs) and report on progress annually. 

Support outputs provided by the EPA include:

  • Identifying waste management and prevention targets and actions
  • Providing REAP guidance
  • Streamlining the reporting template and the provision of a training webinar.

University Campus Living Lab Demonstration project

NWPP is partnering with the Irish Universities Association (IUA) on an innovation & demonstration “living lab” project to demonstrate the potential for scalable waste prevention behaviour change on university campuses. The project is focused on behavioural interventions aimed at reducing food and plastic waste at student accommodation and within food services. This project began in April 2021 and is due to complete in April 2023.