Oslo's climate budget and procurement strategy tackle GHGs

28 February 2018

Procura+ network participant Oslo's 2018 'climate budget' has identified procurement as a key focus area in a wide-ranging environmental strategy aimed at significantly reducing the cities GHG emissions by 2020. The budget, which foregrounds green mobility and active transport over car use, is complemented by a comprehensive procurement strategy. Both plans are now available to download in English.

Oslo's procurement strategy, launched in October 2017 forms a cross-cutting part of its overall environmental policy, addresses goods, services, buildings and construction in the city, which is Norway's second biggest procurer. The governing mayor of Oslo Johansen has presented the strategy at COP23 as a member of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement as a powerful tool to achieve emissions targets.

The strategy identifies the need to build expertise within the city on resource planning, needs analysis, purchasing and engendering a culture of coordination among the city's departments. The procurement strategy is to be followed by an overall implementation plan, to ensure anchoring and active implementation of the procurement strategy in municipal departments and other agencies.

Both the climate budget and procurement strategy are available to download on the SP Platform's resource centre.

Final opportunity for input into revised EU GPP criteria on transport

26 February 2018

The European Union's Joint Research Centre is seeking final stakeholder input on its revision of Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria on transport. A draft technical report including criteria proposals are now available online. The new criteria will update the last set published in 2012, principally expanding the overall scope to include two new service categories: 'mobility services' and 'post, courier and moving services'. Input from stakeholders can be submitted via the BATIS platform until 25 March 2018.

The 2012 criteria covering cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs), buses and bus services, waste collection vehicles and waste collection services, will also be updated to align with Directives and to reflect better their intended areas of application. The new transport criteria will include core and comprehensive criteria so that they can be applied in both public authorities with advanced implementation of GPP and those who are seeking to implement more fundamental sustainability criteria into their purchasing policy.

GPP criteria on twenty other goods and services categories have been developed by the European Commission for voluntary application by public authorities. Good practice examples addressing these categories have also been compiled on the DG Environment website in all official EU languages.

For more information on the criteria revision process and to register as a stakeholder, visit the European Commission's Joint Research Centre website.

GPP and innovation procurement identified in EU's Plastics Strategy

14 February 2018

The European Commission's Plastics Strategy released in January 2018 identifies Green Public Procurement (GPP) as a tool for reducing plastic waste, and highlights the role GPP criteria can play in improving the recyclability of plastics. The strategy also recommends that national, regional and local authorities should make greater use of public procurement to support plastic waste prevention and recycling of plastics.

The strategy, which has been proposed to the other European Institutions in an official Communication, aims to play a major role in the transition towards a circular economy. The multi-pronged approach includes additional investment in innovation and guidance as to what public authorities can do - including the strategic use of public procurement - to produce innovative solutions dealing with hazardous substances and contaminants from recycled plastics.

Seen as a follow-on from the 2015 Circular Economy package, the Plastics Strategy is expected to form a central part of the EU's contributions to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement objectives on climate change.

For more information, visit the European Commission's website.

Job vacancy: Officer, Sustainable and Innovation Procurement - ICLEI

7 February 2018

ICLEI is recruiting a Sustainable and Innovation Procurement Officer on an 80-100% FTE basis at its European Secretariat in Freiburg (Germany). The position will be based within the Sustainable Economy and Procurement team, and the working language is English. Working on procurement since 1996, ICLEI facilitates networking, knowledge sharing, collaboration and best practice exchange on sustainable, strategic, circular and innovation procurement through EU-funded projects in collaboration with ICLEI partner cities and members of its European and global procurement networks.

The main focus of this position will address the topics of innovation and sustainable procurement through EU-funded projects. The deadline for applications is 4 March, although applications will be reviewed when they are received as the proposed start date is 1 April 2018.

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is an association of 1,200 local governments in 68 countries that are dedicated to sustainable development.

For more details on the position, visit the ICLEI Europe jobs website.

Targeted consultation on social procurement open until 1 March

1 February 2018

The European Commission's targeted consultation on the scope and structure of a Commission guide on socially responsible public procurement is accepting responses until 1March 2018. The new guide will replace the Buying Social guidance released in 2011, and will be fully updated for the post-2014 Directives legislative environment. The Commission's DG GROW is responding to calls for guidance and best practice, particularly from within the social economy sector, to use public procurement to deliver better conditions for workers, including disabled and otherwise disadvantaged people.

The consultation is targeted at those engaged in the policy and practice of socially responsible public procurement, including central and local government authorities and from civil society. The consultation follows the Commission Communication 'Making public procurement work in and for Europe' in October 2017 which identifies strategic public procurement in pursuit of economic, social and environmental goals.

Responses can be given online, in any of the 23 official EU languages, through the European Commission's consultations platform.

For more information, visit the DG GROW website.

Eight new SPP networks join the SPP Regions project

31 January 2018

Eight new sustainable public procurement networks have joined the SPP Regions project, committing to sustainability, working together at developing regional supply bases, increasing public sector’s influence on market engagement activities and using joint procurement to benefit from economies of scale.

The new networks cover and include the Piedmont region and Salento, a subregion of the region of Apulia (Italy); some Italian metropolitan cities, such as Milan, Bologna, Roma and Catania; Catalonia, Andalusia and the Balearic Islands (Spain); Helsinki Metropolitan Area (Finland) and the London Responsible Procurement Network (UK).

The SPP Regions project, coordinated by ICLEI, promotes the creation and expansion of European regional networks of municipalities working together on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI). The project offers support in setting up networks and welcomes new participant cities, networks, regions and municipalities.

For more information or join the project, visit the project’s website or contact the ICLEI coordination team at

Dutch event stresses the importance of biobased standards

29 January 2018

On the 18th of January 2018, NEN and PIANOo have organised a roundtable to discuss how 'standards' can support bio-based public procurement. The event was organised as part of the InnProBio project.

Participants, mainly from national and local Dutch public authorities, were invited to share their knowledge, experiences and ideas on the topic. Different certification schemes were discussed and procurers concluded it should be up to the procuring entity to apply the most appropriate criteria, for example, based on percentage of bio-based content, sustainability of biomass, a product’s biodegradability.

Building on the Province of Zeeland’s experience of purchasing biobased products , particular attention was given to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Technical specifications, such as the EN 16785-1:2015, relating to methods for determining bio-based content and EN 16575, defining common terminology to biobased products. Participants felt these standards can help set up criteria for biobased products. On the other hand, some participants raised the issue of using these standards for new materials. They also raised that they find it challenging to apply existing standards and regulations to newly developed materials.

The results of the roundtable/dialogue will form part of the recommendations of the InnProBio project to the European commission to further stimulate bio-based procurement.

New EU GPP criteria for paints, varnishes and road-markings

29 January 2018

The European Commission's DG Environment has released new Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for paints, varnishes and road markings. The voluntary criteria, which cover both products and works, are aimed at prolonging the longevity and reducing the environmental impact of the production of products, proposes standards for public authorities to use in tendering.

A report commissioned by the European Commission found that 26% of the total EU paint market is procured by the public sector, the majority for social housing. The Commission seeks to use the criteria to promote circular economy approaches as a means of minimising the impact of production; reducing products' hazardous properties; promoting durable paints and road markings; and incentivising the minimisation of product wastage, including reuse and recycling.

The criteria are divided into core criteria for easy application of GPP and comprehensive criteria to support public authorities already using GPP to improve their environmental performance. The criteria, in English, will be translated into other official languages in the coming months.

For more information and to download the criteria, visit the European Commission's GPP website.

Green Electronics Council releases Social Procurement guidance

22 January 2018

The Green Electronics Council (GEC) has released guidance on social procurement in the ICT sector. Entitled Purchasers' Guide for Addressing Labor and Human Rights Impacts in IT Procurements, the guidance is intended to be applied globally, and takes account of workers' and human rights legislation in various countries, including the USA, the UK and France.

The guide lists ten 'expectations of institutional purchasers' with regard to human rights, identifying aspects of due diligence which public procurers should be taking into consideration when purchasing goods and services. For each expectation, the guide sets out baseline and best practices and signposts to implementing relevant criteria, legislation and topic-specific guidance.

GEC is a non-profit organisation associated with eco-labelling in the IT sector. The guide aims to assist procurers in introducing labour and human rights related performance criteria in technical specifications, supplier selection and procurement award criteria, as well as in-contract performance clauses.

For more information and to download the Purchasers' Guide, visit the Green Electronics Council website.

BuyZET project presents transport mapping to Polis conference

16 January 2018

The BuyZET project, which aims to achieve zero emission deliveries through innovative procurement, has presented its transportation footprint mapping exercise at the Polis Conference and Urban Freight Working Group in December 2017 in Brussels (Belgium). Highlighting the importance of public procurement to achieving zero emissions in transport and mobility, the project shared a platform with other CIVITAS urban freight projects and presented to more than 500 delegates.

The transportation footprint mapping exercise identifies high priority procurement areas in order to build up a full picture of the emissions associated with public spend in the 3 core BuyZET partner cities - Oslo (Norway), Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Copenhagen (Denmark). The core partner cities then selected four priority procurement areas to be improved during the project, including building and facility maintenance and repair services; consolidation of deliveries; industrial waste collection; and construction material transportation.

Launched in November 2016, the BuyZET project is a partnership of cities aiming to achieve zero emission urban delivery of goods and services through understanding the full transport footprint and developing innovative procurement plans.

For more information, visit the BuyZET website.