Danish cities and regions have joined the Partnership for Green Public Procurement, a program run by the Ministry of Environment that aims to reduce CO2 emissions and make significant financial savings in the public sector.
For instance, when the city of Aarhus decides to get new lighting for one of its many daycare centres, it will purchase lamps with energy-efficient bulbs that burn longer and have lower levels of mercury.
Or when one of the regions of southern Denmark needs new freezers, dishwashers or ovens for kitchens in local hospitals, they will replace them with the greenest products on the market.
It makes a big difference
"Every year, the public sector buys products for almost 300 billion kroner. So, it can really make a big difference if we take the environment into consideration," Kirsten Brosbøl, the environment minister, explained in a statement.
"It is not only good for the green transition, but also for businesses. If we in the public sector unify our green requirements, they would not have to waste money running in ten different directions."
Green lights save energy and money
Copenhagen has already started replacing approximately 20,000 old street-lights with the LED-lighting complete with dimming effect that meets the new requirements.
The city expects to reduce the total energy consumption of street lighting by 57 percent compared to 2010.
This is equivalent to the consumption of more than 4,500 apartments and will save about 12 million kroner.
Similarly, in Sønderborg, new street lighting is expected to reduce electricity consumption by about 33 percent.
Front-runners are setting example
"I am pleased that we are raising the bar and stipulating green requirements on everything from refrigerators and freezers to street lamps," Brosbøl stated.
"I see this partnership as a good example of how front-runners can generate concrete results, and I would like to encourage more cities and regions to join, so we can all pull together."
The partnership for green public procurement currently includes the Environment Ministry, the regions of mid and southern Denmark, and the municipalities of Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Herning, Egedal, Sønderborg, Frederiksberg, Roskilde and Gladsaxe.