The Role of Public Procurement for a Climate-neutral Way of Production and Living

With an average procurement volume of 67 billion € or 18 percent of GDP in the years 2015 to 2020, the public sector (including outsourced state-owned enterprises) is a major consumer in the Austrian economy. The efforts to green procurement have already been incorporated into the procurement regulations, and in principle, there is a lot of scope to take environmental aspects into account. This study demonstrates the specific application of the EU criteria catalogue based on selected greenhouse gas intensive sectors. To measure the CO2 emissions caused by public procurement, the study combines procurement data with the input-output model ADAGIO to form sectoral emission patterns. The extensive calculations in the study estimate that Austria's public demand causes around 19 million t of CO2 per year worldwide, of which only 5.6 million t are generated in Austria due to the international value chains. Direct emissions, i.e., those of the contracting companies, account for only about 32 percent, or 1.8 million t, of the emissions in Austria – emphasising the fact that the majority of emissions are generated along the value chain by intermediate goods. From a sectoral perspective, the construction industry and parts of manufacturing stand out as central sources of emissions in public procurement. However, sectoral procurement patterns as a "lever" for reducing greenhouse gas emissions vary considerably between government actors.