The Territory, Citizenship and Sustainability research group will study the external impact of Government of Catalonia textile public procurement on human rights, gender equity and the environment.
A team of researchers from the TCS research group and the Tarragona Centre for Environmental Law Studies (CEDAT), led by Dr. Antoni Pigrau, will conduct a study for the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD) on the external impact of textile public procurement of Government of Catalonia, focused on human rights, the gender equity and the environment. The study includes, both a diagnosis of current practices and the formulation of proposals for improvements. It is a step in the path adopted by the main Catalan administrations to advance in a socially responsible public procurement. The team also has the participation of Dr. Dolors Setó from the Business Management Department.
The importance of public procurement in economic terms (20% of Spain's GDP; and 19% of Europe's GDP) is much higher than Official Development Assistance, ODA (with a target of 0.7% of revenue unconditioned currents in 2030, according to Law 26/2001). Law 9/2017, of November 8, on public sector contracts, which transposes several European directives, promotes mainstreaming of social, environmental and labour aspects, as award criterion and as special condition for the execution of contracts. Moreover, it urges to take, these aspects, into account in the entire supply and value chain, that is from the extraction of raw materials to the final disposal.
There are several departments of the Government, in particular Health, Justice, Home affairs or Territory and Sustainability, that acquire textile products. In the last four years, the number of supply contracts far exceeds one hundred. Secondly, the textile industry is characterized by heavy subcontracting and the factories where the production and origin of raw materials are located are, in large part, in countries receiving ODA, where the social and environmental negative impacts are more visible. Finally, fair trade and the social and solidarity economy in Catalonia are increasingly offering sustainable alternatives (from a social, economic and environmental point of view). These reasons, along with the desire of gaining coherence in the Government's various public policies, explain the choice of the textile sector as the object of this study.