On the occasion of World Environment Day, a new product category of Green Room Air Conditioners was launched on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) by the Department of Commerce. The GeM portal will enable and encourage all central and state government agencies to buy efficient and environment friendly green ACs, thereby paving a way for Sustainable Public Procurement in India. The purchase of Green RACs shall be a voluntary approach.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with other partners is supporting the Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) initiative of the Government of India with initial focus on three prioritized product categories including paper, disinfectant and Green Room Air Conditioners.
Aaron Bishop, USAID Acting Deputy Mission Director, said, USAID is honored to support the Government of India’s priorities and objectives in greening the supply chain. It is inspiring to see that GeM has taken a lead by integrating green room air conditioner criteria onto its platform. This pioneering effort will propel the market towards adopting and expanding these green and sustainable products and services.
This initiative is one of the several steps taken by the government towards a circular and green economy. In March 2018, the Ministry of Finance had constituted a Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement. Additionally, the draft National Resource Efficiency Policy (2019) had included the agenda of Sustainable Public Procurement, that suggested establishing green procurement guidelines providing information on resource efficiency criteria to be used in the procurement processes for the prioritized products/service categories.
Last year, the GeM portal saw sales of over 44,000 air conditioners worth Rs 1.7 billion, and it continues to grow. Additionally, public procurement spend in India is estimated to be 15-20% of its GDP. Leveraging the procurement power and promoting sustainable public procurement that align with India’s climate policies and priorities would play a key role in achieving India’s Nationally Determined Contributions and its commitment towards relevant SDGs particularly SDG 12.7. Green Room Air Conditioner integration within the public procurement system will be a catalyst for market transformation towards sustainable cooling.