16 May 2024

Oslo uses public procurement to reach zero emissions

ICLEI Member Oslo (Norway) is pushing forward to become an emission-free city, with the goal to use only zero emission technologies by 2030. Public procurement is one of the tools the city is using to achieve that goal, as explained by Geir Rossebø (Team Leader Climate & Environment) during the first annual event of the Big Buyers Working Together project, held in Brussels (Belgium) on 24 April.

Big Buyers Working Together, coordinated by Eurocities, ICLEI Europe and BME, on behalf of the European Commission, aims to bring public buyers together to pool their resources and help them gain more power to influence the market to become more socially and environmentally friendly. Sometimes this is difficult due to a lack of political commitment to continue successful sustainability initiatives after their success. Oslo has managed to overcome this by integrating the notion that public procurement can be used to create a zero emission city in its procurement and climate strategies.

As Rossebø notes, “we need to push the market to provide more sustainable products. If we don’t work together, if we are not aligning, it’s difficult to know for market actors in which direction they have to move to become more sustainable and meet our needs.” Within the Big Buyers Working Together project, Oslo is part of the Community of Practice (CoP) on Heavy Duty Electric Vehicles (HDEV). The group will focus on the sustainable public procurement of vehicles used to deliver environmental services, particularly street cleansing and waste collection. In this context, this group seeks to engage the market and gain a better understanding of what suppliers can provide, what technologies are available and what the limitations of these technologies are.

The CoP on HDEV is one of the four CoP’s coordinated by ICLEI Europe. The other CoPs focus on Zero-Emission Construction Sites; Circular Construction; Sustainable Solar Panels; Mobility; Digital; Social; New European Bauhaus; Healthcare Efficiency; Healthcare Sustainability.

Public authorities interested in joining a Community of Practice, are encouraged to send an email to Big Buyers Working Together Secretariat, at