The Federal Government of Austria has a legislated requirement for green procurement criteria in the federal procurement process as of 2020. This change came about after a decade with a voluntary requirement in place which was very successful.

The impact of public procurement on the transition to a circular economy can be significant. Integration of holistic procurement requirements can increase demand for circular products and services, drive innovation, minimise waste and drive the circular economy.

The European Commission’s guidance on Public Procurement for Circular Economy proposes three models for implementing circular procurement: at system level, supplier level and product level. The European Commission has encouraged all Member States to voluntarily develop National Action Plans (NAPs) to guide greening their procurement protocols. The NAPs should contain targets with specified measures to achieve them. The NAPs are not to be legally-binding but provide political incentive to the process of implementing and raising awareness of greener public procurement. The intention is for Member States to choose the options that best suit their political framework and the level they have reached.

Austria developed a National Action Plan for Greening Procurement over a decade ago, and included 16 product groups, based on core criteria of EU-Toolkit for Member States to use.

Austria’s Action Plan has three goals.

1. Anchoring of sustainable procurement in all federal institutions
2. Harmonization of criteria related to sustainable public procurement
3. Securing Austria’s pioneering role in sustainable public procurement in the EU

After ten years of success with the voluntary program, the federal government legislated the NAP for federal government procurement in 2020. Green criteria are now required for procurement activity for buildings, civil engineering, textiles, transport, IT equipment, cleaning products and services, furniture, food and catering services, lighting (indoor and street lighting), household appliances, electricity, gardening products and services, office supplies, paper, and event management.


The European Union (EU) project on Reducing Plastic Waste in Canada