ICLEI European Secretariat

ICLEI European Secretariat



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:

  • The 10 Year Framework Programme on SPP: co-leading a global collaborative framework that aims to foster worldwide adoption of SPP
  • Procura+: directly supporting local governments and public authorities in implementing and promoting SPP
  • Procura+ Exchange: an information and exchange mailing list to share sustainable procurement know-how
  • EU GPP Helpdesk: a service provided on behalf of the European Commission which addresses enquiries on green public procurement, provides case studies, and information about the latest developments in Europe via a newsletter

  • EcoProcura Conference Series:  promoting exchange and dialogue on the latest strategies and practical solutions on sustainable procurement and innovation procurement

  • Training and consultancy services: ICLEI provides a wide variety of services to public authorities to assist in starting or further developing sustainable procurement and innovation procurement

To find more about current and past ICLEI projects please visit our Resource Center.

ICLEI is a member of the European Commission’s Green Public Procurement Advisory Group, and 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.

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]