Draft food and catering GPP criteria out for consultation

24 February 2017

Following a meeting in Brussels on 23 February, the revised draft GPP criteria for food and catering procurement have been published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) Food and Catering team, for consultation with interested stakeholders.

Comments on the draft criteria can be made via the JRC's BATIS online consultation system. Stakeholders can register to provide their input to the revised GPP criteria. The latest version presents Technical Specifications and Award Criteria for product categories including organic, marine and fair-trade food. It also addresses criteria in more cross-cutting topics such as waste, water and energy efficiency in food production and transportation.

Criteria aimed at improving animal welfare, moving from bottled to tap water provision and full life cycle costing for kitchen equipment have been included while sections of packaging and seasonal produce are proposed for removal. Rationales for major changes to the criteria are available for stakeholders to engage within the BATIS tool.

Guidance on how to provide comments on the revised draft criteria is available via the JRC helpdesk.

The consultation is available to registered stakeholders until 24 March 2017. For more information, visit

Green Public Procurement Webinar series available on Youtube

16 February 2017

The GPP capacity-building project GreenS has made a series of recent webinars publicly available on its YouTube channel. The webinars will be of considerable value for public procurers at various levels including those at an early stage in developing GPP.

The GreenS project aims to expand the implementation of Sustainable Energy Action Plans at the local and regional level, and has produced a library of GPP and SEAP training materials in several languages.

Topics covered by the webinars include: how to prepare a good GPP training package; introducing GPP; legal aspects of GPP; calculating CO2 and energy savings; using GPP strategically in your organisation; and market engagement practices to ensure GPP success.

For more information, visit

The webinar series can be found at the ICLEI Europe YouTube channel.

Future of the European NGO Network on GPP discussed in Hungary

14 February 2017

The recently launched European NGO Network on Green Public Procurement (GPP) held an introductory session on 26 January in Szentendre (Hungary), gathering NGOs from across Europe with an interest in learning more about how GPP can be used to help cities and regions improve their sustainability and meet environmental policy objectives. Simon Clement and Estela Grana of ICLEI introduced the network, while Enrico Degiorgis of the European Commission provided a short introduction to GPP, the support available from the European Commission, and available tools and guidance.

Representatives from European NGOs then shared with participants their experience of working in the field of GPP with cities and regions. Abby Semple from Public Procurement Analysis outlined the practical and legal considerations of GPP, while Simon Clement ran through available resources on the topic.

Estela Grana detailed the support that the network can offer NGOs, and looked at activities planned for the coming months. Towards the end of the session NGOs were asked to fill in a template with the main goals that they would like to reach during the next two years, identifying which actions would be necessary and the support needed for them.

For more information on the European NGO Network on Green Public Procurement, visit the website or download the guidance document.

French toolkit helps procurers to purchase sustainable catering

9 February 2017

A new toolkit to help public procurers purchase better catering services has been launched by the French Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry (MAAF). The toolkit aims to increase demand for locally supplied, high-quality and environmentally friendly foods.

Titled Localim, the toolkit provides buyers with methodological support in their purchasing practices, as well as extensive information on products, channels, suppliers, product purchasing arrangements and regulatory frameworks. Through using the toolkit, it is foreseen that procurers will be able to significantly improve their purchasing practices.

The toolkit consists of 14 practical fact sheets: eight methodological sheets to guide the procurer through each stage of the purchase, and six sheets that look at procuring specific types of food, such as poultry or dairy products. The technical specifications and award criteria are based on concerns such as environmental requirements, animal welfare, and the quality of the products.

For more information, visit [in French]

Index of countries at risk for illegality in timber sector published

8 February 2017

A new report on global corruption has been used by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to assess countries' level of risk for timber illegality. The FSC used Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) to determine whether countries are at high or low risk of trafficking in illegal timber. The CPI uses citizens' perception of corruption in their country's public sector, and is widely respected as a key indicator of corruption.

In Europe, Hungary and Croatia both moved into the high risk category, meaning that companies must carry out further verification measures to ensure that timber from these countries has been harvested legally.

The CPI 2016 covers perceptions of public sector corruption in 176 countries. The countries at the top of the list share characteristics of open government, press freedom, civil liberties and independent judicial systems. Countries at the bottom of the index are characterised by widespread impunity for corruption, poor governance and weak institutions.

For more information, visit

European Commission invites feedback on Clean Vehicles Directive

3 February 2017

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the revision of the directive governing the procurement of clean and energy-efficient road vehicles. At present, the Clean Vehicles Directive requires public bodies to consider energy and environmental impacts when purchasing road vehicles. The revision aims to ensure that the directive better supports the achievement of EU policy objectives on climate change and air pollution, and that it stimulates the market for vehicles with low- or zero-emissions.

The consultation takes the form of a questionnaire split into five sections. All citizens and organisations are welcome to participate, with local, regional and national public authorities and public contracting entities particularly encouraged. Contributions can be submitted in any EU language. Questionnaires should be returned by 24 March 2017.

A December 2015 evaluation of the directive found that it had little impact on stimulating market uptake of clean vehicles, meaning that it did not reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants to the extent hoped. The revised directive aims to rectify such issues.

For more information, visit

Champions League final to be played in UK’s first sustainable stadium

1 February 2017

The 2017 Champions League final will be held in the UK's first certified sustainable stadium. The Principality Stadium (previously known as the Millennium Stadium) was built in 1999 to host Rugby World Cup matches. To achieve ISO 20121 certification, venue owners the Welsh Rugby Union implemented a number of improvements.

Changes were made in several areas: Heating, cooling and ventilation systems have been upgraded to optimise efficiency; waste is segregated for recycling; lighting systems are computer controlled to prevent wastage; the stadium's pitch allows rainwater to be captured and recycled; and LED lights have been introduced to save energy and reduce heat emissions.

So far 71.52 tonnes of waste have been removed from landfill as a consequence of the changes, resulting in a reduction of 28.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Reduced raw material use, water and energy has helped the stadium to save a further 60.8 tonnes of CO2.

For more information, visit

Auckland replaces 12,500 lights with LEDs

27 January 2017

By the end of 2016, the City of Auckland (New Zealand) had replaced 12,500 streetlights with LEDs, achieving a saving of 72 percent on energy consumption. The decision was part of Auckland’s LED replacement programme, which committed the city to replace over 44,000 high pressure sodium streetlights with LEDs by 2018. The city’s decision is being hailed as a particularly good example of sustainable procurement.

Other sectors in which the city is purchasing sustainably includes waste, energy, and buildings. The city also intends to trial e-buses, increase the number of hybrid vehicles in the city fleet, and add additional electric vehicle charging points.

Auckland, who joined the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN on SP) in 2015, has been pursuing sustainable procurement for several years. Its achievements include carrying out an ISO 14001 training with city suppliers, and retrofitting municipal buildings, resulting in 82 percent waste to landfill diversion.

For more information, download Auckland’s SP Profile.

SPP Regions project encourages regional networks to join

25 January 2017

New and established regional procurement networks looking to gain access to useful resources and networking opportunities are invited to join the EU-funded SPP Regions project. By joining the project, procurers will be put in touch with other networks from across Europe, allowing them to learn from others’ experience of implementing sustainable and innovative procurement and to share their own.

All regional networks that include municipalities working together on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) are encouraged to join. New members will be alongside the seven European regional networks that are already working closely with the project. SPP Regions offers support with developing networks, assistance with sustainable tendering, access to specialist workshops and webinars and mentoring from existing SPP Regions Networks.

Regional networks are extremely helpful in developing a successful sustainable procurement strategy, as they allow public authorities to learn from others’ good practice. They also enable procurers to develop a regional supply base, increase influence through joint market engagement and benefit from economies of scale through joint procurement.

For more information, visit If you are interested in joining SPP Regions as a regional network, contact:

URBACT issues call for good practices in European cities

20 January 2017

Cities across Europe engaged in innovative activities in the field of sustainable urban development are invited to submit their experience as part of the URBACT Good Practice call. If selected, the good practice will be promoted at EU and international level, while the city will be awarded the title of URBACT Good Practice City.

URBACT is looking for good practices on a wide range of topics, from demographic change and climate and environmental targets, to unemployment and urban poverty. Gaining a Good Practice City label will allow cities to share their experience with others by becoming part of a "Transfer Network". A Good Practice Festival will be organised in September 2017 to showcase the selected practices and to give submitters a chance to network with other policy makers.

Interested stakeholders can submit their good practice by filling in an online application form, and mailing it to Supporting materials such as documents, infographics, videos, etc. are also welcome. The URBACT programme aims to foster sustainable integrated urban development in cities across Europe.

For more information, visit