Big Buyers share future areas for collaboration

5 February 2021

‘Public procurement is the secret weapon in cities’ climate change arsenal,’ says Eurocities’ Secretary General Anna Lisa Boni. The Big Buyers for Climate and Environment (BBCE) is the opportunity to use this weapon!

Through BBCE, big buyers can work together to implement strategic public procurement for sustainable solutions, and therefore, drive the market for innovation.

In January, we led a needs assessment for 4 themes: construction, mobility, energy, ICT, and health. The survey received an impressive number of contributions from respondents all over Europe. The Big Buyers secretariat (ICLEI & Eurocities) summarised and brought together those needs under 12 potential areas of collaboration:

  • Electric heavy-duty vehicles for waste collection, for street cleaning and maintenance + recharging infrastructure
  • Electric/Hydrogen busses and recharging infrastructure
  • Retrofit of heritage/municipal buildings for energy efficiency and self-sufficiency (e.g. solar panels)
  • Zero-emission construction sites (using electric non-road mobile machinery)
  • Circular construction from demolition to design
  • Recycled plastics in new construction (i.e. road constructions)
  • Urban / smart lighting & 5G
  • Digital twin (for cities or building, use of data to manage energy consumption and other indicators, integration of BIM)
  • AI for data analysis
  • Digital healthcare: Better data collection/analysis, integrated patient flow management system
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Food procurement

In the next week, respondents to the first wave of needs assessment will have the opportunity to choose areas from the list and provide more in-depth detail on their needs. The Big Buyers secretariat will start to engage with each entity through bilateral discussions to better frame their needs.

The four final working groups are to be decided in the coming weeks. Working group activities may include joint market dialogue, experience, knowledge or best practice exchange, development of joint procurement criteria and strategies… and much more.

Working groups will start their collaboration around the end of March 2021 for an indicative period of 2 years. Each group will include around 10 public entities from a variety of EU and EFTA countries with 1-2 buyers as group leads. An additional few buyers will take part as participant observers, to learn from the group with interest to potentially replicate the actions in the future. The Big Buyers secretariat will facilitate the collaboration and, should it be possible, also provide reimbursement for travel and accommodation of in-person meetings.

There is still time to get involved! If you did not answer the first needs assessment but would like to explore the possibilities for your organisations to be involved in one or more of the pre-selected topics, simply send us an e-mail at!