GGGI Rwanda facilitates the Green Public Procurement (GPP) Guidelines Training of Trainers (ToT) Workshop

Kigali, Rwanda GGGI facilitated in a two-day training of trainers including REMA staff and RPPA staff on Green public procurement. Public procurement accounts for an average of 12% of GDP in OECD countries and up to 30% in developing countries. Green public procurement would encourage the purchase of green products with environmental benefits of reducing CO2 emissions.


The National Environment and Climate Change Policy 2019 aims for “Rwanda to have a clean and healthy environment resilient to climate variability and change that supports a high quality of life for its society.” The policy encourages the promotion of eco-products in all sectors of the economy by giving a higher priority to materials with lower environmental impact in order to expand the market of green products, promote the development of environmentally-friendly technologies, and raise environmental awareness among suppliers and others involved in the supply chain. Rwanda’s environment and climate change mainstreaming strategy of 2018, commended use of green procurement as one of the entry points or action for mainstreaming environment and climate change for sustainable resilience country. It recommended the government to formulate national guidelines on green procurement to increase the purchase of green products and services consistent with the demands, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness but also reduce the amount of solid waste generated, consumption of energy and natural resources and expand markets for green products and services (REMA, 2018).

The trainings on Green Procurement was organized for RPPA, REMA, MINECOFIN and MoE staff, Procurement staff (one staff per selected Entities) and one staff representing the user departments. These trainings were organized for people involved in public procurement and is an opportunity of public awareness for green procurement as it is the new concept in Rwanda Public Procurement. The training was a two days training sessions for each batch where the first batch was training of trainers from RPPA, REMA & MINECOFIN to be training by technical experts from Global Green Growth (GGGI) selected Expert under its partnership with by REMA who will provide a presentation training (for first batch and other batches will be facilitated/trained by staff trained in first batch). In addition, it was an opportunity for open discussions on green procurement in order to know and the share ideas about this concept and discuss on how this can be considered in tendering process. It aimed to familiarize the participants with the concept of green procurement and how public procurement needs to be interacted or linked with it. These trainings aimed at enhancing the capacity of public servants involved in public procurement about green procurement.

Juliet KABERA, Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), in her opening remarks mentioned how this training was needed and will help us to consult, and understand how Green Public Procurement works in other countries, and their regulations. She said that this session will be very interactive, since we have our National procurement policy, todays discussion can guide us to plan how we can make a shift in the current procurement process to align it to green procurement.

Green Public Procurement ensures that governments, by using their purchasing power to choose goods, services and works that will reduce environmental impact, and contribute towards sustainable development goals. Globally, public procurement is estimated to be between 10 and 15% of GDP, representing a significant demand for goods and services and a potential driver for innovation in the private sector.

She encouraged RPPA to steer the discussion so that they make it as practical as possible, she also asked participants to consider and mention what changes need to be made by each organization and RPPA, and how the procurement processes should be made sustainable in Rwanda.
In her conclusion, she thanked GGGI, UNDP, RPPA and participants for joining the training, and for their commitments to making a difference in procurement processes.

Green procurement integrates ecological and social benefits by considering the value for money on the whole life cycle basis; embedding much benefits for efficient use of resources and sustainability. This is contrary to the procurement by the lowest costs approach which does not integrate external costs which are uncompensated social or environmental effects. This would apply to high impact to sectors such as : buildings, IT equipment, vehicles and other energy-using products and agricultural products

Lilliane Uwanziga MUPENDE, GGI Rwanda GCF NAP project coordinator said that “we are here to implement a country agenda, circular economy is a country agenda, we’ve done assessments with different sectors to understand green procurement, this is about extending life of products and services  and reducing the amount of waste into resources, we shall transform the sectors that have an element of procurement. We have to shift our business to reduce waste, to use products that have greater durability, consider recycling and reuse, products that do not damage the environment. Today, we have the opportunity to challenge the reality of being able to implement green procurement, as we know its value for money.”

“I hope this training will be of value to you and help us shift to green procurement, keep this conversation going and carry forward all the discussions, she encouraged all to ask questions and understand principles that need to be incorporated into the business. She thanked UNDP and was happy to be the drivers and initiate the discussions that would lead to the major shift to green procurement.”

Rwanda Public Procurement Agency (RPPA), SIBOMANA P. Celestin, Ag. Division Manager mentioned that “today we are happy to be apart of this training to understand what green procurement is and as RPPA, we are encouraging the procurement team to understand and lead this process, it’s good that we start with the training. The Government is the biggest buyer in the country which means we have to minimize the waste with green public procurement. We have to make sure our staff understand the concept and the principles, so that when they prepare the tender documents, they know what to put in the criteria and it is good we shift because this will ultimately promote our green economy. We need to think about the impact of the project on the environment so in our roles we should start thinking about green procurement process even before you start preparing the tender documents. Yes, this training is good as the participants will be able to give the same training to other staff, so we ask that after this training, training materials should be shared to help these staff to train others as well.

GGGI facilitating the Training of Trainers (ToT) including REMA and RPPA staff , around 21 participants attended the   2 day Training of Trainers coming from REMA, RPPA and MINECOFIN.
Topics presented and discussed during the training included:

• Introduction: Development of the Green Procurement Guidelines by GGGI
• Presentation of Draft Green Public Procurement Guidelines by GGGI
• A video on Green Public Procurement was aired to lead the change
• Green economy guiding principles and NDC strategic projects- Thierry MINECOFIN
• Rwanda Cooling Initiative Project Lead, UNEP by Rwanda Cooling Strategy Morris Kayitare,
• Examples of Green Public Procurement in Rwanda and South Korea by GGGI
• Green Procurement: Governance, regulatory framework, example (electric vehicles) by Mohammad Ali Shaikh, Procurement and Contract Specialist, GGGI
• Sustainable Timber & Green Procurement by Mr. Jean Rindiro, Acting Managing Director Ultimate Forests Company Ltd

Some best practices in green procurement were recorded such as:
• Replace all CFL, T8 lamps with LED lighting
• Replace all metal halide outdoor lamps with LED outdoor lights and timer control
• Install occupancy sensors in conference rooms, private offices, washrooms, storage spaces etc
• Install daylight sensors/lighting controls for spaces that have access to daylight
• Install a rainwater collection tank and reuse the collected rainwater for landscape, irrigation, cleaning and flushing applications.
• Replace inefficient plumbing fixtures with water efficient plumbing fixtures
• Using water dispenser instead of water bottles
• Buy laptops or other electronic equipment with Energy star mark

Overview and expected Benefits of Green procurement or sustainable public procurement(SPP)

 Green procurement plays a key role in a country’s effort to become more resource-efficient. SPP can help stimulate a critical mass of demand for more sustainable goods and services which otherwise would be difficult to get onto the market;

 Green procurement is able to drive sustainability along value chains. The international community recognized that when it included a target on sustainable public procurement in the Sustainable Development Goals. Target 12.7 focuses specifically on promoting “public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities”.

 Green procurement can help drive markets in the direction of sustainability, reduce the negative impacts of an organization and also produce positive benefits for the environment and society;

 Green procurement can be a major driver for innovation, providing industry with incentives to develop environmentally-friendly works, products and services. This is particularly true in sectors where public purchasers represent a large share of the market (e.g. construction, health services, or transport).
 Green procurement may also provide financial savings for public authorities, especially if one considers the full life-cycle costs of a product or a contract and not just the purchase price; (for example, purchasing energy-efficient or water-saving products can help to significantly reduce utility bills; reducing hazardous substances in products can cut disposal costs). Greater adoption of methodologies based on life-cycle costing will play an important role in helping to address concerns about costs.

 Green procurement helps government to be better equipped to meet evolving environmental challenges (e.g. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or move towards a more circular economy).

After a long session on green procurement presentations, participants were given an assignment, three questions were given to them:
1. List the most procured items in your respective organizations
2. Choose any 3 items from the list and identify the opportunities to implement green procurement,
3. Identify any potential challenges that one may likely come across while considering green procurement,
The exercise went well and adequate feedback from participants on all acquired knowledge related to green public procurement.

Several recommendations were made and agreed upon during the discussion for:

• RPPA to review the draft GPP guidelines and provide feedback
• REMA/RPPA with technical support from GGGI and taskforce to incorporate comments
• REMA/RPPA to present the document to the economic cluster and organize validation workshop
• RPPA to own the GPP guidelines and develop implementation timeline in consultation with partners REMA, GGGI etc.
• If possible, RPPA can expand the current list of principles in the law governing public procurement and add the terms – resource efficiency, end of life, innovation, and value for money
• To consider issuing Ministerial Instructions to encourage adoption of GPP guidelines

As the participants finalized the days discussion by identifying practical solutions to help then plan the next steps , it was agreed that he way forward will be for the partners to collaborate n the following:

• REMA and RPPA were requested to work hand in hand for adopting the new principle RPPA agreed to go through developed green public procurement guidelines, by January 2022 they will give feedback on them
• REMA will inform other stakeholders about the green procurement concept through different sessions that are ahead in the beginning of 2022 such as budget consultation meetings led by MINECOFIN
• RPPA sent the cabinet paper for reviewing the Public Procurement Policy, once they get the feedback, they will insert green procurement criteria while reviewing the new policy.
• RPPA said that there is an opportunity to expand the current list of principles in the law governing public procurement and add the green procurement guidelines.
• REMA and RPPA are the leading agencies in green public procurement,
• REMA requested to make a proposal project where GGGI should give technical support in green public procurement
• REMA and RPPA committed to work together in raising awareness on green public procurement, this need to be continuous because it seems knew and not all public Institutions know about it.
• MINECOFIN to raise awareness on green procurement to public Institutions as the financial Institution that approves the national budget.
• Training and capacity building for procurement officers, suppliers, business associations and key stakeholders on implementation of the guidelines
• Organize awareness campaigns to sensitize companies, suppliers, and stakeholders on GPP guidelines
• Modify the Standard Bidding Documents to incorporate GPP guidelines
• Modification of the RPPA e-catalogue portal and product specifications to include green criteria
• Develop monitoring and evaluation framework to assess GPP guideline implementation
• Undertake periodic review and update of product technical specifications/ terms of reference and add new goods, works and services to the GPP list

GGGI team agreed to support Rwanda Environment Management Authority in the process to engage with stakeholders, amplify and increase awareness and have clear roadmap for capacity building in 2022.