Governments spend a significant portion of their budgets on procuring goods, services and infrastructure. Bhutan is no exception, its government being the largest buyer in the country, with public procurement accounting for 60-70% of the government budget or around 35% of GDP in 2012/13. Integrating environmental and social considerations into these large volumes of public spend is a practical way to incrementally promote sustainable consumption and production (SCP) across the Bhutanese economy. GPP can provide strong signals for the market to provide more sustainable products at affordable prices. GPP leadership by government can, in turn, encourage private consumption of sustainable products. International experience shows that, if carefully and strategically implemented, sustainable goods are not necessarily more expensive than their traditional alternatives.

Bhutan already has many advanced policies that foster sustainability. GPP is a logical next step that could make SCP a driver for its domestic economy and the ‘brand Bhutan’. Thereby it contributes to advancing industrial development and employment in line with the country’s approach to development, as enshrined in the Gross National Happiness development philosophy, the 11th Five Year Plan (2013-18), the National Environment Strategy (‘The Middle Path’), and the New Development Paradigm.