Managing a sustainable purchasing strategy – Case Stockholm  

How procurements are taken into account in the city's strategy?   

The strategy is based on the city vision. A Stockholm for everyone – Vision 2040 is the City’s target for socially, financially, ecologically and democratically sustainable development over the coming decades. All city operations, including procurement activities, should work towards the vision.   

The operational goals are decided by the City Council in the annual budget and they apply to all city operations. The Executive Office is responsible for implementation of policy and overall strategic purchasing issues and organizations.   

What are the goals set for the procurements?  

In 2019 overall objective for procurement is, that the city’s procurement and purchasing activities shall promote freedom of choice, cost efficiency, environment- climate- and social sustainability.  

In addition to general level goals, the city has also sector specific goals, which are prescribed by the yearly budget.   

In 2019 Objectives for the Programme for procurement and purchase by categories are:  


Sustainability by categories

How sustainability and innovation is managed in the city’s procurement operations?  

The city has had a Programme for procurement and purchase  since 2016. In the programme social, environmental and innovative aspects work as a guideline for procurements.  

To support ecological aspects, the city has also Environment Programme 2016-2019, which guides to do green public procurements. Industry specific competence centres within the city support contracting entities to do green and environmental procurements in practice. For example, the Centre of Chemicals supports the procurement process with knowledge about how to specify chemical requirements “Non-toxic Stockolm 2030”.  

The objectives and effectivity of procurements are followed with indicators and the executive office is responsible for monitoring purchasing activities throughout the organization.  

How do you use the in-house experts? On what level does your organization involve external actors, such as experts and market players?  

City of Stockholm collaborates at the city level, national level and international level. At the city level different specialist departments have designated areas of responsibility. The city aims to exchange knowledge and experiences between contracting authorities, contractors, suppliers and other stakeholders. For example, City of Stockholm is part of the Nordic Council of Ministers project - Growth through Green Public Procurement, and it has cooperation agreement with the Swedish tax agency.  

Collaboration enables shared costs for monitoring the supply chains. It also creates legitimacy and understanding of sustainable procurement.   

What are the key tools in the management process?  

In the city of Stockholm, the main tool for implementation of the objectives of procurements is Category management.  Successful purchasing is dependent on target sector involvement in both the pre-procurement and post-procurement stages and category management is a way to achieve it. Through category management the city aims to achieve following objectives:  

  • Take advantage of a large purchasing volume  

  • Create conditions to achieve political and overall goals  

  • Control and monitor contracts  

  • Use tax revenue effectively  

Category management removes ambiguities in targeting objectives and due to this, it clarifies the mandate. The model also leads to better purchases by allowing the procurement officers to develop a deeper understanding and knowledge of the business and the supplier market.  

 More information:  

Stefan Nordin, City of Stockholm, Chief Procurement Officer: