CO2 Performance Ladder in Europe

Over the past 12.5 years, the CO2 Performance Ladder has developed into a successful procurement instrument that helps organisations to reduce CO2 emissions and costs. Due to increasing international interest (including a pilot project in Belgium), the Foundation for Climate Friendly Procurement and Business (SKAO), together with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), will investigate whether the CO2 Performance Ladder can also be used in Europe. For this project SKAO receives financial support from the IKEA Foundation.

What is the project?

For the last twelve years, the CO2 Performance Ladder has been responsible for a significant reduction of companies’ and governments’ CO2 emissions in the Netherlands.

The project, Accelerating carbon emissions reduction through the power of procurement, by dissemination of the CO2 Performance Ladder in Europe project (CO2PLEU), will research the possibilities to disseminate this best practice instrument, and in so doing boost green public procurement and CO2 reduction.

  • In short, The project begins with a quick scan of countries, regions and buyers groups, resulting in an overview of the situation – and the opportunities – across Europe.
  • The results of the quick scan will feed into the next stage: the feasibility study, which will research a few candidates in more depth and eventually result in expressions of interest from local parties to set up pilot projects implementing the ladder.
  • Lessons learned from the twelve year history of the ladder in the Netherlands, and the current pilot in Belgium, will provide important insight for potential new initiatives.
  • Throughout the project, care will be taken to align with broader developments such as the European Green Deal.

The project runs for 1.5 years, from August 2021 to January 2023.

The project is based on the theory that green public procurement can result in a green revolution among companies and their supply chains: a theory that has been demonstrated in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The more procuring parties implement green public procurement, the bigger the impact on companies and their supply chains. Procurement accounts for €1.8 trillion of public spending in the EU alone, or 14% of EU GDP. Government spending power can trigger a green revolution.

Which organisations are involved?

  • SKAO, the Foundation for Climate friendly Procurement and Business, is the independent owner and manager of the CO2 Performance Ladder, and manages this project

Alongside SKAO, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) will lead the quick scan and feasibility studies.

COLogic leads the pilot in Belgium and will contribute to the lessons learned in Belgium

This project is supported by the IKEA Foundation.

How can you get involved?

Get in touch!

  • Tell us about the GPP situation in your country, region or sector (as part of the Quick scan and feasibility study).
  • Connect us to your network.
  • Invite us to explain more about the CO2 Performance Ladder and the project.

And who knows, maybe because of your recommendation, we will be able to start a pilot in that country, region or sector! To get in touch, please send an email to 

Do you want to download and share our one pager? You can do that here.