Every purchasing decision we make has an impact ...

... on the environment, economy and on society - from the energy which our new computer consumes, to the conditions of the workers who made our clothes.

Sustainable procurement means making sure that the products and services an organisation buys achieve value for money and generate benefits not only for the organisation, but also for the environment, society and the economy. Sustainable procurement entails both Green Public Procurement (GPP) and socially responsible public procurement (SRPP).

Circular procurement is known as a different way of acquiring goods and services that promotes consideration of the whole lifecycle of products throughout their supply chain. A focus on the use and services provided by a product instead of the ownership catalyses the development of new business models, which are expected to be necessary to promote a circular economy.

Sustainable and circular procurement is also used by both public and private sector organisations to ensure that their purchasing reflects broader goals linked to resource efficiency, climate change, social responsibility and economic resilience, for example.


From the early pioneers - Kolding, Denmark; Gothenburg, Sweden; Zurich, Switzerland; and Barcelona, Spain, to  more recent achievers such as Helsinki, Finland and Ghent, Belgium - public procurement which incorporates sustainability and innovation can:

  • Address greenhouse gas emissions, local air and water quality, the use of hazardous substances, raw material usage, and the management of natural resources
  • Encourage a diverse base of suppliers, promote fair employment practices and ethical sourcing, and foster training opportunities and community benefits
  • Create new jobs, new markets and opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises