Procurement research project aims to reduce climate impact from infrastructure projects

Procurement research project aims to reduce climate impact from infrastructure projects

Infrastructure projects account for a large portion of the world’s CO2 emissions. One way to reduce the carbon impact is to implement sustainability requirements in the procurement process. The research project Implementation of Procurement Requirements for Sustainable Collaboration in Infrastructure (Impres) aims to study how this can be done most effectively.

“It is easy to formulate and state high requirements in the procurement phase, but there is a problem that they are not always fulfilled in practice and that the follow-up is lacking,” says Anna Kadefors, Professor at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and Research Coordinator for the project.

In the building sector today it is more or less standard to require sustainability assessment schemes to ensure that construction projects meet high environmental standards. Similar schemes also have the potential to be used in the procurement process in infrastructure projects, as a basis for establishing and meeting targets, such as reduced climate impact.

The Impres project will run for two years and is co-funded by the Construction Climate Challenge (CCC) initiative hosted by Volvo Construction Equipment. The overall aim of the project is to contribute to a more efficient implementation of policies and goals for reducing climate impact from the infrastructure sector on a global level, specifically focusing on procurement requirements and the role of international systems for sustainability assessment.

Anna Kadefors

“We will perform case studies on infrastructure projects that have implemented requirements for reduced climate impact in four different countries across the world and look at how they set procurement requirements, how they are implemented and followed up,” says Anna Kadefors.

The expected outcomes of the project are practical recommendations and guidelines for projects on how to use procurement requirements to support systematic sustainability management of construction projects.

“We want to take one step further towards creating a common understanding throughout the value chain of how procurement requirements are and can be used for driving the infrastructure sector towards sustainable development,” says Stefan Uppenberg, Sustainability Consultant at WSP Group and Project Manager for the Impres project.

For the industry the project will bring benefits such as reduced climate impact but also reduced cost.

Stefan Uppenberg

“More companies and actors see that if we are more efficient in the way we work for saving resources and climate, we also save money,” says Stefan Uppenberg.

The research project is co-funded by Construction Climate Challenge (CCC), the Swedish research council Formas through the ProcSIBE project, WSP Group and Skanska. The research is jointly performed by the project partners Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Lund University, WSP Group and Skanska.