The project enables the participating public organizations, mostly municipalities, to try out new and innovative public procurement strategies and practices, aimed at supporting their sustainability agenda.
Fundamental changes are needed in core societal systems, in particular those related to food, mobility, and energy. In the Norwegian public sector, most organizations have already declared sustainability as a core issue, but now need to translate this into relevant practices.
The Norwegian central government expects regions and local communities (as key actors in the transition towards greater sustainability), to implement concrete plans resulting in a more sustainable environment and society , building on the 2015 UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) for 2030.
In that context, public procurement is an important instrument. The project aims to innovate the way public organizations procure food and catering services, and show how they can prioritize sustainability goals, linked to customers´ needs, and involving a variety of suppliers including small and medium enterprises.
There are 14 partners involved in the project: two universities (OsloMet-AFI and UiO), Difi (the national expertise centre on procurement), and 12 public organizations involved in public procurement (11 municipalities and one university: OsloMet).
These organizations have all expressed the ambition to procure more sustainable food and catering services through experimenting with new and innovative ways of sustainable public procurement in the food and catering sector. In this project, innovation is seen as a continuous process of learning by failing, rather than innovation as a newly-to-be-introduced product or process. The partners involved innovate with support of experts and peers.