Published: 28 March 2023

IISD study: CO2 Performance Ladder feasable for use in Europe

Ronja Bechauf, Laura Turley, Liesbeth Casier



IISD conducted a feasibility study of using the CO2 Performance Ladder as a procurement tool and CO2 management tool in Europe. Compared to other European carbon tools and approaches, the CO2 Performance Ladder stands out for its track record of use in public procurement, its proven carbon mitigation impact, and its third-party verification system.

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), is investigating the feasibility of the CO2 Performance Ladder in several European countries.

The project – ‘Accelerating decarbonisation through the power of procurement, by dissemination of the CO2 Performance Ladder in Europe’ (CO2PLEU) – researches the possibilities to extend the use of this best practice instrument, towards a Europe wide dissemination. In this way the CO2 Performance Ladder can boost green public procurement and CO2 reduction even further.

Feasibility study

The feasibility study, conducted by IISD, provides insights about the procurement context in 10 European countries: Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. For each of the countries, the study provides information about:

    • Sustainable Public Procurement: What are key priorities and activities in the country? Which tools, instruments and labels are used for sustainable public procurement?

    • Low carbon procurement: What are emission reduction targets in the country? What is the status of low carbon procurement of goods, works and services, and how is this monitored?

The study shows the potential of the CO2 Performance Ladder in 10 studied countries

Key observations by country 

Below Table provides an overview of key observations on the potential for uptake of the CO2 Performance Ladder through public procurement processes in the 10 studied countries. 

The CO2 Performance Ladder in your country?

Interested in reducing carbon emissions in your country with the CO2 Performance Ladder? Get in touch to find out how the Ladder can be used in your organisation as sustainable procurement tool and CO2 management system.

Maud VastbinderGet in touch