Sustainable Public Procurement Programme

Sustainable Public Procurement Programme

Current Stage: Launched

The SPP programme was formally launched on 1 April 2014, on the margins of the 10th session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in UN Headquarters in New York.

Background: Building on a 10-year journey

The 10YFP Programme on SPP further amplifies and extends the impact of the Sustainable Public Procurement Initiative (SPPI), which was launched in June 2012 at the Rio+20 Conference ( The SPPI was itself a continuation of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement, led by the government of Switzerland from 2005 until 2011. To view the main achievements of the Marrakech Task Force, please visit



1. Build the case for SPP: improve the knowledge on SPP and its effectiveness as a tool to promote sustainable consumption and production, support greener economies and sustainable development.

2. Support the implementation of SPP on the ground through increased collaboration, and better access to capacity building tools and support through SPP experts.

Work Areas

The SPP programme work plan is organized around 4 main pillars, delivered by time bound and results oriented working groups led by partner organizations.

1. Work Area 1: “Implementing SPP on the Ground”.

This work area focuses on the following goals: 1) Enhancing cooperation and communication between support organizations and implementing entities; 2) Promoting South-South cooperation on SPP implementation; and 3) Supporting SPP implementation by providing technical assistance and resources in the form of information and capacity building tools, trust fund support, etc. To achieve those goals effectively this group is divided into four sub-groups: 
i. Harmonizing and improving SPP Implementation Methodologies
ii. Improving and Exchanging Capacity Building and Information Tools
iii. Collaborating with Central and Local Governments
iv. Collaborating with Multilateral Development Banks


Informational webinars have been held every two months since April 2014, focusing on the work done on SPP by one 10YFP SPP Programme Partner. The objective of these webinars is to enhance cooperation between support organizations and implementing entities; and improve communication between support and implementing organizations. The following presentations were successfully completed so far:
• IISD – April 2014 
• CEGESTI – July 2014
• India Railways – September 2014
• Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council – November 2014
• US EPA – December 2014 

In addition, a concept note is being developed for the group “Implementing SPP on the ground” aiming to encouraging joint project development among SPP programme partners, offering direct support to SPP projects, and promoting best practices worldwide through implementation-oriented projects and initiatives, such as ICLEI’s Procura+ Campaign and Global Lead Cities Initiative and UNEP SPP projects (ASEAN+3, SPPEL, EaP Green).

2. Work Area 2: “Assessing Implementation & Impacts” has 3 sub-groups:

A. “Monitoring and Evaluating SPP implementation”: reviews different approaches for measuring and evaluating the impact of SPP and its contribution to green economy and sustainable development. Ecoinstitut, the working group leader, is working to produce several deliverables: a concept map of different kinds of monitoring and evaluation systems, in-depth case studies of 6 countries’ M&E systems, a pilot project, and final recommendations on specific M&E systems.


Final recommendations for efficient systems to monitor SPP implementation were produced in March 2015. These recommendations build on several activities, which took place between October 2014 and February 2015, such as collection of case studies on monitoring SPP implementation; drafting of preliminary policy recommendations for efficient systems to monitor SPP implementation; and an analysis of the public agencies’ ability to implement the working group’s recommendations for better SPP M&E systems. The final recommendations will be published in the second quarter of 2015.

B. “Measuring impacts and communicating benefits created by SPP”: builds upon the work of the first sub-group to see how organizations can take their monitored SPP, calculate the environmental, social, and economic benefits, and then subsequently communicate those impacts to others. The main deliverables of the working group are a paper on methodologies and recommendations, pilot work, and case studies. The group will be led by the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC).


A final Baseline Review Report on Measuring and Communicating the Benefits of Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP)  was issued in February 2015 by the. Check it out on the Global SCP Clearinghouse or through the direct link Baseline Review Report.

Ongoing activities include a Framework Guidance on “Measurement & Communication of Sustainable Public Procurement Benefits” with pilot test of the framework and supporting methodologies which will be produced in May-June 2015.

C. “Promoting best practices”: is led by UNEP and OECD and has produced a compendium of case studies from 21 countries around the world on best practices in the implementation of Green Public Procurement. To read the compendium and learn more about OECD's work in the area of Green Public Procurement, please visit


The regional ASEAN+3 chapter of the working group is currently being developed. The regional working group will aim at promoting Green Public Procurement in the ASEAN+3 region by compiling best practices showcasing the successful examples in the field of GPP. It will present innovative approaches used to overcome barriers to GPP and the use of ecolabelling by different public authorities in ASEAN+3.

3. Work Area 3: “Addressing barriers to SPP implementation and Promoting Innovative Solutions” – this area investigates some of the problems that prevent SPP from being further implemented, as well as the creative ways that some organizations have found to surpass those obstacles, through the work of 3 sub-groups:

A. “Integrating Product Service Systems (PSS) into SPP”: is led by the USEPA and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and looks at the sustainability gains associated with replacing the purchase of products with the purchase of services or a products-services mix. The main deliverables of this group are a position paper on product-service systems, 6-7 case studies, a training module, and a fact sheet.


A Technical Report on the Use of Product-Service Systems to enhance Sustainable Public Procurement was produced in the first quarter of 2015 The report will be published in the second quarter of 2015.

Forthcoming activities include the development of a training module for policymakers on integrating PSS in Green Public Procurement practices; and a factsheet providing summary findings and directing readers to more detailed information sources on potential use of PSS in green public programs.

B. “Overcoming legal barriers”: aims at supporting national experts involved in the reform of public procurement legal frameworks, as well as identifying best practices in the field of legal reviews.

C. “Including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)”: will focus on the social side of SPP, investigating how public procurers can avoid the oft-encountered problem of the exclusion of SMEs from SPP.

4. Work Area 4: “Collaborating with the private sector”: the focus shifts to how the public sector can communicate and work with the private sector to forward the cause of SPP. This area includes 2 sub-groups:

A. “Greening supply chains”: In this group the Swedish Environmental Management Council (SEMCo) leads the effort in looking at how SPP relates to and interacts with sustainable supply chain management. The main output of the group is a pre-study that takes an in-depth look at two specific products – cotton textiles and timber products. To download the final report, published on 30 June 2014, click here.


A Pre-Study on the Sustainability of Supply Chains and Sustainable Public Procurement was produced in June 2014. Check it out on the Global SCP Clearinghouse or through the direct link Sustainability of Supply Chains Pre-Study.

B. “Supporting SPP implementation through the use of ecolabels and sustainability standards”: is led by ISEAL Alliance and focuses on addressing the challenges associated with the use and integration of ecolabels and voluntary standards into SPP. Some of the biggest deliverables of this group include the development of a training module for incorporating ecolabels into SPP, use of that module to train trainers, production of an overview report on how ecolabels play into SPP, and the development of a network and resource hub on SPP & Ecolabelling.


A research report on opportunities for ecolabels and voluntary standards to support sustainability at 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and beyond will be prepared by the working group 4b through its regional ASEAN+3 component. 

Principles of Sustainable Public Procurement

Another significant achievement of the SPP Programme worth being noted is the adoption by the Multistakeholder Advisory Committee of the Sustainable Public Procurement Principles, which were publicly released in March 2015. To learn more about the Principles of Sustainable Public Procurement, click here

10YFP Trust Fund: Sustainable Public Procurement projects selected

The 10YFP Trust Fund call for proposals of the SPP Programme was launched in December 2014 to provide financial support to projects focusing on SPP implementation. The pre-screening of proposals by the 10YFP Secretariat and the evaluation of applications by the MAC members were completed in February 2015. 

Three projects have been pre-approved to receive 10YFP Trust Fund support under the first call for proposals on SPP: in South Africa, a proposal from the Western Cape Government in cooperation with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD); in Uruguay, a proposal from the Ministry of Environment, the National Procurement Agency, in cooperation with UNOPS; and in the Philippines, a proposal from the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development and the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department of Quezon City. 

Structure and Regional Distribution

The 10YFP SPP Programme is led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and co-led by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Korea Environment Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI). A Multistakeholder Advisory Committee oversees the programme’s implementation, and work area coordinators carry out each specific working group’s tasks.

Click here for a complete list of our partners.

For more complete information on the objectives, the work areas and contributions of the SPP Programme, please refer to the template.

Interested in joining?

The SPP Programme is open to all organizations and individual experts that are interested in joining a collaborative platform to support the implementation of SPP.

Why should I join?

  • Access a rich, expansive network of organizations and individuals all working together to foster the implementation SPP. 

  • Share your experience and learn from others 

  • Benefit from advice and technical support on SPP implementation 

  • Apply for financial support for SPP activities in developing countries through the 10YFP Trust Fund, which issues calls for proposals on a periodic basis.

Download the application form to join the SPP programme!

For more information, download our first newsletter.     

Contact us: