CO2 Performance Ladder launches pilot in France

The CO2 Performance Ladder is expanding to France, marking the next step in its dissemination across Europe. This expansion follows successful implementation in the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland. The Ladder's launch in France was heralded on 27 March in Paris at the residence of the Dutch ambassador, in the presence of prominent representatives of the Dutch and French governments.

Starting shot for the COPerformance Ladder in Paris

The CO2 Performance Ladder is the Dutch sustainability instrument that allows companies and governments to easily and effectively reduce CO2 within their operations, their projects and in their supply chain. The Ladder is used as a procurement tool and a CO2 management system and helps governments buy green and make a significant impact on the climate, by giving sustainable companies a (financial) advantage in tenders. The relevance and effectiveness of the Ladder has been proven over the past 15 years: there are now more than 1,500 certificate holders and over 300 public clients using the CO2 Performance Ladder in the Netherlands and Belgium.

What’s more, there is also considerable interest in the instrument further afield in Europe. That is not without reason: each year, European government authorities spend 2 trillion euros on goods and services, contributing to 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. So green public procurement can really make a big difference in achieving climate and circular targets. The CO2 Performance Ladder takes the next step in this process within Europe, by starting with a pilot in France. On 27 March, this milestone was celebrated in Paris, in the presence of the Dutch ambassador H.E. Mr. Jan Versteeg. Vivianne Heijnen, Dutch Minister for the Environment, officially announced the CO2 Performance Ladder in France with an inspiring video message: "I am delighted that the CO2 Performance Ladder is going on a European tour and France will follow, after Belgium and the Netherlands. The Ladder is a powerful tool. I am proud to say that in 2021, my ministry was the first within the government to reach the highest level of the Ladder, and is now certified at level 5. I am convinced that France will also make a big impact with this tool and inspire other European countries! And we desperately need that, because Europe still has a way to go to meet its climate goals."

Afke van Rijn, Director-General for the Environment and International Affairs at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, played a key role on behalf of the Netherlands at the announcement. 

First pilot in France with La Poste, RTE and UGAP

To roll out the pilot in France, SKAO, the administrator of the CO2 Performance Ladder, is working with its French partner Asea, which is coordinating the pilot. Asea has formed a consortium with three leading contracting authorities that will work with the Ladder: La Poste (the largest postal service provider), RTE (the grid operator in France) and UGAP (National Public Procurement Agency). The combined procurement volume of these organisations is huge and will provide a strong incentive to buy green. Jenny Bourhis, director of Asea, expects clear added value from the Ladder for these and other organisations in France: “The CO2 Performance Ladder meets a strong expectation of the French Public Procurement Authorities who are looking for pragmatic solutions for low carbon procurement of works and services, in a context of implementation of the Green Industry and Climate & Resilience Acts. The first French pilot phase, which runs to April 2025, will involve adapting the model to the French context, publishing the first calls for tender incorporating this criterion, and integrating the CO2 Performance Ladder into the landscape of existing French solutions for decarbonizing public procurement. Three major players are taking part in the experiment: Groupe La Poste, UGAP and RTE, representing a total expenditure of over €10 billion. Pilot organizations are really committed to this project and ready to start.”

More information on Asea can be found here.