OSLO - Norway
Sustainable Procurement Targets
Latest Procurement Achievements
Sustainable Procurement in Oslo
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is a hub of banking, shipping and trade in the country. It has a population of nearly 700,000 inhabitants. The vision for Oslo is a green, inclusive and smart city. In 2019, City of Oslo was awarded the title of European Green Capital.
As a member of the UN Global Compact, a voluntary initiative based on universal sustainability principles, the City of Oslo is committed to the Ten Principles concerning human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The City of Oslo endeavours to enact and promote those principles in the city management and communicates publicly on the progress and the achievements. We communicate publicly about our efforts here.
Oslo aims at being a leader in using public procurement as a strategic tool to achieve sustainability and climate goals. The city’s Procurement Strategy from 2017 shows a reinforced commitment to sustainable procurement.
The Procurement Strategy has four sub-targets based on our vision for Oslo. The Oslo Municipality's procurements shall:
• effectively contribute to providing citizens and businesses with solutions and services in line with current and future needs
• make Oslo greener
• make Oslo more socially inclusive and fair
• make Oslo a smarter and more innovative city
Oslo’s Climate Strategy outlines the roadmap for how the green transformation should be implemented in order to achieve the city’s climate goals, while developing and upgrading an urban community. One remarkable milestone is the implementation of the Climate Budget. Oslo is the first city worldwide to adopt a Climate Budget following the Paris Agreement. Oslo`s Climate Budget is an integrated part of the Financial Budget. It includes several measures quantifying emission cuts needed by 2030.
In addition, Oslo’s Strategy for a sustainable and circular consumption describes how the City of Oslo will facilitate sustainable and reduced material consumption in order to follow up the ambition in the Procurement Strategy. Sustainable consumption takes into account both the environment, social aspects and economic sustainability. This means reducing the environmental impact of consumption, including materials, resources and energy use, and avoiding the use of vulnerable resources. Important focus areas are food, plastics, electronics, textiles and building and construction materials.
The number of people travelling by public transport, bicycle and on foot in Oslo is rising – at the expense of car traffic. Oslo has the world's highest proportion of electric cars and is called the “EV Capital of the World”. Local and national authorities have made buying and owning electric vehicles very attractive and have thus boosted the private market for zero emission vehicles. Today, 60% of all new passenger cars sold in Oslo are electric.
The City of Oslo promotes suppliers that use zero emission vehicles. Environmental criteria are used in procurements that involve an element of transportation. The criteria apply to vehicles delivering goods, as well as those used by service providers in carrying out those services. From 2025, zero emission and biogas will be stipulated as a minimum requirement in all tenders where transport is needed.
From 2016 to 2019, Oslo participated in the BuyZET project together with Copenhagen and Rotterdam. Co-ordinated by ICLEI, the project aimed to understand and optimize the impact of public procurement activities on transport patterns in cities – and to find innovative and sustainable delivery solutions for goods and services. BuyZET was of great importance for the development of guidance, methods and environmental requirements that now apply.
Oslo has also come a long way with regard to sustainable public transportation, with an increasing share of zero emission buses. In addition to zero emission technologies, biogas is an important energy source for buses and other heavy-duty vehicles such as waste trucks in the city. Biogas used in Oslo is produced locally in the region from food waste and sewage.
Energy & Buildings
The City of Oslo has, through public procurement, established the first pilot of a construction site with only zero emission machinery. To initiate market development, there a broad dialogue has been organised with stakeholders aiming at developing a market for zero emission construction vehicles and machinery. The pilot has been a success, showing zero emission construction to be possible, with relatively low additional costs.
By 2025, all construction sites commissioned by the city of Oslo are to be zero emission. The city has gained experience form demanding fossil free construction over the past years, and has adopted fossil free as a minimum requirement in all construction procurements. In 2019, the city also adopted standardized award criteria to promote zero emission machinery.
Reducing indirect emissions related to building materials is also an important focus area for the City of Oslo. Several pilots are now testing requirements for recycled as well as low carbon materials. The City Council has established a quantitative target for reducing climate footprint related to the use of materials in buildings by 30%.
Sustainable and Circular Consumption
Oslo is continuously improving its circular systems in order to make the most out of our resources. The City Council wishes to promote innovation and new jobs in the circular economy, and adopted «Strategy for a sustainable and circular consumption in Oslo (2019-2030)”. The strategy states that the municipality will facilitate a more sustainable consumption, where focus will shift from buying new to taking care of the things that are already in use; share, replace, upgrade, renew and repair. The strategy also emphasizes the importance of reducing material consumption through procurements, e.g. promote needs assessments, prioritize products that have components of recycled material, long lifetimes, warranty schemes, repair options, return schemes and recyclability.
The City of Oslo has good experience with the reuse of ICT equipment through a collaboration agreement with a work training company. Equipment is made available by the municipality free of charge, and enters a process where products suitable for reuse are upgraded if necessary, and spare parts can be selected before the remaining products is prepared for recycling. The collaboration agreement represents a triple bottom line. It contributes to the environment by keeping resources in the loop and reducing demand for new products, to the society by giving jobs to people falling outside of ordinary work life, and aims at providing functional and more affordable products to those who need them. The City has included a more repairable and environmentally friendly smartphone, which several of the City’s agencies has set as their standard model for work phones. The City has also increased its focus on supporting extended use time for phones and computers within the organization by working to make repairs and internal reuse easier. This is done through setting up internal reuse systems and services, and an increased focus on routines and circular practices.
In recent years, the City has increased its focus on facilitating more circular consumption patterns, in particular through its central framework agreements. For example, within furniture, where the City has developed new contracts for redesign and repair of furniture. Soon, the City’s contract for the purchase of furniture will include the purchasing of used furniture. . To increase use-lifetime within important categories, the City has developed new contracts like repair of work shoes, repair of batteries in electric bicycles and a focus on repair of work wear. Through innovative procurement, the City is engaging start-ups to help support more circular thinking when different decision-makers, like users, procurers, and leaders, are making purchasing-related decisions on behalf of the city. That way we aim to connect the circular thinking in needs assessment with the development of circular options in central framework agreements.
The City is focusing on reduced and smarter use of plastic. In the agreement for consumables, circular economy relevant award criteria were weighted by 70 %. The criteria concerned ecolabels and the supplier’s ability to support reduced environmental impact of consumption. A different example is our agreement for medical consumables, in which the City has cooperated with the supplier to reduce the environmental impact of fossil plastic use. This has led to the testing of multi-use packaging with the potential to reduce tonnes of pallet plastic used in the deliveries to the City every year.
Throughout spring 2023 Oslo had a project with a StartOff-company to develop a prototype of a sharing platform for machines and equipment used in everyday maintenance of public schools. This include machines such as lawn mowers, grass trimmers and leaf blowers. Oslo has around 200 public schools and as of today, every school has their own machine fleet. However, limited budgets, storage capacity and challenges with charging infrastructure means that a number of schools are not able to have a complete electric machine fleet that meets the schools’ needs for operation and maintenance. Oslo now explores the possibilities for more sharing between the schools using a digital platform. The goal is to have fewer machines and better maintenance, and still obtain the equivalent operation level as before.
In recent years, Oslo has worked systematically to organize policies and work with sustainable and healthy food, and political guidelines for Oslo´s food policy set high demands and goals. The most central guidelines for this work are as follows:
- Halve meat consumption in Oslo municipality's canteens and institutions by the end of 2023.
- Reduce food waste in Oslo municipality's own agencies and municipal undertakings by 50 percent by 2030, and support stakeholder who contribute to reducing food waste in Oslo.
- Work to reduce food waste in Oslo by 50 percent per inhabitant by 2030, in accordance with the UN's sustainability goals
- Reinforce expertise on good, plant-based food in agencies and municipal undertakings by means of teaching and cooperation with regard to menu planning
- Introduce vegetarian food as a standard choice at municipal events.
- Always offer a fully vegan option.
- Work to ensure that the content of food and health subjects (in school) is in line with health and environmental advice.
- Set requirements for sustainable production and good animal welfare in municipal procurement of meat and animal products, for example through requirements for animal welfare labeling.
- Show solidarity with people who produce goods and services for us elsewhere in the world.
- Promote the use of climate-friendly menus with seasonal products
- Achieve 50 percent organic food of the total food purchases for the municipality
- Increase the share of fair trade products
The responsibility for implementing sustainable and healthy food in Oslo is placed with the Vice Mayor of Finance. The executive body is the Agency for Improvement and Development. The city is preparing a government proposition with the purpose to achieve the city council’s ambitions for sustainable and healthy food. The City council presents strategic priorities in the municipality’s food policy and an action plan with concrete measures to promote sustainable and healthy food in Norway. The City Government proposition also provides suggestions for organizing the food area to ensure sufficient implementation of the guidelines.
New city wide framework agreements on food
From the beginning of 2023 the new suppliers must deliver more sustainable plant based and seasonal foods. The city is continuously working on how to develop its portfolio of framework agreements, as well as assortment management, to make sustainable alternatives a simple and affordable choice. In addition, the city is focusing on training and other initiatives that leads to more sustainable food consumption
Social dumping and labour crime
The City of Oslo continues to be at the forefront in fighting social dumping, work related crime, and ensuring decent labour conditions for workers in our domestic and global supply chains. More than 3 years has passed since the city adopted and introduced the first version of the “Oslo-model”. The model is a comprehensive framework of measures and requirements to help combat social dumping, and to promote decent working conditions, using public procurement as a strategic tool. It is a continuous work to further develop and implement the model.
Regarding domestic supply chains, the model compiles more than 20 requirements, and applies in particular to high risk industries such as construction and cleaning services.
Social and ethical procurement
Many of the City of Oslo’s contracts involves thousands of products manufactured all around the world. To promote human rights and ILO core conventions through Oslo’s procurements of goods, we set social selection criteria and standard contract clauses using Oslo's standard social criteria, adopted by the City Council in 2017. The selection criteria ensures that our suppliers have a management system for labour and human rights issues, and a system for traceability. The city uses social criteria in all contracts where production processes imply risks of adverse impacts on international human rights and labour rights.
At the contract management stage, we regularly follow up through reporting based on desktop research, follow-up meetings, documentation review and audits. We also regularly exchange with other public buyers and experts to address the systematic challenges in prioritized supply chains.
Based on risk, the prioritized categories on the City’s citywide framework agreements are ICT (mobiles, tablets and PC’s), food, medical equipment and textile. This means closer follow-up of contracts, collaboration with external experts and other public buyers to address systematic challenges and criteria development. The City has set additional criteria for suppliers to undertake social dialogue at the production site in textile production and requirements to reduce the risk of conflict minerals in agreements on PCs and tablets.
The city of Oslo is the “Fairtrade capital” of Norway and became the first public player in Norway to offer garments made from Fairtrade-certified cotton to the health sector through the joint venture agreement for washing and renting workwear and institutional clothing.
Through our membership at Ethical Trade Norway, the City of Oslo wishes to signal a strengthened commitment to work for ethical trade through procurement. Our annual member report to Ethical Trade Norway 2019 is available at the Report Database at www.etiskhandel.no
“Oslo municipality shall carry out appropriate and cost-efficient procurement processes - delivering good and socially responsible solutions both in the short and the long term.”