The potential for Demand Acceleration is being tested in one of the fateful issues of our time: the climate crisis. In collaboration with, among others, WWF Sweden and Ignite Sweden, the goal is to provide the public sector with new procurement methods and tools to reduce its climate footprint.
The Demand Acceleration methodology has been developed in the DigitalWell Arena and is based on the fact that public procurement can drive innovation. In principle, innovation work is procured, where cooperation between the public sector and companies is the key to solving important needs.
A basic principle is that the services and products procured must be able to be scaled up nationally within the public sector. The benefit must therefore not be limited to a single region or municipality. It is precisely the spread of beneficial effects that has created great interest in how the Demand Accelerator methodology can be used to promote the development and scaling of solutions with high climate benefits.
Requirements for measurable sustainability
When this is now being tested in a project financed by Vinnova, it also sets new requirements.
- In addition to asking the question whether a solution is scalable and contributes to business benefit and business development, we also have to ask how it helps the climate transition, says Lina Svensberg, Innovation Manager in DigitalWell Arena.
WWF Sweden has been given a key role in mapping tools that can stimulate and increase climate benefits in public procurement, as well as how these can be integrated into the Demand Accelerator methodology. Initially, around 100 different types of decision support have been identified which will now be analyzed further.
- An interesting question is why these decision support tools are not used to a greater extent. I'm sure the tools have the potential to contribute much more, but they also need a lot of development to work really well. We will look at the needs gap that exists, says Örjan Jansson, Global Program Manager for Climate Innovations at WWF.
WWF Sweden hopes to find new tools to procure the climate innovations that produce the best effect. From left: Thomas Wernerheim, Karlstad municipality/Digitalwell Arena, Linus Arnold, Ignite Sweden, Lina Svensberg, DigitalWell Arena, and Örjan Jansson, WWF.
Recently, a report from the UN climate panel, IPCC, has been highly topical. It underlines again the importance of acting quickly if the 1.5 degree target is to be met. According to the IPCC, there are already cost-effective solutions that can be scaled up to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The right tool is crucial for climate benefits
Örjan Jansson believes that the ability to evaluate climate benefits and create clear decision-making bases is crucial for introducing and scaling up the best climate innovations. Therefore, he thinks that the combination of better decision support and innovative procurement methods is interesting, which also enables more function-based procurement.
- It is a very important part in achieving greater climate benefit, because it can give companies greater creative freedom to come up with better solutions than those the procurer himself has knowledge of, which is necessary to reach the climate goals. Between 2030 and 2040, we must halve emissions again, then new solutions are required. Therefore, the public sector needs to both procure and scale up existing technology, as well as incubate and pilot test completely new technology.
Large contact area for future procurement
Ignite Sweden is also an important party in the project. They have specialized in a process, Ignite Public, to match need owners in the public sector with startups. In total, roughly 3,000 startups are part of their network, and through Ignite Public, around 50 pilot collaborations with startups and public actors have been started.
It provides an exciting interface for the procurement that will later be carried out in the project. Lina Svensberg hopes to find a municipality or region with strong intentions to procure climate benefits in a new way.
- We hope that a suitable case will come in to test and develop our methodology - but we also want to contribute to real impact! Exciting discussions are already underway and we are open to a dialogue with more public actors who want to be at the forefront, says Lina Svensberg.
Public affairs make a big impression
For WWF, the big impression is that public procurement represents an important incentive to participate in the project, which in the EU corresponds to around 15 percent of GDP. Örjan Jansson also thinks that there are inherent elements in the Demand Accelerator methodology that make it interesting from a sustainability point of view.
- In my world, it's about improving the ability to procure as useful and good things as possible, that is, solving important needs in the most sustainable way. Circular solutions, for example, are good from that aspect, but can be extra challenging to procure. The Demand Accelerator methodology can hopefully increase the chances of success with that and other more complex solutions.