Mason Hayes & Curran survey highlights green procurement challenges

Mason Hayes & Curran survey highlights green procurement challenges

Dorit McCann

Nearly a third of organisations have not yet implemented green procurement practices and a fifth do not feel prepared to do so, a new survey by Mason Hayes & Curran suggests.

The business law firm’s survey sheds light on the barriers organisations face in embracing the green transition as Ireland prepares for the government’s Green Public Procurement Strategy and Action Plan.

The results, based on insights from over 200 professionals, predominantly from the public sector, reflect the current state of green procurement practices and highlight key areas for development as the country moves towards a greener future.

Dorit McCann, head of public procurement at Mason Hayes & Curran, said: “Sustainability is one of the defining issues of our time and Green Public Procurement is a vital policy lever in meeting our environmental policy objectives.

“The procurement landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, but the proactive measures already taken by many contracting authorities demonstrate a robust foundation upon which the new strategy can build.

“We are advising clients to take practical steps to incorporate realistic and achievable green criteria for tenders. This includes engaging in market research, ensuring procurement personnel receive regular training on green procurement, and implementing robust verification mechanisms to ensure that suppliers meet the stated green criteria.”

The survey identified the main barriers to further adoption of green public procurement. Limited supplier options emerged as the primary challenge, cited by four in 10 respondents. This was closely followed by budget constraints (31 per cent) and resistance to change (29 per cent).

Almost six out of 10 respondents (59 per cent) also highlighted training and education as a critical support required in order to successfully implement green public procurement.

Ms McCann added: “Expanding the market for green suppliers is essential to ensuring a seamless transition to sustainable practices.

“Overcoming budget constraints and resistance to change, often caused by a perceived fear of a procurement challenge, is also crucial. Organisations need both financial support and cultural shifts within their teams to fully embrace green procurement.

“From our experience, practical steps include collaborating closely with sustainability teams, providing continuous training to procurement professionals, and fostering a culture that values sustainability. We must act decisively to remove barriers and foster an environment where sustainable practices are not just encouraged but are the standard.”

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