Category 18 April 2019

Sustainable planning of procurement with Finnish RAKLI procurement clinic

RAKLI, the Finnish Association of Building Owners and Construction Clients, has set up a procurement clinic which uses open, interactive workshops to facilitate market dialogue between potential service providers, consultants, contractors and investors to accelerate responsible purchasing.

The challenge

Municipalities in Finland increasingly face challenges with the building and maintenance of community infrastructures, as their economic situation continues to become more difficult. At the same time, private service providers are interested in broadening their service activities to also cover municipal engineering. The initial phase involvement of stakeholders is often not included in the planning of the procurement processes, which leads to the inefficient use of resources and to organisations not complying with sustainability criteria.

The measure

RAKLI works initiates the process by inviting the relevant actors. Workshop members meet four to five time  promoting market intelligence and promoting information sharing in relation to each individual procurement case. Participants also have assignments outside of the workshops. If appropriate, experts are invited to give their opinion at the workshop meetings. Workshops analyse the procurement problem and give their recommendations for solving these problems. The recommendations are also documented. Workshop results are then available to the public and operators in the construction sector. Procurement cases may be related to any form of man-made environment. They may concern maintenance, new investments or environment. Clinics may deal with new types of partnerships & networking for the development of project implementation or service concepts.

RAKLI provides the clinics with a framework, as well as detailed processes and leaders for workshop activities. The objectives of the procurement clinic are:

Development of procurement procedures and setting up synergies in the real estate and construction sectorFinding and promoting the best procurement solutions for sustainable constructionDeveloping procurement (eco-)innovationsApplying the EU public procurement regulationsExploiting and developing the marketOpen exchange of experiences between customers and service providersFinding case-specific solutions constructively and interactively

Lessons learnt

Success Case: Lahti – Onnelanpolku:  The aim of the Onnelanpolku procurement clinic was to develop a process to plan and build a zero energy building in Lahti, Finland. RAKLI took part in the project by arranging a procurement clinic with potential service providers, consultants, contractors and investors.

The scope of the evaluation was the whole lifecycle costs, and the zero emission objectives of the building. The aims were to be met without compromising the economic efficiency of the whole project, the lifetime maintenance costs, andthe  costs of running the  building. The clinic was first started by organising a workshop with decision makers and construction companies, before the first decisions were made. The workshops dealt with construction objectives, planning solutions and the objectives of the procurement process.

The result of the project was a new operating model and a large volume of valuable knowledge gained in implementing outsourcing, which is also applicable to other cities in the region (eg. guidelines for planning zero energy buildings). RAKLI’s role in arranging market dialogue has proven successful and as a result it has been used in several other ambitious procurement processes.

Funding for the clinics comes from participants and in the form of public grant funding for demonstration, from the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, Tekes. Costs range from €10,000 to €30,000 per case.

Further deployment

The RAKLI clinic continues to primarily focus on the construction sector. By developing it to focus more on sustainability (eg. including the environmental experts to all clinics) it has the potential to cut the environmental impacts of buildings. With slight regional modifications, the practice could easily be implemented in other countries. The maturity of this policy measure is estimated to be 8 on the GML scale.


The cases where RAKLI clinic has been usedOne example of practical result: Guidelines for planning zero energy buildingsCase Onnenlanpolku in brief by constructor