10 November 2020

GLCN cities amongst Big Buyers - key insights on successful collaboration for sustainable procurement

GLCN cities amongst Big Buyers - key insights on successful collaboration for sustainable procurement
Image (ICLEI Europe) by "ICLEI Europe"

Following a year of collaboration, select public procurers – including a number of ICLEI Members – have presented key results on advancing sustainable public procurement.

These procurers' collaboration was facilitated and supported by the Big Buyers Initiative (BBI), and consisted of working groups on circular construction materialszero-emission construction sites, and heavy-duty electric vehicles. The Big Buyers Initiative is a European Commission Initiative for promoting collaboration between big public buyers in implementing strategic public procurement of sustainable goods and services. Public procurement can be a key tool in driving innovation on the European market. By working together and pooling their resources, cities, central purchasing bodies, and other major public procurers can maximise their market power and impact.

The public procurers that joined BBI working groups spanned Europe, including:

  • Zero-emission construction sites: GLCN cities Budapest (Hungary), Helsinki (Finland) and Oslo (Norway) together with ICLEI Members Brussels (Belgium), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Lisbon (Portugal), as well as Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Trondheim (Norway) and Vienna (Austria)
  • Circular construction materials: GLCN cities Budapest (Hungary), Helsinki (Finland), Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Oslo (Norway) together with ICLEI Members Brussels, Haarlem (the Netherlands), Lisbon (Portugal), Stavanger (Norway) and Vantaa (Finland), as well as Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris (France) and Porto (Portgual)
  • Heavy-duty electric vehicles: GLCN cities Budapest (Hungary), Helsinki (Finland), Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Oslo (Norway) together with ICLEI Members Lisbon, Malmö (Sweden), and Stavanger, as well as Amsterdam, Belgian Post, Porto, SKL Kommentus

Each working group recently published lessons learnt reports, which summarise their main challenges, approaches and outlooks for procurement of sustainable solutions in each focus area, including practical case studies and example award criteria.

The zero-emission construction sites and heavy-duty electric vehicles groups also announced upcoming procurement plans and relevant climate targets to signal growing demand for these solutions to the market. Finally, factsheets targeting key stakeholder groups of policymakers, businesses and citizens highlighted the principal arguments in favour of zero-emission construction machinery, including lifetime cost savings, CO2 reduction, and local air quality and livability improvements.

BBI cities and central purchasing bodies have participated in joint market dialogues, innovation procurement capacity building workshops, and technical visits to pilot sites and manufacturing centres. They have also exchanged feedback on pilot procurement procedures. Through a so-called "BBI Observer Group", additional procurers have been able to follow the groups’ progress and exchange best practices.

At the initiative's final event, Ivo Locatelli of the European Commission’s DG Grow also announced the follow-up initiative, Big Buyers for Climate & Environment (BBCE). The BBCE will build upon the success of the Big Buyers Initiative and use a similar format, with four working groups of public entities focused on procurement of a specific sustainable product or service in which aggregated demand of big buyers can push for market innovation. The BBCE will begin with a bottom-up needs assessment in winter 2020, and the established working groups will collaborate over the next two years.

ICLEI and EUROCITIES manage the BBI on behalf of the European Commission, DG Internal Market, Industry Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW).

For more information and to access all of the resources described above, click here.




ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
Mr. Philipp Tepper

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Telephone: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0


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