Sustainable Procurement Observatory

The Sustainable Procurement Observatory (SPO) was created in November 2021 as part of a wider initiative to monitor and give insight into the current and future state of sustainable procurement in Denmark.


The Observatory relies on multiple methods of data collection from our network of procurement professionals:

  • Bi-annual surveys
  • Content analysis of company sustainability (or CSR) reports
  • Interactive workshops incl. Delphi studies

The Observatory also operates a barometer which monitors annual developments in sustainable procurement strategy, training, supplier monitoring and development.

We collaborate with the Danish Purchasing & Logistics Forum (DILF - and the Danish Association for Public Procurers (IKA: These collaborations ensure access to a wide network of private and public sector procurement professionals with interests in sustainability.  

In 2021 the observatory surveyed the following sustainable procurement issues:

  • Use of code of conduct in supplier selection processes
  • Supplier monitoring and mentoring (developmental) practices
  • Sustainable procurement training
  • Corporate sustainability due diligence requirements

In 2023-2025 the observatory will focus on:

  • Measurement and reporting of sustainability impacts
  • Sourcing of eco-innovations from suppliers
  • Development of circular procurement

The Sustainable Procurement Observatory aims to create both practical and academic impact. On the one hand, results from our work help companies to benchmark themselves against other companies and inspire new sustainable procurement practices. On the other hand, we aim to contribute to sustainable procurement research knowledge and develop new sustainable procurement theories. Results are therefore published in both practitioner-focused magazines including DILF-Aktuelt, and at international academic conferences and journals. [LINK TO ‘PAPERS AND DISSEMINATION” PAGE]

The active CBS faculty involved in the project are:

For more information about the Sustainable Procurement Observatory, please contact:

Christina Merolli Poulsen



As part of the outcome of our research, we produce academic publications and publications in national and international practitioner magazines. Below you will find links to some of the most recent of our dissemination activities. Papers are both in Danish and in English.

Bæredygtigt indkøb styrkes gennem nyt CBS-initiativ

Authors: Kim Sundtoft Hald & Thomas Johnsen

Abstract: CBS har netop startet et nyt forskningsprojekt om bæredygtigt indkøb. I denne artikel forklarer vi om baggrunden for dette projekt, hvorfor det netop er vigtigt at fokusere på bæredygtigt indkøb lige nu, hvad bæredygtigt indkøb i det hele taget er, og hvorfor det nogle gange opfattes som svært at implementere i praksis. Et andet hovedfokus i artiklen er at fortælle om, hvad vi arbejder med i vores projekt, og hvad vi og samfundet, herunder virksomhederne og de studerende, får ud af det.

Published in: DILFAktuelt DECEMBER 2021 UDGAVE NR. 14, 34-38.

PDF iconbaeredygtigt_indkob_styrkes_gennem_nyt_cbs_initiativ.pdf


The ‘sustainable procurement initiative’: CBS lancerer nyt project om bæredygtige indkøb

Authors: Kim Sundtoft Hald, Thomas Johnsen, Britta Gammelgaard, Sofia Wiik, Andreas Wieland, and Philip Beske-Janssen

Abstract: Denne artikel forklarer baggrunden for det bæredygtige indkøbsinitiativ. Artilen giver et overblik over de to indsatsområder der har fokus på henholdsvis: 1. modenhed og strategier for øget udbredelsen af bæredygtigt indkøb i virksomheden og 2. opbygning af et bæredygtig indkøbs-observatorium.

Published in: Effektivitet (3), 2021 pp. 24-25.



The state of sustainable procurement in Denmark: first results from the CBS Sustainable Procurement Observatory

Authors: Thomas Johnsen, Philip Beske-Janssen, & Andreas Wieland

Abstract: This article reports the findings from the first Sustainable Procurement Observatory survey. For this first round we set out to explore how some common sustainable procurement practices are used in Danish companies. We were able to obtain complete answers from 43 senior procurement professionals. The results indicate that the majority of Danish companies in our sample have codes of conduct in place as part of the supplier selection process. What’s more, about 2/3 rely on supplier questionnaires and 1/2 audit their suppliers. However, the findings were less encouraging on other practices; few Danish companies have dedicated internal sustainable procurement training programmes in place or training programmes with suppliers. Likewise, only about ½ companies have joint projects with suppliers to develop green technology or green product solutions and most of these are occasional rather than frequent. A little over half of the respondents rarely or never collaborate with stakeholders as part of sustainable procurement efforts. Overall, the results indicate that Danish companies appear to be engaging in a range of sustainable procurement activities but many companies don’t seem to go beyond the basics.

Published in: DILFAktuelt JUNI 2022 UDGAVE NR 17, 30-37.

PDF icondilfaktuelt_juni-2022-state.pdf


As part of the strategic initiative we have arranges a set of events and workshops for the participating case-companies. Below you can find a brief overview of these past events.

Workshop with Observatory members

Date: 21 November 2022, 14:00-16:30, Online, CBS.

This workshop introduced the topic of supply chain due diligence and reported the results from the 2nd Observatory survey that gauged the level of awareness due diligence requirements within Danish companies. We also welcomed a guest speaker: Dr Claire O’Brien who is a leading expert on corporate due diligence requirements. The agenda was as follows:

14:00 - 14:10: Welcome

14:10 - 14:30: Presentation of survey results by the observatory research team at CBS

14:30 - 15:15: Keynote presentation on supply chain due diligence: Dr Claire O’Brien

15:15 - 15:30: Break and coffee 

15:30 - 16:00: Group discussions: Supply chain due diligence planning:

16:00 - 16:30: Feedback from discussions and wrap-up 


Workshop with Observatory members

Date: 30 March 2022, 14:00-16:00, Kilen, CBS.

This workshop reported on the results from the 1st Observatory survey. Participants discussed the results in groups and gave feedback on the results and priorities faced by member companies. The agenda was as follows:

14:00-14:20: Welcome presentation by the observatory research team at CBS

14:20-14:45: Presentation of preliminary survey results and Q&A

14:45-15:00: Networking break and coffee 

15:00-15:30: Group discussions of sustainable procurement practices and challenges

15:30-16:00: Feedback from discussions and wrap-up 


SPI launch event at CBS

Date: 17. November 2021, 13:00-16:30, SPS12, Solbjerg Plads, CBS.

We launched the SPI initiative together with 45 representatives from Danish firms that all found the launch of the initiative timely and potentially value adding to their sustainable procurement practices. The agenda was as follows:

13:00-14:00: Sustainable Procurement Initiative – Welcome, purpose and presentations by SPI research team at CBS

14:00-14:30: Networking break

14:30-15:00: Case – working with SP in practice – Opportunities and obstacles by Simon Juul Toft, Lead Green Procurement Specialist, Ørsted

15:00-15:45: Group discussions – Opportunities and obstacles in sustainable procurement

15:45-16:00: Wrap up and next steps

16:00-16:30: Drinks and networking


The page was last edited by: Sekretariat for Ledelse og Kommunikation // 01/16/2023