Common terminology

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Bio-based products and services (BBPS): Bio-based products are products that are wholly or partly derived from materials of biological origin, excluding materials embedded in geological formations and/or fossilised. Bio-based services are services in which bio-based products are used to achieve the objectives of the required service. For more information about the terms, please click here. To find out more about EU policies and initiatives on bio-based products, please click here.

Buyers groups: Independent procurers which meet on some form of regular basis to discuss areas of common interest. Often the common point of interest is the focus of a future procurement action - namely the product or service category (for example, a school catering service). Buyers groups are also an obvious starting point for preparing and/or launching collaborative or joint procurement actions.    

Common product classification of products and services (CPC): The primary purpose of the CPC is to classify the goods and services that are the result of production in any economy. CPC is useful to monitor transactions in goods and services in detail. These can be used to develop a list of goods and services for specific purposes, that is, price statistic. It serves as an international standard, has broad acceptance and can facilitate the maintenance of constant categories of products, both with regards to character and definition. It can therefore serve as a framework for international comparison.

Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV): The CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary) establishes a single classification system for public procurement aimed at standardizing the references used by contracting authorities and entities to describe the subject of procurement contracts.

European Commission Green Public Procurement Criteria (EC GPP Criteria): The European Commission's GPP Criteria constitute clear, verifiable, justifiable, and ambitious environmental criteria for products and services, based on a life-cycle approach and scientific evidence base. Common EU GPP criteria are of particular interest to companies operating in more than one of the EU Member States. Since 2008, the European Commission have encouraged the use of their EU GPP criteria - now available online 20 product groups. Each set of criteria available are split into core and advanced criteria. The criteria are regularly updated.

Green and Sustainable Public Procurement (G/SPP): Green public procurement (GPP) is a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, service and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function that would otherwise be procured. While GPP focuses on the main environmental impacts of purchasing, sustainable public procurement also addresses social considerations.

Innovation: Innovation is about finding new and better ways of doing things. A better-designed product or building can improve productivity and comfort while reducing environmental impact. New ways of keeping records or sharing information can enhance the efficiency of administration. Some innovations will save costs immediately for public authorities, whereas others will require an initial investment in order to realise longer-term gains. In a time of decreasing public budgets, innovation can facilitate the delivery of vital infrastructure and services. Definition taken from page 5 of Guidance for public authorities on Public Procurement of Innovation.

Pre-commercial procurement (PCP): PCP steers the development of new solutions via procurement of R&D (research and development) services and products.

Procurement of Innovation Platform and Procurement Forum: The online hub of all things related to the public procurement of innovation (PPI), the Procurement of Innovation Platform is the starting point for public authorities, procurers, policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders working in the field to discover the particularities of PPI. The Procurement Forum is the online collaboration forum which provides procurement professionals and other interested stakeholders with a means to exchange, connect and collaborate.

Public Procurement: Public procurement is the process used by governments, regional and local public authorities, and other bodies governed by public law (financed, supervised or managed for more than 50% by public authorities) to obtain good, services and works.

Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI): Public procurement practices can help foster market uptake of innovative products and services, whilst improving the quality of public services in markets where the public sector is a significant purchaser. PPI allows public authorities to act as a launch customer for innovative goods or services that are not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis. Read more about PPI here. See also the definition of innovation provided above.