Europe is ready for the CO2 Performance Ladder

Green public procurement (GPP) is developing rapidly across Europe, and the CO2 Performance Ladder can play a large role in boostin those efforts. These are the results of recent research conducted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Each year, European governments spend €1.8 trillion (14% of EU GDP) buying goods and services from the private sector but there is no requirement to consider the climate in these decisions. Shifting to green public procurement can result in a green revolution among companies and their supply chains, and the CO2 Performance Ladder can help.

On the basis of the research, SKAO has decided to explore the feasibility of implementing the CO2 Performance Ladder in more depth in 10 countries. Those countries are: 

Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The research shows that GPP is a hot topic, not only in these countries, but across Europe. Alongside these 10 countries, SKAO is exploring possibilities for the CO2 Performance Ladder in France and Luxembourg, based on existing connections with the pilot programme already running in Belgium.

Green Public Procurement developing fast

The research looked at the GPP situation across Europe , considering 28 European countries (both in and beyond the European Union) on the basis of 19 different criteria. Many countries emerged strongly from the study and all showed potential to scale-up GPP. Encouragingly, there was also considerable interest in implementing the CO2 Performance Ladder as a GPP tool. It is clear that increasing numbers of governments at all levels, as well as companies and civil society organisations, see GPP as a crucial method by which to achieve EU and global climate targets.

In this context, the time is ripe to roll out the Ladder across Europe. The 10 countries cover a range of frontrunners and up-and-coming countries, diverse geographic and cultural contexts and incorporate both EU and non-EU policy contexts. The opportunities for learning about the potential of the Ladder to adapt to various circumstances are therefore multiplied. Regardless of a country’s profile – up-and-comer, pioneer or frontrunner - the CO2 Performance Ladder can play a key role in translating those ambitions into concrete reductions on the ground.

What are the next steps?

Over the next year, SKAO and IISD will intensify contacts in the candidate countries, and further investigate the potential and interest there in pilot projects implementing the Ladder in their procurement processes. SKAO will work cooperatively with local parties, and from 2023, research will turn to practice as the pilots begin. Between now and then, we’ll be working hard to make that a reality, so the Ladder can drive structural CO2 reduction through the Power of Procurement across Europe.

Since August 2021 SKAO, together with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), funded by the IKEA Foundation, has been investigating the possibilities to make the CO2 Performance Ladder a reality in other European countries.

Interested in hearing more about our project, or the possibilities for a pilot in your country? Get in touch!