Policy Solution

Heat-sensitive contracting and procurement

Lead by Example


Summary: Government procurement policies usually favor the lowest-cost option leaving little room to consider life-cycle, efficiency, and other co-benefits. Adopting sustainable procurement and contracting practices can help governments make decisions that promote sustainable urban cooling.

Implementation: Consider procurement decisions that are supported by the lowest life-cycle cost analysis and their cooling benefits. Require bidders for City contracts to disclose how they will seek to mitigate their impacts on urban heat.

Considerations for Use: Changing internal government procurement processes is typically easier than changing private sector regulations. It is important to train staff on the importance of sustainable procurement.

  • Policy Levers:

    Lead by ExampleGovernments have ownership and jurisdiction over a range of assets (e.g. buildings and streets) and also serve as a direct employer, and contractor. This allows them to promote heat risk reduction and preparedness solutions and demonstrate their impact through leading by example with proactive interventions to make their assets, employment opportunities, and contracts heat-resilient.
  • Trigger Points:

    City planning processesIncludes city initiatives such as the development of climate action plan, pathway to zero-energy, master plan, transit plan, energy mapping etc.
    No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
  • Intervention Type:
  • Sectors:
    City Administration


  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Business owners, Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Number of sustainable procurement contracts/year


  • Intervention Scale:
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Short-term (1-2 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    City government
  • Funding Sources:
    Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:


  • Cost-Benefit:
  • Public Good:
  • GHG Reduction:
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
  • Co-benefits (Social):