CO2 Performance Ladder in Europe

For the last thirteen years, the CO2 Performance Ladder has been responsible for a significant reduction of companies’ and governments’ CO2 emissions in the
Netherlands and Belgium. Due to increasing international interest (including a pilot project in Belgium), the Foundation for Climate Friendly Procurement and Business (SKAO), together with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), is investigating the feasibility of the CO2 Performance Ladder in several European countries. This project is supported by the IKEA Foundation.

What is the project?

The CO2 Performance Ladder has been responsible for a significant reduction of companies’ and governments’ CO2 emissions in the Netherlands.

  • The project, Accelerating carbon emissions reduction through the power of procurement, by dissemination of the CO2 Performance Ladder in Europe project (CO2PLEU), will research the possibilities to extend to the use of this best practice instrument, and in so doing boost green public procurement and CO2 reduction.
  • First, a quick scan was conducted, looking at countries, regions and buyers groups, resulting in an overview of the Green Public Procurement situation – and the opportunities – across Europe.
  • The results of the quick scan feed into the next stage: the feasibility study, which researches the potential for piloting the Ladder in 10 countries in more depth, via interviews and focus groups with local stakeholders.
  • The feasibility study aims to obtain expressions of interest from local parties to set up pilot projects implementing the Ladder.
  • Lessons learned from the twelve year history of the CO2 Performance Ladder in the Netherlands, and the current pilot in Belgium, are being collected in order to provide important insight for potential new initiatives.
  • As part of the project, care will be taken to align with broader international developments such as the European Green Deal,, including by building contacts at European level.
  • The project runs for 1.5 years, from August 2021 to January 2023.



The project is based on the theory that green public procurement can result in a green revolution among companies and their supply chains: a theory that has been demonstrated in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The more procuring parties implement green public procurement, the bigger the impact on companies and their supply chains. Procurement accounts for €1.8 trillion of public spending in the EU alone, or 14% of EU GDP. Government spending power can trigger a green revolution.

Which organisations are involved?

SKAO, the Foundation for Climate friendly Procurement and Business, is the independent owner and manager of the CO2 Performance Ladder, and manages this project

Alongside SKAO, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) will lead the quick scan and feasibility studies.

COLogic leads the pilot in Belgium and will contribute to the lessons learned in Belgium

This project is supported by the IKEA Foundation.

How can you get involved?

Get in touch!

  • Tell us about the GPP situation in your country, region or sector (as part of the Quick scan and feasibility study).
  • Connect us to your network.
  • Invite us to explain more about the CO2 Performance Ladder and the project.

And who knows, maybe because of your recommendation, we will be able to start a pilot in that country, region or sector! To get in touch, please send an email to info@skao.nl 

Do you want to download and share our one pager? You can do that here.