On 16 July 2008 the European Commission adopted a Communication on Green Public Procurement (GPP). This aims at encouraging Member States to increase the number of 'green' criteria in public procurement tenders.
The Communication establishes an indicative target of 50% of green contracts that the Members States should reach by 2010. The Commission also wishes to apply 'green' criteria to activities co-financed by the EU, such as EU-funded research projects. In the Communication the Commission has listed construction among the 10 priority sectors suitable for 'greening'.
Since 2008, the European Commission has developed 19 common GPP criteria for different product groups, including windows, glazed doors and skylights. The criteria are designed to be inserted directly into tender documents and are accompanied by technical background reports which explain the environmental impacts addressed.
EBC is strongly concerned about the potential impact of this voluntary initiative on traditional craft products such as windows and doors. These products manufactured by micro-enterprises on a small scale do not follow the same processes than large-scale industrial production.
Moreover, these products are also targeted by CE Marking, energy labelling and eco-design criteria. The duplication of European legislative initiatives in this field makes it even more difficult for builders to adapt to the legislative requirements and causes a substantial increase in administrative burdens for construction SMEs.