Green Public Procurement within Copenhagen Municipality´s Construction Sector

Synnøve Berntsen & Jeffrey Manner

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis conducts an in-depth investigation into the implementation of Green Public Procurement (GPP) within the construction sector of Københavns Kommune (KK). We take on Grounded Theory as our research strategy, with the aim of developing a model suited for the specific empirical case of GPP in KK’s construction sector. The combination of GPP as a tool for achieving sustainable development, the magnitude of Danish public procurement and KK’s ambitious climate targets, immediately captured our attention. However, it was the surprising results of a major GPP study from 2009 that solidified our further investigation and eventually this thesis. The study, Collection of statistical information on Green Public Procurement in the EU, by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC et al., 2009), revealed that Denmark is lagging considerably behind the other Green-7 nations (Austria, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom) on GPP progress in the construction sector. The consequences of Denmark’s lack of GPP progress within the construction sector are magnified by the sector’s unique financial and environmental GPP potential. With these realizations in mind, we set out on a research journey with the purpose of explaining the discrepancy between GPP’s progress and potential within the construction sector of KK. Through analysis of the European Union’s tender database and a series of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, we gain significant insights into the current progress and practices of GPP in KK’s construction sector. Our findings support those of PWC et al. (2009) and we determine that a GPP discrepancy is still present in KK. Furthermore, these insights allow us to identify barriers that can explain this discrepancy. Through our analysis, barriers to GPP progress are observed on three distinct levels: political, organizational and practical. Additionally, we identify external influences that have indirect negative impacts on GPP’s progress in KK. These realizations led to our development of the Berntsen-Manner Model, which addresses barriers at the different levels, as well as external influences. To further strengthen our analysis, we apply Hydén’s Norm- Model as a complementary analytical tool to highlight the importance of values and motivation to GPP’s progress. Following these findings, we outline some recommendations meant for KK’s public procurement authorities.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Strategic Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages132