According to Eurostat calculations, the value of public procurements in Finland in 2010 was €35 billion, which is approximately 19.4% of Finnish GDP. The majority of procurement (nearly 75%) was undertaken by municipalities, joint municipal authorities and other public organisations.
In 2013, the Finnish government launched a decision-in-principle on the promotion of responsible purchasing and environmental and energy solutions (cleantech-solutions) in public procurement. The goal of the decision was not only to reduce energy and material consumption, but also to create incentives for the creation and implementation of new cleantech solutions – i.e. eco-innovations.
As the governmental decision is only a recommendation, it is necessary for the municipalities to have an active role in implementation and application. This underlines the importance of the policies and actual procurement processes made by the municipalities and other local authorities.
The Strategic Procurement Programme for the City of Lahti is a city level plan for the strategic use of public procurement including PP targets and instruments related to business, innovation and employment policy, environmental policy and the productivity and quality of public service production.
The plan includes concrete targets, performance based-specifications and measures, with a special weight given to the role of procurement in supporting eco-innovative business by providing them with opportunities for important first pilots and references. The plan focuses on four main targets:
- More strategic use of public procurement;
- More intensive early-phase market dialogue, including better understanding of the market, and better opportunities for the companies to product/service development;
- Extended and systematic use of innovation-supporting procurement models (e.g. use of functional definitions);
- Extended use of environmental criteria.
To ensure that ‘environmentally friendly’ businesses do in fact meet the requirements of the Act, they can be required to submit reports and officials are entitled to inspect facilities to verify their operations meet specifications.
The Strategic Procurement Programme for the City of Lahti was launched in 2013 so that the uptake of the concrete practices is ongoing and further development will be planned according to the first results of the Programme.
The maturity of the Strategic Procurement Programme is estimated to be 7 on the GML scale.