Sustainable public procurement and supply chains

The EU public procurement law aims to open the market of public contracts by ensuring equal treatment, transparency, and open competition in the award of public contracts at the internal market. 






The EU public procurement law aims to open the market of public contracts by ensuring equal treatment, transparency, and open competition in the award of public contracts at the internal market. At the same time, since its inception, public procurement has been used as a policy tool (e.g. to fight unemployment). Over the last decades, public authorities' main focus has been on savings through buying for the lowest price to show efficiency and responsibility for their spending while adhering to the EU procurement law. This approach has been proven to be short-sided from the perspective of purchases quality or negative consequences such practices have for society (social dumping) and the planet (climate change). With the introduction of the 2014 EU Procurement Directives, Sustainable Public Procurement has been promoted as a strategic tool to achieve SDGs and the EU Green Deal goals. However, the fundamental challenge of reconciling the potentially conflicting goals embedded in the public procurement regime remains. So does the challenge of understanding the spillover effects of new procurement practices on the contractual relationship between the public entity and private business partner.

This project addresses the above-described challenges in public procurement and supply chains. 


SAPIENS is the first training network and academic research project integrating SPP as a sub-discipline within the scientific field of sustainable public procurement studies.

The objective of the SAPIENS is to foster interdisciplinary research into the evolving use of public procurement to address the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century with a view to create a significantly increased European knowledge base and research capacity on the law, the economics and the business sciences of SPP, thus helping Europe in addressing social and environmental challenges

PhD Project: Sustainable Public Procurement tools to fight climate change

Federica Muscaritoli

The objective of the project is to develop SPP tools to combat climate change at the global level, which is crucial to achieving SDG 12. Fresh interdisciplinary, in-depth analysis of the emerging tools at the global level to create a theoretical model shedding light on the impact of various SPP tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be carried out. Analysis of the relationship between national buyers and global and local suppliers of these mechanisms. Specific focus is given to the form of collaboration between the stakeholders to solicit SPP.

Main external collaborating researchers:


The objectives of the project are 1) to share experiences with specifying tender requirements for public food procurement across the EU Member States, 2) to assess the legal constraints for sourcing local and seasonal food, 3) to develop standards and/or certificates for sustainable food procurement that will enhance the position of farmers in the public procurement system and 4) to co-create and adopt a decision support system to assist public authorities in specifying tender requirements for local and seasonal food.

The project forms WP4 of the larger project COCOREADO - Connecting Consumers and producers to Rebalance farmers' position through ambassadors Training focussing on farmers as key players in innovative food supply chains and as suppliers for public procurement. The EU-funded COCOREADO project applies a multi-actor method and a deep understanding of agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS) based on ambassadorship, good practices, and training.


  • Associate Professor Christian Bugge Henriksen (PLEN UCPH)
  • Line Rise Nielsen (PLEN UCPH)
  • Marko Debeljak (Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia)


Bestek Public Procurement Central is a one-stop-shop for all matters regarding EU public procurement law research. The platform includes a blog, videos and podcast focusing on contemporary public procurement law issues. The project is a collaboration between Marta Andhov (CEPRI) and Willem Janssen (Utrecht University Centre for Public Procurement).



For an updated list of publications, please visit the individual scholar's profile.







































Name Title Image
Andhov, Marta Associate Professor Billede af Andhov, Marta
Hansen, Ole Professor Billede af Hansen, Ole
Muscaritoli, Federica PhD Fellow Billede af Muscaritoli, Federica
Ulfbeck, Vibe Garf Head of Centre, Professor Billede af Ulfbeck, Vibe Garf

Student assistant

Name Title
Mikulic, Sven  Student assistant


lement Salung PetersenPI Associate Professor
Marta Andhov

Faculty of Law
University of Copenhagen
South Campus, Building: 6B.3.51
Karen Blixens Plads 16
DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Phone: (45) 35 33 54 71

Funding - Subproject 1

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956696

Innovative Training Network (ITN), which has been awarded a Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions grant of €3.9 million. SAPIENS combines ten universities from eight countries led by the University of Turin and non-academic partners in seven countries.

Funding - Subproject 2

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 101000573

Subproject 3: Bestek platform