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Press Release

Evaluation of Environmental Load Reduction through Green Purchasing by the Government Institutions

March 31, 2004

The Ministry of the Environment conducted a survey on designated procurement items to figure out the effect by promoting green procurement by the government institutions. The survey consisted of; (i) estimation of environmental load reduction by the government's green procurement, and (ii) dissemination status of those items fulfilling evaluation criteria in the market. This survey was undertaken to supplement the data on procurement for FY 2002 (April 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003) disclosed in December 2003 based on the Law Concerning the Promotion of Procurement of Eco-friendly Good and Services by the State and Other Entities (generally known as the Green Purchasing Promotion Law).

The Law on Promoting Green Purchasing aims to construct a society with sustainable development giving less load on the environment by transforming demand structure. The government and government-related entities have been promoting green procurement by setting targets of procurement of goods and services which contribute to the reduction of environmental load in complying with the law since FY 2001.

This survey was conducted for FY 2001 in FY 2002 as well. The result indicates that the actual performance of green procurement by the government is maintaining high level and that the market share of eco-friendly goods is expanding as a whole. Remarkable effects of the Green Purchasing Promotion Law are seen in the stationery goods.

The Ministry of the Environment expects to reflect the result of this survey as fundamental data for promoting green purchasing further.

Outline of Survey Result

1.    Procurement of designated procurement items by the government and governmental entities

  (1)   Procurement in FY 2002
    -   In the majority of goods and services, more than 95% of goods and services purchase are those of designated procurement items fulfilling evaluation criteria including those newly designated in FY 2002.
    -   Comparing with the performance of FY 2001, the rate is extremely high.

  (2)   Progresses of measures taken prior to FY 2000
    -   Procurement of eco-friendly copying paper and low-emission vehicles for government-owned vehicles has kept steady progress. The introduction of low-emission vehicles, like hybrid vehicles, exhibits a large increase. The ratio of low-emission vehicles in government-owned vehicles is 45.3% in FY 2002.(Fig. 1,  Fig. 2)

2.    Effect of environmental load reduction by implementing green procurement by the government and governmental entities

(1)    Paper
As for copying paper, actual procurement of designated goods could reduce consumption of pulpwood by 234 thousand cubic meters (equivalent to 171 thousand t-CO2 fixed) as a raw material, by estimation, compared with procuring copying paper utilizing 100% virgin pulp.

(2)    Stationery
As for writing utensils, actual procurement of designated goods could reduce consumption of plastic by approximately 22 tons, by estimation, compared with procuring goods not utilizing recycled plastics. If this amount of plastic is incinerated for final disposal, emission of carbon dioxide amounts 58 t-CO2.

(3)    Vehicles
Conversion of government-owned vehicles to low-emission vehicles in FY 2002 reduced nitrogen oxides released by 674 kg and the rate of reduction was estimated to be 11.5%.
Similarly, release of carbon dioxide was reduced by 816 t-CO2 and the reduction rate was estimated to be 5.5%.

3.   Status of in the market

(1)    Copying paper
Designated procurement goods accounted for 26.6% of domestic shipment, an increase of 3% form FY 2001. The procurement by the government and governmental entities accounted for considerably high rate of 39.7% of domestic shipment of this designated item.

(2)    Stationery
As a market trend, the increase of designated procurement goods from FY 2001 to FY 2002 was larger compared to that of FY 2000 to FY 2001. The stationery market showed outstanding effects of the Green Purchasing Promotion Law. (Fig. 3)

(3)    Household electric appliances, etc.
Domestic shipment of liquid crystal display television sets increased drastically. Supply of fluorescent lamp (tubular model 40), as designated procurement goods, and its market share has been growing steadily, resulting in an increase of market share for green purchasing.

(4)    Vehicles
In the latter half of FY 2002, low-emission vehicles in the newly registered vehicles accounted for 64.5%.   This is approximately two-thirds of newly registered vehicles. It can be presumed that the green taxation system for vehicles and the Green Purchasing Promotion Law had great effects.

4.    Expectation for increase of market share of designated procurement goods by efforts of the central and local governments

For a designated procurement item like copying paper which consists of 40% of total amount of designated goods procured by the government and governmental entities, government and governmental entities have great effects directly on market structuring. Even for stationery, government procurement of designated goods consists of only 3% of total sale, the proportion of designated goods in domestic shipment from FY 2000 to FY 2002 had a twofold increase. This sharp increase was caused by the initial demand generated by the promotion of governmental procurement stipulated in the Green Purchasing Promotion Law. In this respect, the role of the central and local governments, accounting for 25% of economic activities and giving great influences on other sectors, is vital in promotion of green purchasing. Initiatives taken by the central and local government in promotion of green purchasing will progress a nationwide conversion in demand for eco-friendly goods and services have an immense influence on the market.

Fig. 1    Change in Copying Paper Consumed by the Government and Governmental Entities & Mixing Rate of Recycled Pulp
Fig. 2    Ratio of Low-emission Vehicles in Ordinary Govenment-owned Vehicles
Fig. 3    Domestic Shipment and Ratio of Designated Procurement Goods (ball-point pen)

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