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Unpacking Mechanisms to Embed Sustainability in Public Infrastructure Procurement to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

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Public institutions spend a large portion of their budgets on the procurement of goods, services and works related to the service delivery of infrastructure. For example, public money is spent for the design and construction of new infrastructure, the continued operations and maintenance of existing infrastructure, the refurbishment and retrofitting of existing infrastructure, and/or the decommissioning of infrastructure that has reached its end-of-life.  With this in mind, embedding sustainability in strategic infrastructure planning and procurement processes can yield great benefits to organisations looking to reduce costs, achieve carbon neutrality goals and play a role in stimulating a green economy. 

One way is to capacitate public procurers to understand, collate and assess the total costs of an infrastructure over its entire lifecycle – meaning not just the initial capital costs, but the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)- will drive the implementation of resource efficient specifications that achieve Value for Money and reduce environmental impacts.

This Deep Dive unpacks various approaches, tools and processes in public infrastructure procurement to achieve carbon neutrality, and reflects on why Sustainable Procurement matters in the context of the climate crisis and post-COVID 19 recovery agendas. 

Viewers will hear from the City of Helsinki (Finland), Western Cape Government (South Africa) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). 

The session gives you the opportunity to 

  • dive deep into best practices around carbon-neutral public infrastructure, 
  • engage with procurement peers from around the world, 
  • discuss how to practically apply for example TCO to also achieve climate and post-COVID 19 recovery targets.


  • Jehan Bhikoo, Professional Officer, ICLEI Africa Secretariat, South Africa
  • Josefine Hintz, Officer, ICLEI European Secretariat, Germany


  • Sello Mphaga, City Sustainability, City of Tshwane, South Africa
  • Edwin Bath, Deputy Director: Property Acquisitions, Western Cape Government, South Africa
  • Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, Project Director, Carbon Neutral Helsinki City of Helsinki, Finland
  • Francini van Staden, Department of Environment Affairs and Development Planning, Western Cape Government, South Africa
  • Machiel Crielaard, Senior Advisor Resource Efficiency, Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and Water Management, The Netherlands
  • María Celeste Lemos, Environmental Policy and Strategy Directorate of the Environmental Protection Agency, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina

The sessions are organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and supported by the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement, Procura+ Africa and the One Planet Network Sustainable Procurement Programme.