11 April 2023

Public spending in Oslo is driving zero-emissions building sites

In Oslo, building sites are undergoing a green transformation, as local authorities use public procurement to decarbonise Norway's construction industry. An example is the Klosterenga Park construction site, where, funded by public money, diesel engines have been replaced by electric construction machines. As a result there are zero greenhouse gas emissions at this construction site, as well as a major reduction in noise and smell pollution.

Oslo's green ambitions are helped by international cooperation. Norway's capital has for example joined the Big Buyers project, where it cooperates with Barcelona, Copenhagen and a number of Finnish cities. As Marit Hepsø, a specialist in sustainable buildings and construction sites for the Oslo municipality, notes "if you want to use the public procurement muscle you need to have more buyers on the same team going in the same direction to get more emission-free machines.” 

Joining forces with buying authorities can have a huge impact. In Europe, around 250,000 public authorities spend around €2 trillion a year on services such as transport, waste management, health and education. That amounts to 14% of EU's GDP, making public procurement an important lever to strengthen the single market and achieve sustainable and social policy objectives. 

The construction industry is responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, hitting a record high in 2019. Oslo wants all municipal construction sites to be zero emissions by 2025. The city is going in the right direction says Hepsø. "All our building and construction sites in Oslo, all roads, bike lanes, schools in 2022, 37% of the energy use of these building and construction sites were emissions-free and the rest was more or less fossil free."

More about Oslo's work with zero-emission construction sites can be found in this article written for Euronews by Andrea Bolitho

Click here to find out more about the Big Buyers project