BuyZET handbook: public procurement for sustainable transport

For many European cities today, addressing traffic congestion and reducing transport related emissions of CO2, noise and harmful local pollutants, is a key priority. Cities are looking to reduce the number of motorised vehicle trips in the urban area, encourage a modal shift towards cleaner forms of transportation, such as walking, cycling and public transportation and foster the use of zero emission vehicles.

At the same time, it is imperative that such changes occur without reducing the overall mobility of, or placing undue financial strain on, citizens and businesses. Municipalities and other public authorities across Europe spend huge amounts of money on the purchase of goods, services and works each year. According to European Commission estimates, public procurement accounts for 14% of EU GDP1. A very wide variety of items are procured, from office supplies, to canteen catering services, from street furniture to the construction of municipal buildings. In almost every case some form of transportation of people or products is required to deliver the contract.

The BuyZET project aimed to understand the impact of this spending on transportation flows in EU urban areas, to see how procurement may be used to best support the shift to sustainable mobility. Procurement activities can be divided into different categories with regards their impact on transportation patterns: vehicles, transportation services, goods, construction and other services. BuyZET brought together a group of ambitious cities, led by Copenhagen, Oslo and Rotterdam, who wished to explore how they can promote the zero emission urban delivery of goods and services through their procurement actions.

The BuyZET just published their handbook. The main focus of the BuyZET Handbook is how public authorities can adjust their procurement of general goods and services to help promote sustainable urban transportation patterns.

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