Supply Chain Risks and Opportunities for Sustainable Public Procurement of Kindergarten Equipment

For this project, an analysis was conducted to understand the international supply chains of kindergarten equipment, mainly, wooden beams, training mats made from PE foam and climbing balls made from coconut fibre. The results from this analysis, served as a basis to build a practice-oriented toolkit for the implementation of Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) by reducing the product’s hot spots (negative impacts = footprint) and increasing the sweet spots (positive impacts = handprint). The CSCP was responsible for the entire project including the technical implementation.

The project consisted of three major steps:

  1. Thorough understanding of international supply chains.
  2. Make the results from the analysis relevant in SPP decision-making process.

The first step of the analysis involved NGOs and other independent experts to understand material sourcing and supply chains. The sustainability aspects covered in the analysis were, usage of resources, climate protection, biodiversity, social risks and product safety. Apart from this, the analysis also investigated the “classic” hot spots and sweet spots. For example, positive sustainability impacts or sweet spots are generated along the life cycles of products and they can include the following – safeguarding biodiversity, transparent production steps, and activities in line with circular economy principles.

The second step of the project focused on developing a concept of how to avoid risks and tap into the potential of future procurement by creating a transferable toolbox.

Several measures were taken, and different entry points were developed, which allowed procurers to apply suitable measures depending on the individual circumstances of their organisation. One example would be, an easy-to-apply sustainability standards measure based on the national or federal state level sustainability strategy.

Due to the representative character of the project (range of products, practical potential to implement for procurers), and also through the methodologies and results of the analysis, the process can be transferred to other application cases.

The project was funded by “newtrade nrw – Büro für Nachhaltige Beschaffung”. It was conducted from December 2017 to November 2018.