PUBLIC PROCUREMENT NEWS

  

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UN calls for urgent rethink as resource use skyrockets

11 April 2019

Rapid growth in extraction of materials is the chief culprit in climate change and biodiversity loss – a challenge that will only worsen unless the world urgently undertakes a systemic reform of resource use, according to a new report, prepared by the International Resource Panel and UN Environment.

Global Resources Outlook 2019 examines the trends in natural resources and their corresponding consumption patterns since the 1970s to support policymakers in strategic decision-making and transitioning to a sustainable economy.  According to the report, “the extraction and processing of materials, fuels and food make up about half of total global greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90 per cent of biodiversity loss and water stress”. More specifically, the use of metal ores increased by 2.7 per cent annually and the associated impacts on human health and climate change doubled during 2000-2015. Fossil fuel usage went from 6 billion tonnes in 1970 to 15 billion tons in 2017. Biomass increased from 9 billion tonnes to 24 billion tonnes – mostly for food, feedstock and energy.

The report argues that resource efficiency is essential, though not enough on its own. “What is needed is a move from linear to circular flows through a combination of extended product life cycles, intelligent product design and standardization and reuse, recycling and remanufacturing,” it says.

This transition can be accelerated through changes at the level of regulations, technical standards, planning and procurement policies that act to progressively lower resource intensity of economic activity while maintaining or improving the services or amenity provided. In the case of procurement, impact can be achieved through the application of green, socially responsible and circular policies at the specifications, criteria or clauses level. Get to know more through ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre.

If the recommended measures are implemented, it could accelerate economic growth, outweighing the up-front economic costs of shifting to economic models consistent with holding global warming to 1.5°C this century.

Read the full report here.

Read the summary for policy makers here.

Procurers, have your say about the 2014 Public Procurement Directives

8 April 2019

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Council of European Municipalities are conducting a consultation on the 2014 Directives on Public Procurement.

The 2014 Directives introduced a number of changes in the European legal framework for public procurement. These changes include new procedures to reduce red tape and provide easier access for SMEs, as well as stronger provisions on integrity and transparency, which target corruption and fraud, and a new focus on the role of public procurement in achieving policy goals in innovation, environmental protection and social inclusion.

Considering the key role of subnational governments in local public markets, through their spending on goods and services, construction and public works, the CoR has started to analyse the challenges and opportunities faced by regions and cities in implementing the new legal framework.

This consultation is being conducted by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and the CoR. By responding to this survey, you will help to identify these key challenges and to gather the views of regions and cities on the types of policy needed to overcome them.

The CoR is expected to publish the survey results in May 2019 in a summary paper that will be circulated to all respondents. The results will also feed into the CoR opinion on the implementation of the 2014 Directives on public procurement

Find the consultation here.

Procurement Forum hits the 5,000 member milestone

3 April 2019

We are proud to share with you that ICLEI's Procurement Forum reached a new milestone: 5,000 members!


3,000 members ago, we called it a small village – it now has grown further into a small town. And what a town it is – with members from various countries, organisations and sectors.


On the forum, there are many different active groups discussing topics such as sustainable transport, social responsibility, EU GPP criteria, circular or innovation procurement. Also, it helps to keep track of relevant events related to procurement across sectors, for example, circular cities, ICT or health. It is a dedicated space for the exchange between procurers across public authorities and those interested in the topic.


We think it is a worthy occasion to appreciate the diversity of themes procurement is involved in and thank the active community driven to advance their work through exchange on innovation, sustainability and circularity.
Let’s keep it up and spread the word!

 

Join the Forum here.

 

Procura+ Awards: Deadline Extended and Jury Announced

29 March 2019

The deadline for applications to the 2019 Procura+ Awards has been extended until 30 April 2019 in all three award categories - Sustainable Procurement, Innovation Procurement and Procurement Initiative of the Year.

Hosted by Procura+ network coordinators ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability in cooperation with the Procure2Innovate project, the competition rewards sustainable and innovative public procurements leading to significant improvements of public good, services, process and infrastructure.

A high-level jury will include Procura+ Network chair and Mayor of Malmö Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Director in the European Commission's DG GROW Marzena Rogalska, Head of the OECD's Public Sector Integrity Division, Janos Bertok and Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre, Mark Hidson.

Last year's Procura+ Awards saw the Government of Flanders (Belgium), the City of Rotterdam (Netherlands), and the City of Barcelona win awards for Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year and Tender Procedure of the Year, respectively.

“To apply for the Procura+ Award means to have successful, sustainable and innovative public procurement activities in place that generate improvements in public goods, services, processes and infrastructure. By applying for the award, you start sharing your positive experience with other authorities that can benefit from them and contribute to this global exchange” - said Frederic Ximeno, Commissioner for Ecology for the City of Barcelona.

“Your case doesn’t have to be world changing or sustainable to the last detail, as long as you can make a difference that matters. A smart case that is as sustainable as possible considering the context of the market, your needs, your budget, your capacity and the level of innovation that you wish to achieve, goes a long way. Don’t hesitate and apply,” - added Alexander Lemmens from Procurement team of the Government of Flanders.

For more information and to apply, visit the Procura+ Awards page.

How three leading European cities are reducing the carbon footprint of their procurement activities

28 March 2019

Oslo, Rotterdam and Copenhagen are showing how cooperation with private sector actors is essential to reduce the carbon footprint of their transport-related procurement activities.

The cities are pilot sites in ICLEI's BuyZET project, which will help them develop innovative procurement plans to achieve zero-emission urban delivery of goods and services.

In the recently released market engagement reports, the cities lay out the key findings from the constant dialogue they have conducted with all relevant market actors in the supply chains of the selected procurement areas. These provide helpful advice to other cities that are willing to reduce emissions of public procurement activities. The market engagement reports are available here.

The city of Rotterdam, Procura+ Participant and GLCN Member, highlights how suppliers are open to learn more about the existing possibilities for zero-emission vehicles, and about the latest technology developments. At the same time, local authorities should consider carefully the practical barriers and the costs that suppliers may face in adopting zero-emission vehicles.

According to the city of Copenhagen, suppliers’ benefits to employ zero- or low-emission vehicles for their transport activities is two-fold: on one hand, they contribute to their sustainability and CSR strategies; on the other hand, they are more efficient. Within BuyZET, Copenhagen is working in the fields of consolidation of supplies and maintenance and repair services.

One key message put forward by the city of Oslo, Procura+ Participant and GLCN Member, which is focussing on facility waste collection and maintenance and repair services, is that it is preferable to encourage investments in zero-emission vehicles during rather than before the contract. Longer contracts, Oslo has learned, are also a way to reduce the risks that suppliers face when investing in zero-emission vehicles.

The cities have also investigated the potential and feasibility of buyers’ groups within each priority sector to foster the demand for innovative transport solutions. Through the buyers’ group, BuyZET partners aim to attract other public authorities potentially interested in enhancing their public procurement skills for sustainable transport solutions, as well as private buyers and other large attractors such as universities, hospitals, etc. This consolidated report presents the approach taken by Oslo, Copenhagen and Rotterdam in establishing buyers groups within the BuyZET project.

BuyZET will host a final event to share and discuss the tools and recommendations developed. Find out more here.

To read all reports, please click here.

UNEA resolution highlights the importance of sustainable and circular procurement

26 March 2019

At the UNEA conference in Nairobi, Kenia, national and city governments met to discuss how to build sustainable, prosperous and inclusive societies that address key environmental challenges with innovative solutions and rely on responsible patterns of consumption and production.  

One of the main negotiation outputs of the conference are resolutions. An example is the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) UNEA 4 resolution, which highlights the need to support sustainable procurement policies.

Key extracts:

Encourages all Member States as well as cities and local communities and relevant stakeholders, including manufacturers and retailers, to enhance their collaboration to enable consumers and public authorities to make informed choices.

Invites all Member States, in order to work towards achieving sustainable consumption and production, to develop sustainable public procurement policies and update their public procurement legal frameworks in line with the Sustainable Development Goal target 12.7 commitment.

Encourages Member States to promote public, private and public-private initiatives and alliances to stimulate demand for sustainable products.

This high-level support encourages starting on, continuing or advancing sustainable procurement measures. For this, ICLEI provides guidance for every step of the way. Check out ICLEI's Resource Centre, our Tools & Guidance page, as well as the case study page. If you are keen to connect with other ambitious public authorities in Europe, consider joining the Procura+ Network.

See the full resolution here.

GLCN Cities call for sustainable procurement at UN Environment Assembly

22 March 2019

The United Nations Environmental Assembly is the highest level global decision making body on issues related to environment held every two years since 2013. 

At the 4th Session of UNEA to be held in Nairobi this week, national governments are negotiating a set of resolutions aiming at building sustainable, prosperous and inclusive societies that address key environmental challenges with innovative solutions and rely on responsible patterns of consumption and production.

During the UNEA Cities conference on March 13, ICLEI hosted a session on integrated planning and policies for circular transitions. Convening cities, national government representatives and business, the session explored how circular urban systems that achieve both social and ecological benefits can be promoted through nature-based solutions, public procurement and technologies.

GLCN member city Oslo (Norway) was among the ICLEI delegation to UNEA. The City of Oslo highlighted the importance that ICLEI’s work and the GLCN network has had for advancing the City’s sustainable procurement practices and leverage the power of procurement to achieve sustainability outcomes.

Learn more about ICLEI’s call for circular development here.

 

A Conference that discusses Public Procurement of Tomorrow

19 March 2019

The European Commission – The Directorate General of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs is inviting interested stakeholders to the high level conference “Seizing opportunities in the public procurement of tomorrow”, which will be held in cooperation with Romanian Presidency on 4th April 2019 in Bucharest at the Parliament House.

The conference is an occasion to take stock of the main work strands developed in the field of public procurement over the past five years since the adoption of the 2014 Public Procurement Directives. It will review the achievements in improving public procurement practices, including the progress made on the six priorities of the Public Procurement Package of October 2017, among which “Ensuring wider uptake of innovative, green, and social procurement”.  The conference will be opened by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and Eugen Teodorovici, Romanian Minister of Finance.

Among the high level speakers, the Chair of the Procura+ Network Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of the City of Malmö will represent the network and reflect on its role in delivering on policy objectives such as the EU Public Procurement Package. Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre and Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI Europe Mark Hidson will discuss how procurers across Europe are implementing procurement processes to achieve ambitious goals. In addition, the 2018 Procura+ Award winners will present their winning procurements and reflect on what winning the Award has meant for their procurement practice.

Learn more about the event here.

NGOs as co-drivers for GPP up-take across Europe

13 March 2019

The 2nd Annual Network meeting of the European NGO Network on GPP, coordinated by ICLEI Europe, took place in Lisbon, 13th February 2019, hosted by Quercus – National Association of Nature Conservatory. Seventeen NGOs from across Europe gathered to exchange on the topic of GPP.

The discussions during the meeting were based on the first-hand experiences made through the delivery of GPP activities by all NGOs. These activities took place over the course of 2018 and early 2019, aiming to advance GPP uptake in their local context. The activities ranged from workshops, specific training, and research surveys to roundtable discussions.

Key themes throughout the full-day event were what role NGOs can and should play in the uptake of GPP in public procurement, how to establish wider network ties or more focused ones, the opportunity for NGOs to support the new EC GPP Criteria and the impact created through delivered activities.

The event was facilitated by Peter Defranceschi (ICLEI Europe), Nuno Prata (City of Lisbon), Jean-Pierre Schweizer (EEB) and Abby Semple (Public Procurement Analysis) enriched the meeting through keynote presentations. In addition, the emphasis was placed on GPP in food procurement with three NGOs (ECODES, Legambiente, Mondo) recapping on their activities.

A clear outcome of the meeting was that the NGOs significantly benefited from being part of such a European Network and at the same time contribute through their expertise, diversity and motivation to a broader uptake of GPP across Europe.

GPP Training Programme in Eleven European Countries

13 March 2019

On behalf of the European Commission, ICLEI Europe is coordinating training on Green Public Procurement (GPP) across eleven European countries, including Cyprus, Latvia, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Estonia, and Lithuania.  Training is delivered by national organisations in each of these countries. The objective of this programme is to support a higher uptake of GPP throughout the EU, providing high-quality training material and targeted training schemes.

Topics covered include how to implement GPP, the legal context for GPP, how to assess needs for GPP, engaging with suppliers and an introduction to circular procurement. In addition, the training will cover GPP within ten product and service categories including computers and monitors, food and catering and transport.

The training material will be made available on the European Commission GPP website for your organisation to use. For more information on sustainable and innovation procurement training opportunities, you can get in touch with us at procurement@iclei.org.