Zurich, Ghent, Frederiksberg and CERN, winners of the Procura+ Awards 2019

25 September 2019

The Procura+ Awards Ceremony saw three cities and a European research organisation going up on the stage to get their recognition for their biggest successes in public procurement: Procura+ participant Zurich won in the category ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’, the City of Ghent, also a Procura+ participant in the ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’ one, the Municipality of Frederiksberg in the ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ category and the European Organization for Nuclear Research won the ‘Outstanding Innovation in ICT Procurement’. The event took place on 24 September within the Nordic Edge Expo in Stavenger, Norway. 

The City of Zurich (Switzerland) and its initiative to use recycled concrete in buildings was announced as the winner of the ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’. Zurich has saved around 17,000m3 of virgin materials (and landfill space) through this. The city is now increasing recycled asphalt, with up to 30% recycled material used in new road foundations and 60% reclaimed asphalt in the road base. Wiebke Rösler Häfliger, Director at the Office for Building Construction, City of Zurich said: “We are very proud of our work and it shows that we are working in the right direction. The market has responded positively and our new art museum will be constructed using recycled concrete that includes CO2 reduced cement.”

The runner-up in this category was Procura+ participant Ihobe, the Environmental Management Agency of the Basque Government (Spain), thanks to the deployment of a green purchasing programme among the Basque public sector.

The ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’ Award went to the City of Ghent (Belgium), that launched a pilot procurement for ethically produced workwear in line with the socially responsible requirements in its procurement policy and worked in partnership with suppliers to get the product required. “We are thrilled that we are able through our public procurement to encourage the market to change in a sustainable way, and that we can share our experience with other purchasing authorities through our toolbox for socially sustainable workwear,” said Aline De Cokere, Public Buyer for City of Ghent.  

The sustainable framework contract for cleaning services of the Catalan Government, also a Procura+ participant was the runner-up.

The excellence of the innovation partnership for decentralised cloudburst management of the Municipality of Frederiksberg (Denmark) was awarded the ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ prize. The market dialogue to inform interested market actors about the procurement of solutions to reduce the load on its existing drain water and the innovation partnership process that was carried out was positively assessed by the jury. “We are very proud to receive this award. The process was not simple but the effort really paid off,” said Lene Stolpe Meyer, Project Manager Climate Adaptation. “We are in stages of implementing the solutions so it feels great to be rewarded now.”

In this category, the runner-up was Procura+ participant City of Helsinki with its sustainable innovation for a retro stadium.

CERN and the City of Helsinki were competing for the ‘Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT’ Award. Finally, CERN got the prize thanks to its open cloud data storage innovation through pre-commercial procurement, whereas the City of Helsinki was the runner-up with its robotisation and automation of library services. Bob Jones, Senior Staff member at CERN said that he is “proud that Helix Nebula Science Cloud has shown Europe how world class companies that can develop innovative cloud services. Many companies invested in the pre-commercial procurement actions and I thank them all.” 

The jury also decided to grant three honourable mentions: to CONSIP (Italy) in the category ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’ for the scale and ambition of its national framework contract for sustainable and innovative lighting; to the Dutch Institute for Safety (the Netherlands) in the ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ category for a low-cost and potentially replicable solution for wildfire prediction, and to SELECT for Cities in the ‘Outstanding Innovation in ICT Procurement’ for the potential scale and impact of its smart city platform.

Prizes were awarded by the Mayor of Stavanger, Christine Sagen Helgø, and Jugatx Ortiz-Gonzalez, from DG Grow, who thanked all candidates who applied to this edition of the Procura+ Awards showing so many inspiring and diverse examples for other cities and organisations of how to use the power of public procurement.

The City of Stavanger, where the Nordic Edge Expo and the Procura+ Awards Ceremony took place, has been a participant of the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network for over two years and the City’s procurement strategy has a clear focus on innovation and social responsibility. Find out more about all entries to the Procura+ Awards 2019 here.

Just one week to know who the Procura+ Awards winners are

17 September 2019

The final countdown for the Procura+ Awards ceremony, taking place next September 24 at the Nordic Edge Expo, has started. The eight finalists of this edition are getting ready to find out if their candidacies are selected by the jury as the winners of the different categories: Innovation Procurement of the Year, Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT, Sustainable Procurement of the Year and Procurement Initiative of the Year.

The Municipality of Frederiksberg (Denmark) and the City of Helsinki (Finland) are competing for the ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ Award. CERN (Switzerland) and the City of Helsinki (Finland) are contesting in the ‘Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT’ category. The ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’ Award is to be decided between the Government of Catalonia and the City of Ghent (Belgium). The City of Zurich (Switzerland) and Ihobe (Basque Country) are the finalists for the category ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’. To learn more about their entries for the Award, visit here.

The names of the winners and the runners-up will be unveiled at the Nordic Edge Dinner (Stavanger, Norway). This year’s entries for the Procura+ Awards were assessed by a jury of procurement experts and policy makers, composed of Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö, Procura+ Network Chair; Paulo Magina, Head of Public Procurement Unit, OECD; Marzena Rogalska, Director, DG Grow, and Mark Hidson, Global Director ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre.

The Procura+ Awards is an initiative of ICLEI Europe, with support from the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project.

Procurement Can!

10 April 2019

The European Commission – The Directorate General of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs held the high-level conference “Seizing opportunities in the public procurement of tomorrow”, in cooperation with Romanian Presidency on 4th April 2019 in Bucharest at the Parliament House.

Key messages throughout the event were that public procurement can be a:

• Catalyser for growth, jobs and innovation, it can provide access to markets for SMEs,
• It can be used to gain the trust of citizens in public authorities and democracy, sustainability, and social cohesion.
• It is a key mechanism to address greenhouse gas emissions, local air and water quality, the use of hazardous substances and raw material usage.

The Chair of the Procura+ Network Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of the City of Malmö, who spoke at the event, put it simply:

procurement can make a significant contribution to achieving goals and targets and address the public sector’s big challenges: health, ageing population, energy security, mobility, resource scarcity, food security and inclusive societies amongst others.

However, why is it that still today procurement decisions are made based on the lowest price? To address this potential-action gap, Jammeh, emphasized the importance of change at the system level. Also, it is vital to bring tools for change to a level where procurers, policy makers, budget holders understand that what they do has an impact, that they are involved and play a role in addressing achieving environmental and societal goals. 
Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre and Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI Europe Mark Hidson, outlined that ICLEI has been working with a number of public authorities for over 22 years to drive local action. This wealth of experience has shown that many of the local decision-makers have proven to be innovators and drivers in the field of sustainable, circular, innovation and strategic procurement.

Looking ahead, Hidson emphasized: “Our priorities include, among others, ensuring the wider uptake of innovative, green, and social procurement; professionalising public procurers; increasing access to procurement markets; and cooperating to procure together.

A key instrument at the core of this is the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network. It is a network of European public authorities that connect, exchange and act on sustainable and innovation procurement. Learn more here.


Procura+ Awards: Deadline Extended and Jury Announced

29 March 2019

The deadline for applications to the 2019 Procura+ Awards has been extended until 30 April 2019 in all three award categories - Sustainable Procurement, Innovation Procurement and Procurement Initiative of the Year.

Hosted by Procura+ network coordinators ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability in cooperation with the Procure2Innovate project, the competition rewards sustainable and innovative public procurements leading to significant improvements of public good, services, process and infrastructure.

A high-level jury will include Procura+ Network chair and Mayor of Malmö Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Director in the European Commission's DG GROW Marzena Rogalska, Head of the OECD's Public Sector Integrity Division, Janos Bertok and Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre, Mark Hidson.

Last year's Procura+ Awards saw the Government of Flanders (Belgium), the City of Rotterdam (Netherlands), and the City of Barcelona win awards for Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year and Tender Procedure of the Year, respectively.

“To apply for the Procura+ Award means to have successful, sustainable and innovative public procurement activities in place that generate improvements in public goods, services, processes and infrastructure. By applying for the award, you start sharing your positive experience with other authorities that can benefit from them and contribute to this global exchange” - said Frederic Ximeno, Commissioner for Ecology for the City of Barcelona.

“Your case doesn’t have to be world changing or sustainable to the last detail, as long as you can make a difference that matters. A smart case that is as sustainable as possible considering the context of the market, your needs, your budget, your capacity and the level of innovation that you wish to achieve, goes a long way. Don’t hesitate and apply,” - added Alexander Lemmens from Procurement team of the Government of Flanders.

For more information and to apply, visit the Procura+ Awards page.

3, 2, 1… Application to the Procura+ Awards 2019 is now open

12 December 2018

Public authorities can now submit their candidacies to the 2019 edition of the Procura+ Awards, a major and prestigious recognition of procurements and related initiatives with remarkable economic, environmental and social impacts, or innovation elements. The Procura+ Awards is an initiative of ICLEI, in co-operation with the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project. The application period is open until 31st March.

The awarded public authorities will receive a trophy and have the right to promote themselves with the award title. The rewarded procurement activities will be widely promoted using a wide variety of ICLEI publications and channels. Furthermore, a case study on it will be produced and disseminated in the SP Platform and the PPI Platform. Winners will be granted a free entry and a presentation slot at the next conference organised by ICLEI.

Participants in previous editions have highlighted that participating in the Procura+ Award helped them to benchmark themselves and to gain visibility. For winners, it was a good way to prove their commitment to sustainability and innovation, as well as to earn internal and external recognition. Watch the video of the 2018 Award Ceremony:

There are three categories of the Procura+ Award: Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year, and Procurement Initiative of the Year. The winners of the last edition were the Government of Flanders (Belgium), for its framework contract for sustainable office supplies; the City of Rotterdam (Netherlands), for making the city accessible for citizens with special mobility needs, and the City of Barcelona, for implementing a city-wide compulsory sustainable procurement.

For more information on the 2019 Awards, and to download an application form, visit the Procura+ website.

Procura+ Network China National GPP Study Visit 2018

20 November 2018

In October 2018, the China National Green Public Procurement (GPP) delegation conducted a 10-day learning visit to six Nordic cities. The delegation visited Copenhagen, Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Oslo, and Bergen - many of which are already Procura+ Participants. This visit was hosted by the Procura+ Network as the first international exchange event between the East Asian and European counterparts since the launch of Procura+ East Asia in May 2018.

The delegation consisted of six high-level officials from the Ministry of Finance, the China Quality Certification Center (CQC, a Procura+ strategic partner), Jilin Provincial Government, and China Finance and Economics Newspaper. The overall aim was to experience cutting-edge cases of  green procurement policies and practices. Nordic cities developed their GPP practices based on EU policy schemes, but have incrementally increased their standards in terms of sustainability. The well-established and sophisticated GPP mechanisms at respective Nordic cities are valuable for China GPP policy makers to refer to, contributing to the current research of establishing a national GPP scheme in China.

During the visit, Fangming Guo, Deputy Director General of the Treasury Department of China’s Ministry of Finance, shared an overview of the current GPP policy landscape, on-ground implementation, and the Government Procurement System Reform in China.  Furthermore, he shared insights toward the latest development and achievements in crafting an integrated government procurement legal system and advancing information release. The Nordic audiences appreciated and congratulated the rapid development and expansion in scope of GPP in China.

Established in 2003 by ICLEI, Procura+ is a network of public authorities around the globe to connect, exchange, act on sustainable, green and innovation procurement through meetings, seminars, and discussion forums, with Procura+ active in Europe and Procura+ East Asia active in East Asia. Managed by the ICLEI East Asia Secretariat with support from the ICLEI Global Sustainable Procurement Center, Procura+ East Asia supports local governments from China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia in achieving sustainable and low-carbon development goals through sustainable, green and innovation procurement.

In the photo:

China National GPP Delegation Visit Stockholm City Hall
Left to Right: Xiuli E, Director of Procurement Office, Jilin Provincial Finance Bureau; Zhigang Wang, Deputy Chief, China Quality Certification Center; Xiuqin Cheng, Secretary, China Quality Certification Center; Stefan Nordin, Chief Procurement Officer, Stockholm Municipality; Fangming Guo, Deputy Director General, Treasury Department, Ministry of Finance, China; Yaling Feng, Vice President of China Finance and Economics Newspaper

Barcelona, Rotterdam and Flanders scoop Procura+ Awards

8 October 2018

The biggest successes in public procurement were honoured last week at the EcoProcura conference in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, with a clutch of top class projects in sustainability and innovation winning the 2018 Procura+ Awards.

The cities of Barcelona (Spain) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands), and the Government of Flanders, were winners in their respective categories amid strong competition from other European cities, regions and national authorities.

In a big moment for last night’s ceremony, Barcelona City Council scooped the top prize in Procurement Initiative of the Year, after the city made sustainable public procurement mandatory – efforts which will affect more than 50,000 tenders a year.

Janet Sanz, deputy mayor for ecology, urban planning and mobility at the city of Barcelona said the city had been “evolving its strategy and policy on sustainable procurement for over 15 years”. And a 2018 municipal decree made sustainable procurement mandatory. “This covers EUR 1.1 billion of spending,” confirmed Ms Sanz.

The deputy mayor added: “For our ambition to be recognised at the Procura+ Awards is a real honour and we hope this inspires others to take the same approach as Barcelona.”

This year’s Innovation Procurement of the Year was awarded to the Dutch city of Rotterdam, which is pioneering the procurement of innovative goods and services to make the city more accessible for the elderly or citizens with special needs. Its efforts involve a multitude of local SMEs.

Warmly welcoming the award, the city’s vice mayor Arno Bonte said: “We are honoured to receive the Procura+ Award for Innovation Procurement of the Year! The city of Rotterdam continuously seeks innovative and sustainable solution to our citizens’ needs and I am delighted that the hard work of our procurement team is recognised at a European level.”

Last night also saw the Government of Flanders take Sustainable Procurement of the Year – for setting up a major framework contract for sustainable office supplies. The administration set a target that “at least 50% of products meet sustainability criteria”, with a 2020 goal of 100% sustainable public procurement.

“The Government of Flanders recognises sustainable and innovative procurement as a strategic objective,” said Liesbeth Homans, vice-minister-president of the Government of Flanders, as she welcomed the award.

“We strive to ensure positive green, social and economic outcomes in all tenders, and the award of Sustainable Procurement of the Year encourages us to keep on aiming to do better and ensure that all our procurement is effective.”

Other initiatives honoured at this year’s Procura+ Awards included the three runners-up that pushed the winners close. The city of Aalborg in Denmark ran a close second to Flanders in the sustainable procurement category, with Ireland’s Cork City Council runner-up to Rotterdam for its innovation procurement efforts.

Meanwhile, Transport for London was pipped by Barcelona to the Procurement Initiative of the Year Award, following a successful training and skills programme for disadvantaged Londoners.

Honourable mentions were also given to the city of Copenhagen for greening public transportation through innovation procurement, and to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic. The ministry is particularly active in making sustainable public procurement more mainstream in the Czech economy.

This year’s EcoProcura conference, host to the Procura+ Awards, is being held in Nijmegen in the Netherlands. The conference series started in 1998 as a forum to “promote exchange and dialogue” on the latest strategies and practical solutions on “sustainable, circular and innovation procurement”. This year’s awards were supported by the Procure2Innovate project.

Public authorities engage suppliers on socially responsible ICT

4 July 2018

Public authorities and businesses from across Europe are invited to attend a live market engagement event on procurement needs and solutions for social responsibility and transparency in information and communication technology (ICT) supply chains.

The event is set to take place 3 October 2018 in European Green Capital Nijmegen (The Netherlands), alongside the 2018 EcoProcura conference.

Public authorities will have the opportunity to inform suppliers of their socially responsible procurement needs and upcoming procurement plans for ICT, which includes large contracts for smartphones, laptops and PCs, and servers.

Suppliers will also have the opportunity to showcase solutions and initiatives that increase the social, ethical and environmental sustainability of their supply chains. The dialogue will help inform the design of procurements and contracts, and lead to suppliers submitting stronger bids.

The event is taking place as part of the Make ICT Fair project, which aims to improve the lives of workers and communities associated with ICT supply chains, particularly in the Global South.

To see a copy of the draft programme, click here.

Participation is free of charge, but due to limited availability of seats, registration is mandatory. For more information and to register for the event, click here.

Procura+ participant Ghent wins EU Fair and Ethical Trade City Award

28 June 2018

The first EU Fair and Ethical Trade City Award took place on the 27 June in Brussels to recognise and support local initiatives currently taking place in European cities to encourage fair and ethical trading practices.

The City of Ghent (Belgium)was chosen by the expert jury as the award's first winner due to its clear commitment and long-term strategy for promoting fair and ethical initiatives. As well as supporting communities both local and global through its Sustainable Procurement Policy, Ghent has also hosted a range events promoting fair and ethical trade and procurement, such as the Fair Fashion Fest and EcoProcura.

As winner of the award, Ghent will now have the opportunity to launch a development project of their choice, with €100,000 in financial support from the European Commission and technical support from the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (IUNCTAD).

The EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award is an initiative of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade (DG Trade), launched as a commitment of its "Trade for all" communication on trade and investment policy published in 2015.

More information on Ghent's approach to fair and ethical procurement can be found on the Procura+ Network and the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement.

Procura+ to feature at EcoProcura Conference

22 May 2018

Participants of the Procura+ Network are at the forefront of sustainable, circular and innovation procurement, and the 2018 EcoProcura Conference - which takes place in Nijmegen on 3-5 October - will be showcasing the activities and successes of Participants in several key places.

As well as speaking in plenary and breakout sessions, Procura+ participants - who are eligible for a reduced event fee - will lead market lounges and other interactive activities, as well as using the chance to meet together on specific procurement topics. For example, a meeting of the Procura+ Interest Group on Socially Responsible Public Procurement of ICT will be held, alongside a market engagement event relating to social criteria for procurement of ICT products and services.

The 2018 Procura+ Awards ceremony will also take place at EcoProcura on the evening of 4 October. The winners will be announced and the awards presented to public authorities for Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation procurement of the Year and Procurement Initiative of the Year. The Procura+ Awards highlight sustainable and innovation procurements and tender procedures and give visibility to the most dynamic, forward-looking and innovative public authorities and their initiatives.

Registration is now open for EcoProcura and can be accessed from the event website. When registering, please select 'Procura+ Participant' in order to receive discount. For more information contact the EcoProcura team at