Launched proCURE, new EU project to implement sustainable and joint procurement in municipalities

2 February 2024

Launched proCURE, new EU project to implement sustainable and joint procurement in municipalities

Joining forces for sustainable procurement in small and medium-sized municipalities. That’s the mission of the new European project proCURE, which aims to implement long-term sustainable and joint procurement in small and medium-sized municipalities.

The public sector and local authorities in particular are key purchasers. Sustainable procurement, i.e. the consideration of social, environmental, and economic aspects in public procurement, is an important measure for governments to play their part. SDG 12 on sustainable consumption and production emphasises the importance of sustainable public procurement for achieving the set goals.

About 14% of Europe’s GDP is spent by public administrations on goods and services of various kinds. ith their large purchasing power, they can influence the market and support sustainable economic structures, contribute to climate protection, reduce pressure on the environment, improve working conditions worldwide, and promote innovation.

However, despite supporting legal and political frameworks in Europe, the concept still has some way to go to tap its full potential. Many public officers find the topic of sustainable procurement complicated and fraught with uncertainty.

In particular small municipalities are struggling when it comes to putting sustainable procurement or even purchasing into practice.

A lack of awareness and conviction on the part of decision-makers and administrative staff, uncertainties about legal possibilities, missing knowledge on the use of sustainability criteria and lack of resources are the most current challenges. proCURE wants to address these by providing appropriate support above all for small municipalities.

The project will provide training materials and practical instructions for the introduction and implementation of sustainable procurement practices in municipalities; a curriculum and teaching materials for schools of public administration to prepare future procurement officers for the challenges they will face; a train-the-trainer course for multipliers and experts to provide vocational training beside established educational institutions; procedures to enable groups of small municipalities to join forces and create common procurement structures; a network of experts on sustainable procurement.

The project runs from November 2023 until October 2025 and involves organisations from Austria (IFZ Graz), Germany (Alliance in the Alps and Agaro), Italy (Fondazione Ecosistemi) and Slovenia (Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia).

Local authorities, schools of public administrations and experts on sustainable procurement interested in being involved are invited to get in touch with Fondazione Ecosistemi.

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