CO2 Performance Ladder to be implemented in Europe

The Foundation for Climate Friendly Procurement and Business (SKAO), together with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Utrecht University Centre for Public Procurement (UUCePP) and ICLEI Europe, will support European countries in implementing the CO2 Performance Ladder in Europe over the next two years. This roll-out of the CO2 Performance Ladder is supported by the IKEA Foundation.

Accelerating CO2 reduction through sustainable procurement

The project 'Accelerating decarbonisation through the power of procurement by disseminating the CO2 Performance Ladder: implementation and expansion' aims to accelerate CO2 reduction in Europe by promoting sustainable procurement through the CO2 Performance Ladder. Research by think tank IISD shows that compared to other sustainability instruments, the CO2 Performance Ladder stands out because of its use in public tenders, its proven impact on CO2 reduction and its third-party verification system. Also, the CO2 Performance Ladder is readily applicable in tenders in Europe. According to renowned research firm CE Delft, the CO2 Performance Ladder is a proven instrument for CO2 reduction, and it has been named by the IPCC, WEF and OECD as best practice for sustainable procurement.

Implementation and roll-out

Parties in Ireland, France, the UK, and Germany have indicated their intention to start working with the CO2 Performance Ladder. In the coming years, several contracting authorities in Europe will use the Ladder to encourage structural CO2 reductions among their suppliers. In the Netherlands and Belgium, the CO2 Performance Ladder is already widely used in public tenders.

In addition, experiences from across the pilots and the Netherlands and Belgium will be shared via 'Communities of Practice', the tenders will be monitored, meetings for companies organised, scientific research will be conducted into the impact of the Ladder as a procurement instrument, and the feasibility of the CO2 Performance Ladder outside Europe will be investigated.

Strategic partners

The project partners will support European countries in implementing the Ladder in various  different ways. Utrecht University will evaluate the CO2 Performance Ladder as a procurement tool from economic and legal perspectives. ICLEI will use its network of cities and municipalities active on green public procurement to increase awareness and understanding of the Ladder, while IISD will investigate the possibilities of deploying the CO2 Performance Ladder outside Europe.

Maud Vastbinder, manager CO2 Performance Ladder Europe: ‘We are delighted to be working with IISD, ICLEI and Utrecht University to make a success of the CO2 Performance Ladder in Europe, and that the IKEA Foundation has confirmed its confidence in the impact the CO2 Performance Ladder can make internationally. With the CO2 Performance Ladder, Europe gains a powerful sustainability tool to promote green public procurement.'

Why green public procurement?

Green public procurement (GPP) gives companies an important incentive to operate sustainably. European governments spend around €1.8 trillion annually, representing about 14% of the EU's gross domestic product. At the same time, public procurement accounts for as much as 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Although GPP is considered an effective policy tool to combat climate change, many European countries still face obstacles in implementing such a policy. One of the problems is a lack of practical sustainability tools.

You can help us, join us!

We would like to strengthen our international network. If you can help us, we would love to hear from you! For more information contact or go to the website

Read more about the roll-out of the CO2-Performance Ladder in Europe here.