What is the Big Buyers Initiative?

The Big Buyers is a European Commission Initiative for promoting collaboration between big public buyers in implementing strategic public procurement.

Public procurement can be a key tool in driving the development of innovative goods and services 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 initiative presents a compelling opportunity to engage with other public authorities across Europe and to shape new innovative solutions to your procurement needs.

ICLEI and EUROCITIES are currently running the initiative on behalf of the European Commission, DG Internal Market, Industry Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW). The initiative aims to work together with existing networks and organisations active in this area.



Getting involved

We are looking for public authorities interested in the work and outcome of the initiative to form an observer group.

The members will have access to webinars, data sharing platforms with working material developed by the participating cities and first hand information on the outcome of the three established working groups.

 If you are interested in becoming  a member of the Big Buyers observer group, or want to find out more, please contact us, using the contact details shown in the right-hand column.

Contact us

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
Simon Clement
+49 761 368 9244


Anja De Cunto

+32 2 552 0867

Support provided

ICLEI and EUROCITIES will provide:

  • Logistical support to run the group
  • Reimbursement of travel costs for meetings
  • Organising external expertise as necessary
  • Opportunities for peer-to peer-exchange and training or relevant topics
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Electric vehicles

The group is looking at heavy-duty electric vehicles, including waste trucks and street cleaning equipment.

The three main actions the group is woking on:

  • Creating a platform for collaboration and sharing on technical specification for these types of vehicles, which are unique for the public sector;
  • Joint market dialogue and engagement;
  • Joint statement of demand

The next meeting of the group will be a market dialogue event on the 5th of March. The members of the working group are currently establishing contacts with suppliers of clean heavy duty vehicles. It was also agreed to organize a meeting during IFAT in Munich on the 5 of May to intensify the dialogue with suppliers.  











Circular construction materials

This group is focused on promoting the use of circular construction materials through public procurement. 

Areas for collaboration identified:

  • Share circular construction material criteria;
  • Making the circular business case - Share methodologies and experiences in calculating cost savings by choosing circular materials;
  • Capacity building workshops or webinars;
  • A subgroup in the working group should work towards recommendations for higher level EU policy makers.

The next meeting will take place in Helsinki on 24 March on the topic of circular land mass coordination. Further on it is planned to organize an event to stimulate a market for secondary construction materials.

Zero emission construction sites

The members of this group are setting joint demands for zero-emission construction sites on an EU scale and aiming to increase the implementation rate of pilot procurements in this sector. The group will:

Formulate a joint message to the market that buyers will demand zero- emission construction sites, with the first step being non-road mobile machinery

Build the capacity of cities to demand zero-emission construction sites through pilot procurements

Set specific demands though local and European level market dialogue, so that suppliers can meet the pilot procurement requirements

The group first met in Brussels on May 2019 to align ambitions and plan activities. A market dialogue event took place in Copenhagen in October 2019, bringing 90 buyers, suppliers and support organisations from across Europe together to discuss the topic. The next event will be a joint meeting  with the cirular construction materials working group in Helsinki.