The Procura+ Awards recognise three categories of excellence:

Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year and Procurement Initiative of the Year.

Read on for more information on the winner and runner-up in each category.

Who were the judges?

The entries for the 2018 Procura+ Awards were assessed by a jury of procurement experts and policy makers:

  • Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö, Procura+ Network Chair
  • Janos Bertok, Head of the Public Sector Integrity Division, OECD
  • Marzena Rogalska, Director, DG Grow
  • Mark Hidson, Global Director ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre

Sustainable Procurement of the year



Framework contract for sustainable office supplies

The Agency of Facility Management of the Flanders acts as central procurement body for office supplies for multiple associated offices of the public authority. In a tender for a new office supplies framework agreement the Agency asked for at least 50% of products to be made from recycled or renewable materials and to be sustainably sourced and produced. The tender also required cartridge recycling and sustainable delivery management. 

As a result of this tender, the Agency for facility management is now able to encourage its affiliated offices to make sustainable purchases. Sustainable options are promoted through an ordering website using a smart delivery system that includes low CO2 emission transport. The winning bid is the result of a collaboration between multiple industry partners, including SMEs, to ensure high levels of sustainability throughout the supply chain. 




Circular school furniture and a healthy learning environment

The City of Aalborg reviewed its framework agreement for school furniture, taking the opportunity to implement ambitious sustainability criteria and more circular procurement practices. A market dialogue process resulted in a new framework agreement that puts a special emphasis on design for child well-being and work contracts promoting social inclusion. 

New furnishing projects will include a co-creation process between suppliers and school staff to design stimulating, healthy and pleasant learning environment. This new approach inspired and influenced more circular activities in the future: Aalborg is currently in the process of setting up a register of surplus furniture that can be reused by other facilities. 

Innovation Procurement of the year



Making the city accessible for citizens with special mobility needs

In Rotterdam, 30,000 citizens with special needs make use of transportation services. There are different services available to different target groups, which in the past has led to fragmented and sometimes insufficient services. The City of Rotterdam decided to integrate all mobility services, operate their fleets more efficiently and as a result provide transportation that serves the needs of their customers best.

Rotterdam undertook comprehensive customer-focused research to uncover the unmet needs and customer journeys that called for multidisciplinary solutions. The city used an innovative Forward Commitment Procurement procedure, with a competitive dialogue process that included representatives from end user groups giving direct feedback. The winning contractor is a consortium of various market parties that is now implementing a user-centred transportation service with mechanisms for constant improvement. Results include an accelerated transition to nearly fully zero emission (electric) and annual investment exceeding €2m in social return on investment.



Providing affordable housing through Competitive Dialogue

To meet the increasing demand for housing, Cork City Council used a competitive dialogue procurement procedure that sparked innovation and broadened the Council’s options for housing locations and design. During the dialogue process the council engaged with pre-qualified bidders to improve the design, functionality and price of the bids to meet the demands for social housing. The qualified bidders that developed solutions during this stage were then invited to submit their tender.

This process resulted in the procurement of 11 social housing schemes, providing 215 new homes in sustainable community developments. Some of these are located on brownfield sites that are now recovered to serve as urban neighbourhoods, helping to address the fundamental policy issue of affordable housing.

Procurement Initiative of the year



Implementing city-wide compulsory sustainable procurement

Barcelona City Council has passed a Municipal Decree that makes Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) mandatory. This has an effect on more than 50,000 tenders annually, covering a spend of €1.1bn.

The SPP objectives are geared toward four key aspects: to improve social and labour conditions, to promote the participation of SMEs and the social economy, to protect the environment, and to foster innovation. Getting to this stage has been an incremental process with Barcelona championing sustainability and innovation in procurement since 2001. So far, the strategic use of procurement has resulted in improved working conditions in newly awarded contracts, a significant reduction of resource and electricity consumption, and not least annual savings of more than 36,000 tonnes of CO2 due to the purchase of 100% renewable energy.



Supplier Skills Program creates employment opportunities and training

Transport for London set up the Supplier Skills Program to train transport suppliers in equal employment, upskilling their employees, and in creating employment opportunities for disadvantaged Londoners. On top of offering training, Transport for London also connects suppliers to a network of NGOs that work with disadvantaged citizens to increase their chances for employment.

The Supplier Skills Program helps bidders meet targets regarding skills training for employees and social inclusion that Transport for London includes in their procurement criteria. By including these requirements in tenders and offering guidance and connections to achieve them, Transport for London’s initiative created 5,500 apprenticeships, helped 5,000 unemployed citizens back to work and integrated over 100 ex-offenders into the workforce.


The Procura+ Awards entries have all been of great value and we were delighted to receive so many high quality applications. A little information on each nominee and their tender can be found below:


Healthy and sustainable school meal strategy

Bath & North East Somerset Council has set out to put their Local Food Strategy into practice by including small scale food producers in the supply for primary schools. 

Instead of awarding contract lots based on food category groups, the Council opted for a Dynamic Purchasing System. This allows food producers to apply to join the contract at any point, supplying just the amount of and type of food that works well for them. At the same time, suppliers need to fulfil a range of sustainability criteria. The tender procedure was characterised by intensive market engagement with suppliers, producers and logistical services. This process lowered barriers to entry for small scale food producers, resulted in seasonal and fresh food supply in primary schools and provided annual savings of 6 tons CO2.



Bio-based product development for the healthcare sector

Skane region in Sweden has the ambition to become a fossil free region by 2020. It identified its most fossil fuel intensive sectors, with public healthcare being one of them. An innovation procurement procedure allowed the region to replace regular disposable medical aprons with a bio-based alternative.

The competitive procedure with negotiation included pre-tender open dialogue meetings with potential bidders and a test panel to pre-select promising offers. A supplier dialogue with the four selected bidders improved their products considerably and resulted in a winning apron that consists of 91% bio-based, sustainably sourced material, leading to annual savings of around 250 tons of CO2.


Innovative food framework contract and ordering system

The region Auvergne Rhone Alpes has set a goal to establish food services at school canteens that reinforce quality and sustainability through fresh products, whilst shortening supply circuits to provide access to smaller suppliers and reduce transportation distances. To service nearly 330 high-schools more efficiently the region decided to take on the role as central purchasing body and award a new framework agreement for food supplies.

As part of a framework agreement multiple suppliers can provide goods in one product category, which ensures the inclusion of small scale producers. Available products can be ordered via a flexible opt-in web ordering tool (REGAL) that promotes sustainable options with the guarantee that they are part of a framework contract.


Greening public transportation through innovation procurement

The municipality of Copenhagen aims to become climate neutral in 2025. Working towards this goal, the city joined a procurement procedure with 19 other public authorities to award a framework contract for electric, hydrogen and plug-in vehicles. A market dialogue process allowed the public authorities to negotiate options for leasing and to specify technical requirements. The city also wanted to ensure it can purchase the newest technology in the green mobility sector, which is why subcontracts for vehicles about to enter the market are possible within the framework agreement.

The tender was awarded to 5 bidding parties. So called mini-tenders are possible within the framework agreement, on which all five parties can compete, to ensure ongoing competition and reap the benefits of falling prices. Procuring green vehicles has already led to almost 20 tons of CO2 reductions and a decrease in energy consumption by more than 25%.


Mainstreaming sustainable public procurement in the Czech Republic

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic has the goal to promote sustainability in public procurement. With this goal in mind, the ministry created a central contact point for procurers nationwide to obtain reliable information and resources around sustainable public procurement, covering environmental, social, and economic aspects. As a result, the central procurement authority has issued guidelines on how to implement sustainable public procurement, organised events and training on the topic, and cooperated with industry and procurement experts to raise awareness.

By launching this national initiative, the Ministry puts sustainable public procurement high on the agenda and supports local and regional authorities as well as public institutions in adopting more sustainable procurement practices.


Joint supplier engagement and criteria development for vehicles

Several cities, governmental bodies and agencies within the Helsinki region have joined forces to use procurement to meet ambitious emission targets, focusing efforts on heavy duty machinery services. The group has jointly engaged the market and established environmental criteria for the procurement of vehicles, specifying emission levels, standards for fuel types, fuel consumption as well as corporate social responsibility.

By aligning environmental criteria, it creates more reliable standards for potential tenderers and simplifies the implementation of these criteria. In the future, the environmental criteria will be refined and strengthened through supplier – purchaser cooperation. The initiative also inspired development of other environmental criteria, with the next project being the reduction of hazardous chemicals.


The Procura+ Awards 2018 also received additional entries from the following organisations

Turin Transport Group

City of Stuttgart Capital

Region of Denmark

City of Rotterdam

Province of Zeeland

County Council of Vendée

Austrian Federal Procurement Agency

Egedal Municipality

Czech Ministry

City of Vienna

Masaryk University

The 2018 Procura+ Awards are supported by the Procure2Innovate project.