Status update: The Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative’s Green Public Procurement Pledge

Goa, 22 July 2023 – Today at the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM14), Canada, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom gave status updates on public and stakeholder consultations relating to the Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative’s (IDDI) Green Public Procurement Pledge (GPP Pledge).

At its most ambitious level, the GPP Pledge commits governments to start requiring that steel, cement and concrete used in all public construction projects are low-emission – and that ‘signature projects’ use near-zero emission materials.

The GPP Pledge has four levels of commitment:

  • Level One: Starting no later than 2025, require disclosure of the embodied carbon in cement/concrete and steel procured for public construction projects.
  • Level Two (in addition to Level 1): Starting no later than 2030, conduct whole project life cycle assessments for all public construction projects, and, by 2050, achieve net zero emissions in all public construction projects.
  • Level Three (in addition to Levels 1 and 2): Starting no later than 2030, require procurement of low emission cement/concrete and steel in public construction projects, applying the highest ambition possible under national circumstances.
  • Level Four (in addition to Levels 1, 2 and 3): Starting in 2030, require procurement of a share of cement and/or crude steel from near zero emission material production for signature projects.
    Signatories, which can be national or subnational governments, are being asked to commit to the highest level of ambition possible for their national circumstances, following public and stakeholder consultations.

Canada, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom provided the following updates.

The Government of Canada has held GPP Pledge discussions with internal government stakeholders, including environmental policymakers, procurement policymakers, technical experts and procurement practitioners. It has also consulted industry and supplier stakeholder groups, such as steel, cement and concrete producers, product manufacturers and technical experts. GPP Levels 1 to 3 are now enshrined as policy commitments. Level 4 is being considered.

The Government of Germany identified green public procurement as a goal in its coalition agreement. Germany strongly supports IDDI and is currently conducting a consultation process on the GPP Pledge. Simultaneously, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is carrying out a stakeholder process on the definitions, measurements methods and demand signals for green steel and cement. The process is actively engaging industry, science and civil society to develop a set of reliable rules that will help us implement the needed measures to incentivize demand for the new materials.

At the CEM14 event on strengthening global demand for green steel, cement and concrete, hosted by IDDI with the First Movers Coalition and Climate Group, Parliamentary State Secretary Stefan Wenzel highlighted the importance of demand creation. He said:

“Strengthening the demand for green materials such as steel and cement is one of the major levers for decarbonizing our industries. To succeed in this ambitious undertaking, we need a set of clear and reliable principles to align our efforts. IDDI is doing great work towards achieving this goal. We are very much looking forward to exchanging ideas and visions as well as best practices and current experiences with colleagues, businesses and experts from the most relevant initiatives in this area.”

The Government of the United States of America supports the overall goals of the CEM IDDI and will continue to demonstrate leadership to accelerate the adoption of green procurement practices with the IDDI Secretariat and other member countries.

The US government continues to adopt green procurement practices within country. It launched a Federal Buy Clean Initiative in 2022 to prioritize lower-carbon construction materials in Federal procurement and federally funded infrastructure projects. Buy Clean promotes purchasing lower-embodied carbon steel, concrete, asphalt and flat glass, accounting for whole life-cycle emissions as reported through Environmental Product Declarations

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (2021) and Inflation Reduction Act (2022) catalysed Buy Clean, allocating over USD$4.5 billion to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation to identify and procure substantially lower embodied carbon construction materials and support the development and standardization of Environmental Product Declarations. These laws also provide over USD$6 billion to the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate decarbonization of the highest emitting industrial manufacturing sectors.

A White House-led Buy Clean Task Force strengthens collaboration across agencies, accounting for 90 per cent of all federally financed and purchased construction materials. A Federal-State Buy Clean Partnership enhances Buy Clean policy harmonization with 13 states. The First Movers Coalition, supported by the U.S. Department of State, accelerates demand signals for breakthrough decarbonization investments through public-private partnerships.

The Government of the United Kingdom included all four levels of the GPP Pledge in a wider public consultation on decarbonization. The consultation closed on 22 June 2023. It included industry and business representatives (including trade associations, product importers and exporters, small and medium-sized enterprises, supply chain businesses, software houses and customs agents, international partners and multinational groups). Financial reporting and enterprise resource planning system providers, academia, think tanks, cross-sector groups, non-governmental organisations and private citizens were also consulted.

Governments aim to make official GPP Pledge commitments at COP28 in Dubai in December.

By 2025, IDDI hopes to have enabled a minimum of ten governments to have committed to the GPP Pledge.

Ciyong Zou, Deputy to the Director General and Managing Director, Directorate of Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Industrial Development, UNIDO, said:

“UNIDO welcomes the leadership demonstrated by IDDI member governments Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as by private sector buyers that have made ambitious commitments to purchase lower emissions steel, cement and concrete by 2030. By demonstrating their commitment to industrial decarbonization, they are inspiring other nations and organizations to follow suit, creating a global ripple effect that will be driving positive change across borders.”

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Clean Energy Ministerial established IDDI in 2021. It is a global coalition of governments and private sector organizations led by India and the United Kingdom. Canada, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Brazil are members.