**Winner of Procura+ Award Procurement Initiative of the Year 2019**

Zurich is the largest Swiss city with over 400,000 inhabitants and a public procurement budget of over €1.6 billion per year. Zurich was a founding Participant of Procura+ and a European frontrunner for sustainable procurement. The city has had sustainability as a specific target on its political agenda since 1998.


  • Switched to 100% organic cotton shirts for police force as well as for T-shirts and polo shirts as working clothes.
  • 7 Milestones for Energy and Resource Efficient Building Construction and Management in place since 2002
  • Since 2005 all publicly owned buildings in Zurich have to be built with recycled concrete, since 2015 CO2-reduced cement, using slag sand instead of conventional clinker, is used.
  • In 2019 awarded for the third time by Solidar Suisse as municipality with the best social and ethical procurement practices in Switzerland
  • Is reusing curbstones for sidewalk construction to avoid mining and worker exploitation
  • Work Clothes in caring homes, shirts, blouses, softshell jackets and waistcoats of Zurichs public transport company, T-shirts, poloshirts and sweatshirts as working clothes are from fair traded textiles.
  • Transparency in the supply chain is asked for products with social hotspots in work conditions such as curb stones or textiles








Sonja Gehrig

Project Manager Department of Environmental Policy

WEBSITE (German)


More information? Email procurement@iclei.org  



Zurich has had a Sustainable Procurement policy in place since 2008. The vision/goals are "The City of Zurich conducts its procurement activities according to the principles of sustainable procurement. With our economic, social and ecological commitments we lead by example".

Based on the sustainable procurement policy Zurich has adopted the guidelines for fair procurement (2010) and how to implement environmental friendly procurement (2014).


Zurich monitors all the product and service sectors in which there is an additional policy for SPP. This includes buildings, green electricity, food, recycled paper, sustainable wood, IT equipment and vehicles.


Zurich’s Environmental Protection and Health Agency recently hosted a three-day visit for European practitioners to showcase their experience in reusing and recycling construction and demolition waste (CDW). Experts from The Metropolitan City of Rome Capital and the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority, HSY,  travelled to Zurich to get inspired and learn about the reuse of concrete used for buildings (recycled concrete). Read more here.





In 2002, the 7 Milestones for Energy and Resource Efficient Building Construction and Management were established, incorporating several energy standards used in Switzerland and across Europe, notably the MINERGIE standard. 2014 more than 90 % of new buildings reached the Minergy-ECO and 75 % of refurbished buildings met the MINERGIE-modernisme standards for energy efficiency. Until 2016 this will be equivalent to 300,000 m² of new buildings and 210,000 m² of refurbished buildings which meet the MINERGIE standards for energy efficiency.


The City of Zurich purchases a wide variety of textiles to meet the needs of its police department and other municipal services. A successful pilot in 2009 led to the decision to switch to 100% organic cotton shirts for Zurich’s police force. While the raw material costs for organic cotton are higher than non-organic, the overall effect on the price of the finished garments is minimal. Based on this pilot the new workwear for nursing homes is in organic cotton and fair trade quality.


Since 2006, the city of Zurich has CO2 targets for the whole fleet (2100 vehicles in different categories). In addition, the urban vehicle policy draws the entire life cycle into consideration: from procurement to disposal of vehicles. Priority is given to electrical vehicles.