28 March 2019

How three leading European cities are reducing the carbon footprint of their procurement activities

Oslo, Rotterdam and Copenhagen are showing how cooperation with private sector actors is essential to reduce the carbon footprint of their transport-related procurement activities.

The cities are pilot sites in ICLEI's BuyZET project, which will help them develop innovative procurement plans to achieve zero-emission urban delivery of goods and services.

In the recently released market engagement reports, the cities lay out the key findings from the constant dialogue they have conducted with all relevant market actors in the supply chains of the selected procurement areas. These provide helpful advice to other cities that are willing to reduce emissions of public procurement activities. The market engagement reports are available here.

The city of Rotterdam, Procura+ Participant and GLCN Member, highlights how suppliers are open to learn more about the existing possibilities for zero-emission vehicles, and about the latest technology developments. At the same time, local authorities should consider carefully the practical barriers and the costs that suppliers may face in adopting zero-emission vehicles.

According to the city of Copenhagen, suppliers’ benefits to employ zero- or low-emission vehicles for their transport activities is two-fold: on one hand, they contribute to their sustainability and CSR strategies; on the other hand, they are more efficient. Within BuyZET, Copenhagen is working in the fields of consolidation of supplies and maintenance and repair services.

One key message put forward by the city of Oslo, Procura+ Participant and GLCN Member, which is focussing on facility waste collection and maintenance and repair services, is that it is preferable to encourage investments in zero-emission vehicles during rather than before the contract. Longer contracts, Oslo has learned, are also a way to reduce the risks that suppliers face when investing in zero-emission vehicles.

The cities have also investigated the potential and feasibility of buyers’ groups within each priority sector to foster the demand for innovative transport solutions. Through the buyers’ group, BuyZET partners aim to attract other public authorities potentially interested in enhancing their public procurement skills for sustainable transport solutions, as well as private buyers and other large attractors such as universities, hospitals, etc. This consolidated report presents the approach taken by Oslo, Copenhagen and Rotterdam in establishing buyers groups within the BuyZET project.

BuyZET will host a final event to share and discuss the tools and recommendations developed. Find out more here.

To read all reports, please click here.