The Procura+ Awards reward successful, already running, sustainable, circular and innovation public procurements. These procurements lead to significant improvements of public goods, services, processes and infrastructure.

With this Award the Procura+ Network wants to showcase sustainable, circular and innovation procurement in practice.


The shortlisted candidates for the 2022 Procura+ Awards are announced in all four categories: Circular Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year, Procurement Initiative of the Year and Sustainable Procurement of the Year.

Who are the judges?

The entries for the 2022 Procura+ Awards are assessed by a jury of procurement experts and policy makers:

  • Erika Bozzay, Senior Policy Adviser at the Infrastructure and Public Procurement Division, OECD
  • Katharina Knapton-Vierlich, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission
  • Mark Hidson, Global Director ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre
  • Sarah O'Carroll, Cities Lead, Institutions, Governments & Cities, Ellen MacArthur Foundation


The Procura+ Awards highlight sustainable, circular and innovation procurements and tender procedures and give visibility to the most dynamic, forward-looking and innovative public authorities and their initiatives.

The procured solutions will have a strong potential for replication and scaling up and will be an excellent showcase in using sustainable, circular and innovation procurement instruments to purchase cutting edge solutions.

2022 Circular Procurement of the Year Category

Recognising outstanding circular economy applications in the public authority’s procurement.



Circular Signs and Navigation 

The City of Malmö has been applying a circular approach to procurement over the past couple of years. Through the Circular PP project, it has piloted the procurement of “non-new furniture” for its city hall. The city has now replicated this circular approach to road and navigation signs. These include both signs that are used in public buildings and on streets. The municipality aims to reuse these signs as much as possible. If that is not possible, then the signs are sent back for reuse or redesign to the supplier. Recycling is considered as the last resort option. For each square meter of reused aluminium, 56 kilos of Co2 are saved.

For this tender, Malmö developed three circular criteria. First, to promote reuse within the municipality, the tenderer had to have experience with stocking products for a customer. Second, to encourage reuse by the supplier, the tenderer had to have experience with reusing products that the customer no longer used. Third, to close the loop, the tenderer had to have optimal recycling processes for different materials (plastics, aluminium, glass, and electronics). Out of 5 bidders, one company met all three circular criteria.

The selected supplier has been producing signs designed for multiple use-cycles. This supplier has won a national sign award called “Svenska skyltpriset” for a sign made of reused material. Through this tender, the City of Malmö encouraged the supplier to adopt new circular business practices, scale their circular systems, and design innovative products with better materials. 





Design services for the design of the New Museum of Transport and its environment 

The Hungarian Museum of Transport needed to be relocated and the new selected headquarters are the site of a former railway maintenance depot, a prominent heritage territory of Hungarian transportation history, located in an industrial area of Budapest. The site was chosen for its historical significance as well as the infrastructure and the buildings that enabled the possibility of implementing an innovative approach to the programme.

The investment will be a brownfield area revitalization project, which aims to reuse most of the buildings and infrastructure in the most sustainable and circular manner, with upgrades in performance and functions, keeping their architectural integrity. The museum will create a new urban park with green and water surfaces and aims to be the new cultural center of the district. The project intends to obtain the LEED Gold Sustainability certificate, through several sustainable solutions, such as the use of environmentally friendly building materials, the implementation of energy efficiency initiatives, and additionally by reducing, recycling and properly managing waste, treating water (including the use of greywater), and by using locally produced energy, batteries, fuel and solar cells. During the design process, the whole life cycle maintenance cost of solutions will have to be taken into account. The project also has a strong social angle: it aims to become a community-building force in the area, and to create new jobs to reach self-sustainability, by introducing several new commercial functions.



Railway station renovation project 

The municipality of Quimper is located in Brittany in northwestern France. When it was decided that the railway station had to be renovated, the municipality decided to use a circular economy approach. This renovation project aimed to reuse on-site as many materials as possible, as well as use reclaimed materials from other sites. This was the first pilot project of its kind in the region.

The municipality collaborated with the cooperative design practice ROTOR to identify and integrate reclaimed and reused materials into the Railway-Park project's outdoor facilities and roadways. Through this site study, they identified various materials such as natural stones, cobblestones, and wooden elements that could be reused. To avoid cutting them, 16 trees were transplanted and reused in another community project. On-site material reuse provides many benefits. It avoids emissions from the transport of materials, as well as preserves the embodied carbon and energy of these construction materials.

The tender specified which elements of the site were to be reused, but allowed flexibility regarding the non-essential characteristics of the materials. This flexibility has allowed the reuse sector to supply materials based on the availability of reclaimed materials. The project also led to local economic development, as it encouraged suppliers to provide locally-sourced materials. The lessons learned from this pilot will help other similar projects in the region adopt a more circular approach.


Framework agreement for the supply or lease of work wear clothing  

Ghent University Hospital employs more than 4,000 people. The hospital staffs’ work wear was made of a polyester cotton blend. Being conscious of the major environmental impacts that polyester cotton blend have, the hospital aimed to replace its staff work wear with a more sustainable alternative. It also aimed to procure textiles that were produced in an ethical manner and respects labour rights.

To procure high-quality work wear, Ghent University Hospital used a staged procurement procedure. It considered all possible options as long as possible and did not specify a fabric in the tender requirements. It held several consultation and exchange of information sessions during the initial stages of the procurement process to learn about the bidders’ manufacturing processes and experiences. The hospital first evaluated the transparency of the bidders’ supply chain, the quality of the delivery services, the durability of the textiles, and the look and feel of the work wear. To ensure that the new work wear met the needs of its employees, the hospital invited 700 of its employees to test and rate sample clothing from each bidder. It was only in the final stage that the hospital evaluated the price of the offers.

Out of the three bidders that met all the sustainability criteria, one proposed an alternative to the traditional polyester cotton blend. This bidder proposed a blend of recycled polyester and lyocell which is manufactured through a closed-loop production process. Compared to virgin polyester, mechanically recycled polyester uses 45% less energy, 20% less water, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. The production of lyocell doesn’t use harmful chemicals and uses 948 liters of water per kilo than cotton. Through this contract the winning bidder reused the equivalent of 483,325 recycled plastic bottles.



Yliopistonkatu (Yliopisto street)  Circular Economy Public Procurement

The City of Tampere decided to carry out the renovation of one of its main streets, Yliopistonkatu, using new public circular economy criteria as part of the Design&Build operating model. The criteria were developed by the city of Tampere, together with the KIEPPI Project, experts from the university, research programmes, the UUMA4 programme and companies. The city pioneered this approach, as it is the first time in Finland that this type of circular economy public procurement criteria are applied.

As part of the procurement development, the chosen contractor had to write an environmental plan, to ensure that environmental criteria were really taken into account. Examples of criteria used in the procurement process are: recovered materials used % in the project, environmental plan of the tendering company, transportations trips (km) for building materials (no longer than 20km). The local company will reutilize at least 70% of the materials generated at the place of origin and of the surpluses generated in the contract outside the contract, using the remaining of the recycled materials outside the contract to up to 50%. A CO2 calculation about the renovation will be carried out during and after the project.

This procurement example won a development price of the city of Tampere in 2021.

2022 Innovation Procurement of the Year

Recognising the outstanding innovation of the procurement and the public authority as a launch customer.



Pilot projects for public procurement of innovation in selective municipal waste collection

Digital solutions can help municipalities increase levels of separate collection of waste. The Catalan Waste Agency used ERDF funds to promote demonstration projects to prevent waste generation and improve the separate collection of municipal waste. The grant was awarded to seven local entities that then developed innovative pilot projects. And these seven local entities used their purchasing power to stimulate the development of novel solutions.
The pilot projects are developing mobile phone applications that help residents sort their waste, get more information about waste collection services, as well as report illegal dumping sites.

The seven pilot projects cover a population of about 366,000 inhabitants that generate on average 4,404 tonnes of waste per year. The results of these projects will be available after the end of the implementation period in July 2023. The results of these pilot projects will be translated into innovative technical specifications for the municipalities' selective waste collection tenders. This initiative has also served as a guideline for the design of a new grant scheme to support the European call for proposals financed by Next Generation funds.



Digital Transformation: a journey not a destination

The National Agency for Digital Italy (AgID) and Consip developed in 2019 a strategic ICT procurement plan to promote digitalisation across the Italian public administrations. The plan covers the public administrations’ ICT needs, from cloud services to cyber security.

In 2021, Consip awarded 9 Single Supplier Framework Agreements aimed at providing advisory services and digital transformation services to Italian public administrations. These services include a 3-year Digital Transformation Strategy for each public administrations, process digitalisation, change management, project management, and governance support. Each of these 9 framework agreements will last 24 month. The tender received a large number of bids, 40% of which were from SMEs. This tender ensures that all public administrations, regardless of their size, will get the same value for similar activities as the price they pay is calculated on impartial parameters. The roll-out of these digital services will help the public administrations to become more efficient and help them meet their digital needs.


Procurement Planning Platform (PPP)

In 2021, the City of Lisbon decided to develop a Procurement Planning Platform (PPP) as a backbone for a strategic sourcing approach towards sustainability and innovation. The PPP supports needs assessments, allowing the registration of annual needs for goods, works and services, identifying social, green and economic measures to consider in future tenders; it favours budget and procurement annual planning, also by identifying SDGs related to the PP initiatives.

The platform sets sustainability targets at the PP Pre-tendering stage, it identifies sustainability key-procurement areas in Smart Open Lisbon Program and, finally, it creates an Annual PP Plan and provides data for monitoring it. The PPP follows an internal regulation that defines the mandatory steps concerning the process level, allowing all procurement units to register and categorise their purchasing needs. In 2022, the roll-out has started and the PPP is being used to register procurements for 2023 and upcoming years.





IWR2021 | Workspace Hardware (WpHW) 

The IWR2021 project, handled by one of the government-wide purchasing categories ‘Category ICT Workspace Central Government (IWR)’, includes in its scope all ICT hardware for the national offices and employees of the central government. It consists of five cohesive European tenders for displays, laptops & fixed ICT workstations, Android & accessories, iOS, MacOS, and iPadOS devices and workspace services. The most important core values for IWR are sustainability and circularity, which are applied to all the tenders in the category.

IWR did a pre-market survey, entering into discussions with large manufacturers and vendors, which was then followed by a broad market consultation. Afterwards, they created an ambition web, which included sustainability, circular and CSR ambitions. The relevant sustainability aspects were translated into specific requirements and award criteria.
The IWR2021 is an extremely innovative project which has deeply challenged the market and set a new standard in the field, by applying many elements for the first time in ICT.

Some of the most important innovations include: for the first time in an ICT tender, CO2 footprints were requested and a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) calculation had to be carried out for all products. Other newly introduced elements were the use of Fairtrade Climate Standard to compensate for all the CO2 emitted by the delivered products, and waste compensation had to be done through TCO Certified Edge E-Waste Compensated. The tender also required the use of EcoVadis as an independent scorecard for both resellers and manufacturers, with a focus on environment, labour, human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement. All products purchased, excluding accessories, had to be TCO Certified, and repairability and the availability of spare parts had to be ensured for at least 3-5 years after the end of sale on the Dutch market. So far, the project has led to 17% CO2 reduction compared to 1990, 3,36Ktzon of CO2 has been compensated through Fairtrade Climate Standard credits, and a strong increase of EcoVadis scores of resellers from 3% to 34%. They expect to reach even more ambitious results in 2022.

2022 Procurement Initiative of the Year

Recognising outstanding programmes, policies, actions, guidance and tools that contribute towards strategic, sustainable, circular and innovation procurement.



Fossil and Emission free Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM)

The initiative contributes to the CPH 2025 Climate Plan, which aims to make the city of Copenhagen carbon neutral by 2025. It targets their own fleet of NRMM, construction and civil works projects, market engagement and international participation in projects, aiming to increase market availability and public procurement of fossil fuel and/or emission free NRMM. The reduction potential identified is up to 75.000 CO2e tons per year, with the objective to reduce at least 30-40% before 2025. In their procurement documents they ask for optional/separate price for having their works done with fossil fuel and/or emission free NRMM and, starting from 1 January 2021, in all civil works projects concerning drainage and paving works, they ask for emission free machinery (electric) if below 2.5 tons, and use of HVO to execute other works.

They, additionally, ask that data regarding consumption is documented, also in terms of sustainability. Their own fleet uses biofuels and they are working towards exchanging their fleet with emission free solutions by 2025. So far, they have seen good results from the market. There has been an additional price of 0-3% of construction sum but in all projects when fossil and/or emission free NRMM CO2 savings are between 85-100%, with additional benefits being the better work and pleasant environment, also for neighbours and bypassers.



Virtual Power Purchase Agreement for the delivery of locally produced solar power

The City of Ghent aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and become climate-neutral by 2050. To achieve these goals, the city aims to use locally produced renewable energy in its public buildings. The City of Ghent and Vlaams Energiebedrijf – VEB (the Flemish Energy Company) set up a virtual power purchase agreement (PPA) for electricity from renewable energy with a citizen energy cooperative. This virtual PPA is a multi-year bilateral electricity contract which protects the city against volatility in electricity prices.

The VEB is a governmental agency that acts as the central procurement office for energy efficient solutions for public entities. The VEB provides its energy expertise and helps the City achieve its climate objectives. The tender requires the delivery of at least 500 MWh of renewable energy per year. It also requires that the production facility where the electricity is generated is at least half owned by a citizen energy community and that residents of Ghent can participate in the community and invest in the project.

The winning bidder, Beauvent, secured a 15 year contract with the City of Ghent. Beauvent will install 6,4 ha of solar panels on the rooftop of the Lemahieu Group warehouses, located 3 kilometers from the city hall. This will deliver the equivalent of the annual energy consumption of approximately 2,000 families, and help to meet 46% of the energy needs of the buildings used by the City of Ghent by 2024.



Dynamic Purchasing System for Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Works  

The Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) is a national and flexible public procurement arrangement established by the Kerry County Council, for the delivery of energy efficiency retrofitting works to social housing. It was established in March 2021 and it has a validity of 5 years. This type of public procurement arrangement offers significant advantages to SMEs, as it allows them to join at any time subject to satisfying the selection criteria. Even previously unsuccessful companies and SMEs can re-apply throughout the duration of the DPS, allowing them time to work on their skills. The DPS supports the on-going national energy retrofitting programme in Ireland and the country’s contribution towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on Climate Action. It allowed the establishment of a wholly electronic, flexible and efficient public procurement process.

The key target is to upgrade the Building Energy Rating (BER) of 500,000 homes by 2030. So far, the DPS has been used to upgrade 892 residential dwellings to a Building Energy Rating (BPER) of B2 in 2021, and a total of 2,400 dwellings are targeted for completion in 2022.


100% Certified Renewable Energy Supply 

The city of Porto (PT) has ambitious plans for the future and the switch to a 100% certified renewable electric energy supply was one of the actions taken to align with the City Master Plan, the Sustainable Energy Action Plan and their final objective to become carbon neutral by 2030.
The tender made sure that all energy used in municipal infrastructures, such as schools, swimming pools, municipal buildings or public lighting, had to come from 100% renewable sources, with a certified Guarantee of Origin. The city also required that the supplier detected and fixed potential energy losses, optimized the energetic consumption profile, readjusted to Porto’s energetic needs and tariffed cycles to guarantee improved energy optimization consumption and economic advantage.
To do this, they used a Framework agreement, divided into four lots, according to the needs of each infrastructure typologies and five relevant entities in the city. Since 2020, the electricity energy used in municipal infrastructures is sourced 100% from renewable origin, reducing Porto’s annual emissions related to electricity use by< 16.500 ton CO2eq/year. This tender brought financial benefits as well, resulting in a reduction of Porto’s operating cost of €2.6m.




Procurement of sustainable ICT equipment 

ICT supply chains are under growing scrutiny due to concerns over Human and labour rights abuses. To address this issues, since 2020, the city of Stavanger has been collaborating with and engaging both small and large ICT companies to develop a set of award criteria based on international guidelines set by the OECD, the UN and the ILO. This dialogue has provided suppliers with a better understanding of international framework, and the City of Stavanger with insights into the ICT sector.

The city of Stavanger is using its purchasing power to ensure that human rights are respected along its suppliers’ value chains. The municipality evaluates the supplier’s human rights due diligence and the company’s code of conduct. It also aims to increase transparency in the supply chain by documenting the suppliers’ due diligence and the enforcement of their policies. The city also rewards suppliers who participate in social dialogue that strengthens workers’ knowledge about human rights and their ability to influence, promote and negotiate their human rights in the supply chain.

In their latest PIN in 2022, they received positive feedback from both small and large companies who are willing to demonstrate their human rights due diligence record in procurement processes. While there is a long way to go before achieving sufficient traceability in the ICT supply chain, the city of Stavanger is taking a lead on the topic and is awarding contracts to the most diligent suppliers.

2022 Sustainable Procurement of the Year

Recognising outstanding environmental, social and economic impacts of the procurement.



Catering and delivering service for Lyon’s primary schools 

Lyon’s elected representatives are using public procurement as a lever to promote a more sustainable food policy and system. This new public tender aims to provide more sustainable, healthy and fair food to 26,500 school children every day without costing more for their families. To ensure that the city’s approach to school food public tenders is comprehensive, steering committees were created between different municipal bodies.

By 2026, 75% of the food procured through this contract will be organic products. In order to reduce the meal's environmental impact, a full vegetarian option will be offered to pupils, while the omnivorous option will offer 2 vegetarian meals per week. The school canteens will provide many plant-based proteins and locally sourced meat. Furthermore, it will encourage the supply of seasonal fruits and vegetables, and non-calibrated fruits will be valued as fruit puree rather than being turned away. It also aims to reduce plastic waste in the school canteens.

The City of Lyon also aims to provide fair remuneration to local suppliers. Lyon municipality and the contractor both agreed to work in cooperation with the agricultural representatives to develop new local and sustainable supply chains.
To ensure that the contract will meet the expectations of the school children and their parents, blind degustation was organised. Children, their parents and elected representatives rated the food provided by the bidders. The contract will start in September 2022.





Irish Prison Service Mattress Recycling initiative 

Every year, approximately 1,200 mattresses need to be removed from prisons across Ireland. Sending these mattresses to landfill has a significant environmental impact as synthetic foam and fibers and hazardous flame retardant chemicals can leach into drinking water.
To divert these mattresses from landfill, the Irish Prison Service (IPS) conducted in 2021 a mini-tender process for the removal and recycling or repurposing of these discarded mattresses across all 12 of their prisons. The tender requirements also stated that the contractor should employ former offenders. Being employed greatly reduces the likelihood of former offenders returning to prison. This has a further added value of reducing the cost of detaining them in prison, while increasing money going into the exchequer through the payment of their taxes. This was the first time that the Department of Justice included a social clause in its contracts.

The tender was published through the usual procurement mechanisms, and promoted on social media. Advertising the tender on social media helped to reach a greater number of businesses and social enterprises. As a result, two social enterprises were awarded the contract. Not only that both enterprises met the environmental criteria, they both have experience with employing former offenders and members of the Traveller community. The contract contributed to the continued full-time employment of four people that have gone through the prison system. The social enterprises are able to recycle up to 80% of the used mattress’ components. Many of the materials can be resold, thus contributing to a circular economy.
This procurement is a win-win for the environment and people, while representing a cost saving for the Irish Prison Service.


Catering from Utrecht, for everyone. Responsible, tasty and inviting 

The city of Utrecht wanted to provide their citizens the most sustainable and circular food choice, which would also contribute to making the city 100% circular by 2050. It would help reduce the residual flows, bring maximum food loss down to 5%, use high-quality products, and improve and reduce the amount of packaging. It would also help make the city climate neutral by reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption in business operations, by implementing at least 60% plant-based proteins, compared to the total amount, reducing animal protein, and using emission-free transport when possible. It would introduce a responsible production of raw materials and products, by implementing an environmental management system, transparency about social/environmental impact throughout the chain, and animal welfare criteria.

This procurement has a very strong social angle, because it aims to be the most inclusive food choice, introducing a fixed minimum percentage of social return, providing the possibility to even the most vulnerable people to be trained and work, thanks to a partnership with the Sign Language Coffeebar, which trains the deaf and hard of hearing to become a barista, and local schools, which offer internship opportunities to students and refugees.

A market consultation was key to shape and realize all their objectives, which involved a mix of large established caterers but also small and local initiatives.
The tender has achieved impressive results so far: only 1.5% food loss in restaurants, 0% organic residual flow, plastic free catering, 30% less food waste compared to previous caterings. Organic residual waste is being converted into compost used in the city’s oyster mushroom plantations.



Pushing sustainability criteria for work clothes 

The Service Center of Helsinki, with this tender, aimed at enhancing sustainability criteria, the transparency of supply chains and social responsibility. The process of preparing the procurement and signing the contract took approximately 16 months. The market was highly involved through a public discussion event, with industry representatives, resulting in the main essential themes to be addressed: reducing chemicals, factory inspections, transportations and waste management. Company-specific discussions helped assess the feasibility and the cost effects of the potential sustainability criteria. Afterwards, they implemented the review of the lifecycle impact of the work clothing procurements, both for rental work clothes and the self-owned ones, with the objective of better understanding the distribution of the environmental impact during the usage phase, highlighting the main polluting phases of the life cycle. The usage stage was especially reviewed, with a difference between the centralized maintenance service and the ones carried out at home.

To take the environmental impact of work clothes into consideration and to promote sustainability, specific requirements were used in terms of area-specific service descriptions, procurement object criteria and sustainability plans of the supplier, in which they had to commit to development work during the contract period. The plans would then be monitored annually by the Service Centre, which could also have the opportunity to assess the CO2 emissions, water consumptions and costs of the procurement’s life cycle, together with the possibility of inspections of environmental impact. Laundry services providers, shall instead submit all their average electricity, gas and water consumption (kWh/m3/I) in terms of washing and drying, including the proportions of fossil and renewable fuels.


The Procura+ Awards 2022 also received entries from the following organisations:

  • Sustainable Programme in the Procurement Department - Bpost (Belgium)
  • Joint Procurement of Ferrous Sulphate - Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (Finland)
  • Procurement of 100% Green Electricity - IZETAS (Turkey)
  • Strategy for Handling On-Site Concrete Waste - Municipality of Roskilde (Denmark)
  • Rental and Laundry Service of Professional Clothing - Department of Vendée (France)



  • City of Copenhagen & City of Odense (DK) - Sustainable Procurement of the Year
  • Santiago de Compostela City Council - Innovation Procurement of the Year
  • Murcia Health Service - Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT
  • Province of Zeeland - Procurement Initiative of the Year

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  • KAMP C - Sustainable Procurement of the Year
  • City of Koprivnica - Innovation Procurement of the Year
  • BIG Austria - Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT
  • City of Haarlem - Procurement Initiative of the Year

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