ICLEI European Secretariat

ICLEI European Secretariat

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Sustainable Economy & Procurement

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 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.


Achieving real value for the public purse

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 the use of hazardous substances, raw material usage, management of natural resources, and greenhouse gas emissions

  • 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


Information, exchange and action!

ICLEI has been involved in the topic of sustainable public procurement since 1996. Activities include:

To find more about current and past ICLEI projects please visit our Sustainable Procurement Platform .

ICLEI is a member of the European Commission’s Green Public Procurement Advisory Group , and was part of the Stakeholder Expert Group on Public Procurement, and is co-founder and Vice-Chair of the International Green Purchasing Network (IGPN).


More information

Go to our search or contact Mark Hidson , Deputy Regional Director, Europe, and Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Center.

You can also follow us on Twitter: @SPPglobal and @ProcureInno


SPP around the world

Visit the SPP pages of ICLEI's other regional offices to find out more about our sustainable procurement activities around the world:

East Asia Office
South America Office [in Spanish]

EMAS at ICLEI