Sustainable certifications in the public procurement by municipalities of IT-products
There are many different approaches to combat sustainability challenges, one of them being the use of certifications. The purpose of this thesis is to gain an understanding of the motives to include sustainability in public procurement, with focus on sustainable certifications. The study is delimited to IT-products for public schools, and the report is a case study where evidence has been gathered through interviews with seven of the 290 municipalities of Sweden. The interviews were semi-structured and they were conducted using a funnel structure with three main themes; Purchasing of IT-products for public schools, Sustainability in public procurement and Sustainable certifications. The data from the interviews were then summarized and analyzed using different theoretical models and our contribution with this thesis is to be of help to companies wanting to sell to municipalities, as well as give an insight into what is being done and what needs to be done within public procurement. The findings suggest that sustainability certifications are important, to some degree, in the procurement process. Most municipalities use different certification schemes to obtain criteria for sustainability to use as demands in their public procurement, but did not necessarily put demands on the certification itself. Motives behind sustainability were mostly political and the larger municipalities in our study showed a relationship to defensive reporting, due to the fact that higher authorities demand a sustainability focus because they might feel that the municipalities have failed on their own. A few of the municipalities stood out from the crowd and showed signs of altruistic behavior, and therefore an evident relationship to imitative diffusion. This suggests that personal engagement from employees is a possible determining factor behind the drivers to sustainability. Looking to the future, we found that most municipalities are positive to using sustainability certifications, but collaborations between public actors in Sweden are required in order for this to happen.