Public Authorities and Sustainable Procurement
When it comes to sustainability, the ambitions of the European Union and its national governments are clear. By 2015, all purchases made by public authorities must be 100% sustainable. Many European governments have been making almost exclusively sustainable purchases since 2010.
The procurement of sustainable products by public authorities goes further than the purchasing of paper, office materials or cleaning products alone. Increasingly, green spaces under the management of public authorities are being laid out and maintained in a sustainable manner. Specific features which determine just how sustainable green spaces are include: carbon dioxide sequestration, oxygen production, fewer nutrients flushed out to groundwater and surface water, reduction of health risks through the decreased use of herbicides, and the economic appreciation of land.
Grass mixtures can have a great deal of influence on the sustainability of green spaces. Grass seeds with a high germination energy, for example, ensure that the turf grows dense quickly, giving weeds no chance to grow. This makes the use of herbicides redundant. Properties of grass such as disease resistance, drought tolerance and mineral utilisation are all important when it comes to the sustainability of green spaces.
Grass plants also contribute to the sustainability of a green space through absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. A sports field can sequester 40 kg of carbon dioxide in its soil per day. This makes it one of the top three carbon dioxide fixators, along with woods and algae.