18 June 2024

BBWT Social CoP seeks to define Socially Responsible Public Procurement

In June, the Big Buyers Working Together (BBWT) project organised the third meeting of its Community of Practice on Social Procurement. During the meeting the group, welcoming new members from the University of Cagliari (Italy) and the Lithuanian Procurement Office, brainstormed about how it seeks to define Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP).

The group took the definition from the Buying Social Guide as its starting point. The guide notes that “SRPP implements social considerations in public contracts to achieve positive social outcomes”, aiming to address the impact on society of the goods, works and service public authorities are buying. The participants noted that in some countries, such as Lithuania, SRPP is defined similarly, while countries such as Austria and Italy don’t have a definition for SRPP.

The brainstorming session of the group highlighted some of the ways in which they could incorporate SRPP principles in practice in their tenders. They include the promotion of fair labour conditions and ethical supply chain practices, the creation of job opportunities for people with a distance to the labour market, fair trade, and the development of criteria which could benefit economically disadvantaged regions.

These, and other, topics will be further discussed in future meetings of the CoP. For now, public authorities that want to be part of this group, are still welcome to express their interest. They can do so by sending an email to Eurocities, ICLEI Europe and BME coordinate the Big Buyers Working Together project on behalf of the European Commission.