In 2006 the Ministry of the Environment and the three largest municipalities of Denmark (Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense) started the Partnership for Green Public Procurement (GPP). Since then nine municipalities, two regions and a water company have joined. GPP is an effort seeking to protect the environment and drive the market in greener direction by joint procurement measures. The municipalities are responsible for the majority of public procurement and constitute a considerable volume. Today GPP represents ~5,5 billion Euros/year – about 13 % of the annual public procurement in Denmark.

GPP is a shortcut to strengthen the specific work with green procurement and strong signal to suppliers on the market that they must have the best and most environmentally sound products. By setting and using uniform criteria it becomes easier for the suppliers to comply with the criteria. The idea is: the more authorities using GPP's criteria the more effect it will have on the market.

Implemented in

  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Denmark

Sector of activity
Public Procurement

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising

Type of lead actor
Government / public sector

155900 US$

Start date


The work of the Partnership is constructively and openly aimed at developing concrete green procurement criteria and targets that will make a difference to the environment, locally as well as globally, and at solving procurement challenges in targeted working group processes. The green procurement criteria and targets constitute a guide for municipalities wanting to incorporate environmental requirements in their procurement practices. Moreover, the Partnership is an important forum for sharing knowledge and procurement solutions.


As collected through the One Planet Reporting

No activities have yet been reported under this initiative

Impact and Results

Success factors

The growing number of members is a success indicator. Several public entities are interested in joining and the Partnership aims for at least four new members in 2016.

The Partnership supports implementation of environmental requirements on procurement and thus influences the market, making a positive impact on the global and local environment. The working groups allow joint learning and handling of joint implementation challenges, which offers the members a peer support based forum for development of green procurement.


The binding procurement targets are a novelty in the Danish context. The launch of the Partnership has contributed significantly to knowledge sharing between the public procurers, this being another main novelty factor. Innovation takes place in the working groups handling joint implementation challenges, testing means of communication, and discussing the next generation procurement targets. The municipalities and regions have a need to get together and work on ways to bring procurement practices beyond the law to do more for the environment than is required.

Sustainability Impacts

The partners follow the environmental criteria agreed in the Partnership. Following the green procurement criteria has an impact on environment, but the actual total environmental impact has not been calculated. Procurement cases in some member organisations of the partnership show environmental and economic savings. One of the targets of the Partnership for 2014-2016 is to organize a thorough follow-up and collect data on environmental impacts.


The Partnership affects cost-effectiveness of public purchases by encouraging the members to work with the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) methodology, providing good examples on cost effective green procurement and setting e.g. energy efficiency criteria within selected product areas. The members of the partnership have agreed to use TCO calculations when procuring energy using products. Where national TCO methods exist these are the ones used (e.g. lighting and professional refrigerators/freezers).

Challenges and potential for further development

Main challenges of the Partnership include among other actual implementation of the green procurement practices in large organisations; collection of data on the actual volume and impact of green procurement and control of suppliers.

Experiences of the members show that it is a challenge to ensure that all links in the members' procurement practices - from local purchases to local childminder - understand the relevance of procurement objectives and comply with these. Therefore, it is important to work for establishing methods for implementation and follow-up of the partners' organizations.

Next steps and how to get involved

The next steps of the Partnership include expanding the Partnership with new members, enhancing internal exchange of experience in the Partnership, support implementation at local level, following the targets, and ensuring international exchange of experience. Strengthening of knowledge sharing and facilitation of learning are also important next steps. To emphasize the importance of green procurement a Nordic Green Procurement week is hosted in 2015.

Contact persons for more information:
Ann Lea Egebæk, PlanMiljø ApS,
Iben Kinch Sohn, Danish Environmental Protection Agency,