2 May 2023

New phase in sustainable public procurement project enhances collaboration between public buyers

The Big Buyers Working Together (BBWG) project, coordinated by Eurocities, ICLEI and BME on behalf of the European Commission, has kicked off its third phase. Following the successful pilots of four working groups between 2019 and 2022, in this new phase the project will establish ten working groups, following a needs assessment on the most relevant product, services and works among public buyers across Europe.

BBWG aims to promote and facilitate collaboration between big public buyers in implementing strategic public procurement for sustainable solutions. By working together, and pooling their resources, cities, central purchasing bodies, and other major public procurers can maximise their market power and impact and drive demand for innovative and sustainable goods and services.

The four Working Groups established in the previous editions of the project focused on procuring, respectively, Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicles for Waste Collection and Street Cleaning, Circular Asphalt, Zero-Emission Construction Sites and Digital Solutions in the Healthcare Sector. Among the main outcomes of the project were commitment documents such as The Joint Statement of Demand of the Working Group on Zero Emission Construction Sites and The Joint Declaration of Intent of the Working Group on Circular Construction. Other outcomes also include a comprehensive analysis of market gaps and a mapping of all available electric heavy-duty vehicles and their specifications, both developed by the Working Group on Heavy Duty Electric Vehicles.

A bottom-up needs assessment will help define the ten Working Groups that will be established in this next phase of BBWG. The needs assessment will take place in three phases. The first phase will include collection of preliminary information on procurement sectors of interest for strategic procurement collaboration, their potential impact, and specific unmet needs. Based on the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data collected during Phase 1, the second and the third phases of the Needs Assessment will include further analysis and sorting of needs and interests through dialogue and engagement activities.

Participants in these working groups will find a space on the Public Buyers Community, a platform developed under the umbrella of the European Commission. Each Working Group here will have its designated collaboration area. The Public Buyers Community was launched on 19 April and complements the European Commission’s strategy to improve public procurement in the EU by bringing together public authorities and other stakeholders. The platform is an online space where public procurers can find relevant news, events, resources and projects, enabling them to work in close collaboration to pool their resources, tools and expertise, and maximise their purchasing power and impact.

To learn more about ICLEI’s work in sustainable procurement, click here.