With the goal to support the harmonization of guidelines for public procurement of wood-based products within the EU, Finland has launched its public procurement policy for wood-based products earlier this year. The policy, which is now available in English, specifies that forest certification systems such as PEFC and FSC are accepted for the verification of sustainably produced wood.
The policy emphasizes that there are varying approaches to public procurement in EU Member States, which "present a number of challenges, and the need for harmonization is increasing as more and more countries implement their own steering mechanisms." Finland's goal is therefore to "support the harmonization of guidelines for the public procurement of wood-based products within the EU", and the Finnish public procurement recommendations have been drawn up to be compatible with the EU Public Procurement Directive.
"PEFC Finland welcomes the arrival of the Finnish public procurement policy as an important tool to encourage public authorities to take sustainability considerations into account in their tenders," said Auvo Kaivola, PEFC Finland Secretary General. "With Finnish public procurement estimated to be worth approximately 23 billion Euros, it has the potential to have a significant impact on the well-being of society."
Mr. Kaivola emphasized that "we especially appreciate the call for harmonization of public procurement policies across the EU. Private companies are already moving towards a more harmonized and inclusive approach concerning sustainable procurement, supporting the further uptake of forest certification and assisting organizations such as PEFC in promoting sustainable forest management in Finland and abroad."
The Finnish public procurement policy was drafted by a multi-stakeholder steering group consisting of Different Ministries (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Finance), expert organizations (Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners, Motiva, Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, Finnish Forest Industries Federation), public procurement representatives (Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Hansel Ltd, City of Espoo) and the WWF.