Public procurement is key for the advancement of sustainable urban development. In Europe, public buyers spend 14% of the EU’s GDP, while a recent framework co-developed by the World Economic Forum notes that public procurement is responsible for 15% of global GHG emissions. That means that there is a lot of potential for public authorities to have a positive social and environmental impact with their purchases of works, goods and services.
The good news is that they increasingly recognise this potential and publish tenders which employ social and environmental criteria aiming to make public procurement greener, more innovative and more equitable. They can do this for example by adding social and environmental award criteria to their tenders, pursue innovative procurement processes such as pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) or award reserved for social and green enterprises.
ICLEI has been supporting public authorities to use their public spending to achieve social and environmental objectives since 1996. Through projects and flagship networks, such as the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network and the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement, ICLEI provides professional information, advice, networking opportunities, training and tools to public authorities wanting to implement better, more cost effective sustainable and innovation procurement practices.