Procura+ Conference Call for Contributions deadline extended!

13 September 2023

The Call for Contributions deadline for the 11th Procura+ Conference has been extended to 6 October 2023! The conference, which takes place 13-14 March 2024 in Lisbon, Portugal, is an ideal opportunity to showcase work on sustainable, innovation and circular procurement to over 250 attendees from across Europe and the world.

The world, cities and public authorities are facing major environmental, economic and social challenges that require a substantial transformation across all aspects of society. Procurement has to play a key role in this transformation. Now more than ever we need to hear from organisations that are making step changes to achieve big impact in sustainable, innovation and circular procurement! It is also a great opportunity to showcase the interdisciplinary nature of procurement e.g. making food and energy systems more sustainable and advancing the just and circular transition.

The call is open to local, regional and national governments; public authorities; businesses, suppliers: policy makers; legal experts; scientific and research organisations; international and European institutions and agencies. Contributions on sustainable, circular and innovation procurement could include:

  • Good practice examples of implementation, strategies and lessons learnt
  • How procurement addresses societal challenges
  • The latest projects, initiatives, research, guidance and tools
  • Public and private sector working together
  • Sustainable and innovative product or service solutions

Organisations can submit a contribution by completing this form by 6 October.
For any questions send an email to:
For more information on the conference, visit the conference website:

New opportunity to join ICLEI’s Sustainable and Innovation Procurement team

5 September 2023

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is seeking an Expert in Sustainable and Innovation Procurement to join its SIP team. The new colleague will get the opportunity to work at the forefront of (European) procurement policy development and implementation, and to help influence public procurement policy.

The successful candidate is expected to have a good understanding of public procurement processes and the context in which local and regional governments operate. Furthermore, 2 years of relevant experience is needed. That includes, for example, work in the procurement department of a local authority, supporting the procurement of goods, works and services, or work for an organisation that supports public authorities with procurement.

At ICLEI the successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop and implement European projects and initiatives that support cities wanting to develop their sustainable procurement practices; develop and deliver training on sustainable and innovation procurement to public procurers; undertake research and develop publications targeted at public procurers and policy makers, including reports, guidance, policy briefs and case studies; and provide green, social or innovation procurement knowledge and guidance to cities and organisations wanting to support or implement sustainable procurement practices.

Local governments are critical actors in facilitating the transition to a sustainable economy. Public procurement is one of the levers they have at their disposal to do this, with public buyers being responsible for 14% of the EU’s GDP. ICLEI has been supporting public authorities to use their public spending to achieve social and environmental objectives since 1996.

Through projects and flagship networks, such as the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network and the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement, ICLEI provides professional information, advice, networking opportunities, training and tools to public authorities wanting to implement better, more cost effective sustainable and innovation procurement practices. The selected candidate will contribute to this work.

More information about the position can be found here. Apply by 17 September!

Northern Ireland’s Social Value Unit joins Procura+

28 August 2023

Northern Ireland’s Social Value Unit has become the newest addition to ICLEI’s Procura+ Network. The Social Value Unit assists Northern Irelands Government Departments, their agencies and arm’s length bodies to maximise the delivery of social value through public contracts.

Since June 2022, in Northern Ireland all public tenders at or above the thresholds set out in the Public Contracts Regulations must allocate a minimum of 10% of the total award criteria to social value. Departments should score for social value using an outcomes-based framework which has four broad themes:

  • increasing secure employment and skills
  • building ethical and resilient supply chains
  • delivering zero carbon
  • promoting well-being

The Social Value Unit is responsible for developing guidance and training for the implementation of this mandate. It is also working on developing guidance on sustainable procurement more broadly beyond award criteria.

As part of the Procura+ Network, the Social Value Unit aims to network with other peer organisations to share and learn from best practices, obtain more knowledge on how public procurement can play a role in reaching net-zero objectives, and develop meaningful relationships with other relevant stakeholders.

For more information on Northern Ireland’s Social Value Unit, see their Procura+ page.

Urban Agenda Partnership meets in Haarlem to discuss future of public procurement

21 August 2023

On 22 and 23 May Procura+ participant Haarlem hosted the Urban Agenda Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement meeting, as well as the study visit “Shaping the Future of Public Procurement”. During the two days, participants got the opportunity to be updated about the latest developments of the UA Partnership, learn more about the work of relevant European organisations, networks and projects connected to public procurement, and visit the Innovation Hub lab C district.

ICLEI Europe got the opportunity to present the thematic areas of its work, alongside the Procura+ Network. ICLEI also highlighted the Big Buyers Working Together project, which it coordinates on behalf of the European Commission, together with Eurocities and BME. The project invites public buyers across Europe to indicate their main challenges, interests and needs, with the aim to identify priorities and topics for the project's working groups that will focus on improving procurement strategies and supporting sustainable innovation across Europe. The survey is open until the end of August. Other organisations got the opportunity to present projects such as PROTECT, PROCEDIN, LIFE Future Proof Sport Pitches, and Amsterdam Smart City.

The Partnership also discussed the three key actions included in its Action Plan. They are:

  • Develop a reflection board supported by a sustainable platform where cities, regions,member states and the European Commission/institutions exchange ideas and experiences on strategic public procurement.
  • Achieve Green Deal goals by using public procurement and innovation as strategic tools.
  • Enable Sustainable Economic Recovery through public procurement.

In interactive sessions participants shared the main topics and challenges related to these actions, as well as their views on possible solutions and strategies, challenging each other to think out of the box. Based on this discussion, follow up steps were formulated for each of the Action Groups.

Finally, during the study visit to the C-District, participants had the chance to learn more about the innovative and sustainable solutions developed by local producers and entrepreneurs, innovative start-ups emphasizing the accessibility of innovation for SMEs, public authorities, and professionals. The 3D Makers Zone, TZO and More Than Layers are just a few examples of these solutions. To see more of them, and to get more details about the full two days, take a look at the special Urban Agenda Newsletter.

Wallonia uses social clauses in public works contracts

18 July 2023

Procura+ participant Wallonia has been a pioneer in using social clauses in public work contracts. The Belgian region is one of the first public authorities in Europe that has developed a system to monitor the use of social clauses. For these reasons the June GPP newsletter published a case study on social procurement in Wallonia.

Wallonia uses social clauses to achieve the following objectives:

  • Promoting the socio-professional integration of job seekers, apprentices or persons with disabilities.
  • Fostering the contracting authority’s social responsibility, by contributing to the fight against unemployment, the socio-professional integration of young people, disadvantaged/fragile groups.
  • Allowing construction companies to find an answer to the recruitment difficulties they sometimes face.
  • Reinforcing traditional companies’ social responsibility, through the collaboration with social economy enterprises and/or by training job seekers or apprentices on the job.

In 2021, 988 public procurement procedures for works included a social clause, out of which 491 were awarded, while the remaining are still being evaluated or have been awarded, but the collection of data is in process and not available yet. Of the 329 contracts finalised, 76% of the social clauses were fully implemented, 9% were not executed, and 15% were partially executed. Often the lack of execution of a social clause is due to difficult circumstances, such as when the contractor goes bankrupt. In that case the new contractor taking over the contract may find it difficult to execute the social clause.

The use of social clauses has brought some key benefits to Wallonia:

  • Tackling shortages in the construction sector: the use of social clauses in the performance of works contracts allows recruiting trainees and workforce from a disadvantaged background. According to Forem (Employment Agency) figures for 2021, 97% of the trainees involved in the execution of such works’ contracts have been trained in workstations where there is staff shortage or critical availability.
  • Consolidating collaborations between traditional companies and social economy enterprises, both in the framework of public contracts and in bilateral relations: the number of contracts concluded with WISEs increased from 20 in 2016 to 147 in 2021.

More information on Wallonia's use of social clauses can be found here. To find out more about Wallonia's Procura+ activities, visit their Procura+ page.

Call for Contributions – Procura+ Conference (13-14 March 2024)

11 July 2023

On 13 and 14 March 2024, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and the City of Lisbon will host the 11th Procura+ Conference in the Portuguese capital. The conference is a great opportunity for public procurement practitioners to showcase their work to over 250 attendees from across Europe and the world. Interested? Fill in the call for contributions form here!

The call is open to procurement practitioners from local, regional and national government; public authorities; businesses, suppliers, manufacturers; policy makers; legal experts; scientific and research organisations; international and European institutions and agencies. The deadline for the submission of proposals is 15 September 2023 EOB.

Examples of possible contributions include:

  • Good practice examples of implementation, strategies and lessons learnt
  • How procurement addresses societal challenges faced by cities, public authorities and businesses
  • The latest projects, initiatives, research, guidance and tools designed to improve sustainable, circular and innovation procurement practices
  • Working with the private sector
  • Sustainable and innovative product or service solutions

The Procura+ conference is where sustainable, circular and innovation procurement policy meets practice, and procurement innovations originate! It is a dynamic and unique meeting place to exchange and equip participants with the latest information, solutions, advice and networking opportunities.

Contributing at the conference will enable presenting organisations to:

  • Raise your profile and inform participants about your organization’s activities
  • Promote the work and results of your project/initiative
  • Engage with public procurers, policy-makers and multipliers
  • Discuss how better procurement procedures, as well as more sustainable and innovative products and services, can address societal challenges

For any questions or inquiries about potential send an email at: For more information on the conference, visit the conference website:

Applications for 2024 Procura+ Awards now open

7 July 2023

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is happy to announce that applications for the 2024 Procura+ Awards are now open. The Awards reward successful, already running, sustainable, circular and innovation public procurements that have led to significant improvements of public goods, services, processes and infrastructure.

The winners of the previous edition in 2022 were the City of Malmö (Sweden) – Circular Procurement of the Year; the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherland – Innovation Procurement of the Year; the City of Utrecht (Netherlands) – Sustainable Procurement of the Year; the City of Ghent and the VEB (Belgium) – Procurement Initiative of the Year.

This year public authorities can apply in three categories:

  • Sustainable Procurement of the Year: This category will reward procurements which integrate aspects of sustainability, including environmental, economic, circular and social elements. It aims to showcase procurements which include a strategic and therefore holistic approach to implementing public procurement.
  • Innovation Procurement of the Year: This category will reward those procurements which use innovative approaches in their purchasing practices, as well as those that foster innovation by purchasing cutting-edge products, services and works and see the public authority as a launch customer, driving sustainable development.
  • Procurement Initiative of the Year: This category will focus on outstanding public procurement initiatives, such as programmes, policies, actions, guidance and tools that contribute towards strategic, sustainable, circular and innovation procurement.

The deadline for applications is set for 23:59 CET on 15 October 2023. Public authorities can apply through an online form which can be found here. More information concerning the terms and conditions can be found on the Procura+ website.

The Awards ceremony will take place during the Procura+ Conference, taking place in Lisbon on 13 & 14 March 2024. The conference will gather a broad group of public procurement stakeholders to showcase how cities and public authorities can use public procurement to implement step changes that make a big impact. Finalists for the Procura+ Awards will receive a free ticket for the Conference.

Participants in previous editions have highlighted that participating in the Procura+ Award helped them to benchmark themselves and to gain visibility. For winners, it was an excellent way to prove their commitment to sustainability and innovation, as well as to earn internal and external recognition.

Read more about the previous Procura+ Winners here

ICLEI Europe and Lisbon to host 11th Procura+ Conference in March 2024

28 June 2023

Save the date! ICLEI Europe and ICLEI Member Lisbon (Portugal) are proud to announce that the 11th Procura+ Conference will be held in the Portuguese capital from 13-14 March 2024. The conference will showcase how cities and public authorities can use public procurement to implement step changes that make a big impact.

During the conference, cities, public authorities, representatives of the European Commission, business leaders, researchers and other public procurement stakeholders will be able to:

  • Perfect their procurement skills in specialist Breakout Sessions
  • Be inspired to think more strategically by Disruptors and Game Changers
  • Learn from the wisdom of experienced procurers in the Confessions session
  • Engage with peers and learn about their latest tools, actions and initiatives in the Market Lounge
  • Hear how public money is being directed towards technologies and businesses that support an innovative, net zero and just sustainable society
  • Explore the latest policy updates and the future of procurement

In the last 25 years, the Procura+ conference has become one of Europe’s key public procurement events—a conference where sustainable, circular and innovation procurement policy meets practice, and where procurement innovations have originated. It offers public procurement stakeholders a great opportunity to exchange information, build capacity, and network, aiming to accelerate and enable the implementation of high quality, cost effective, sustainable, circular and innovative procurement practices.

To find out more about the conference, visit the Procura+ conference website. More information about the programme, speakers and registration will be made available soon. If you are interested in collaborating, or have any questions about the conference, contact

Big Buyers Working Together extends deadline for consultations on public buyers' needs

26 June 2023

The Big Buyers Working Together (BBWT) Project, coordinated by Eurocities, ICLEI Europe and BME on behalf of the European Commission, aims to help public buyers across Europe to find innovative and sustainable solutions to their current procurement challenges. To build the foundation for four years of collaboration, the Project is currently in the Needs Assessment Phase. All public buyers are invited to participate in the consultations by filling in the Survey. The deadline, previously 25 June, has been extended to give all public buyers an opportunity to voice their needs and recommendations.

When talking about public buyers, BBWT refers to all public purchasing entities, so anyone who is involved in public procurement on a contracting authority’s side, is welcomed to contribute. Filling in the survey takes around 15 minutes and the recommendations can shape the next 4 years of this flagship project. Public procurers that fill in the survey also have the opportunity to join the project.

Based on the Needs Assessment, ten communities of practice will be created on the Public Buyers Community, a new platform developed by the European Commission. Each community of practice will be devoted to the purchase of a specific product, work or service where European collaboration is needed. To support the process of developing more strategic procurement approaches, public buyers will meet regularly online and in person. Additionally, the Big Buyers Working Together Secretariat will facilitate the organising of study visits, market dialogue, producers’ pitching sessions, meetings with industry associations and other events that will respond to identified capacity gaps and community members’ needs.

For more information, visit the project website and watch the recording of the Kick-off Webinar.

Any questions? Reach out to

Malmö promotes accessibility through universal design

7 June 2023

Procura+ participant Malmö (Sweden) has been profiled in the latest GPP News Alert for its decision to embed universal design principles into a 2021 framework contract for the supply of furniture. Universal design principles aim to make physical infrastructure, goods and services accessible to people of all sizes, ages and abilities.

The framework contract Malmö created, required suppliers to provide furniture that can be adapted to accommodate a range of individual preferences and abilities. The suppliers were also asked to actively incorporate universal design principles in a holistic manner in the development of their products and services. Despite some initial reluctance, the suppliers managed to successfully incorporate accessibility considerations within their regular quality and design-process.

The tender also included environmental criteria. The furniture had to include recycled materials and the suppliers had to be able to provide services to upgrade, repaint, repair and replace components that might wear over time. With this Malmö also fulfilled its objectives to purchase products and materials that have a minimal impact on the environment and energy consumption from a life-cycle perspective.

A more in-depth look at this tender and universal design principles can be found here.

Malmö’s Procura+ activities can be found here.