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BuyZET project establishes Observer City and Interest Groups

8 September 2017

The BuyZET project's Observer City Group has been established and an Interest Group comprising cities and public authorities to closely follow the project's activities is currently open to new members. The seven Observer Cities - Brussels (Belgium), Southampton (UK), Bologna (Italy), Jerusalem (Israel), Bielefeld (Germany), Manchester (UK) and Munich (Germany) - will monitor and discuss the activities of the project, participate in expert meetings and join or form Buyers' Groups.

The Interest Group has already recruited Rijkswaterstaat (Netherlands) and the Albanian Ministry of Transport, as well as the cities of Budapest (Hungary), Torres Vedras (Portugal) and Helsinki (Finland). Other cities and public authorities are invited to join the Interest Group to gain access to useful resources and the project’s activities. The Interest Group will enjoy privileged access to project’s activities, access to project meetings and study visits, participation in webinars, buyers groups, access to an online project discussion group and more.

The BuyZET project is a partnership of cities aiming to achieve zero emission urban delivery of goods and services through innovative procurement approaches.

For more information, visit the BuyZET website. To join the BuyZET Interest Group, contact the ICLEI European Secretariat.

SPP Regions project publishes Circular Procurement resources

29 August 2017

The SPP Regions project, which promotes SPP and PPI in European regional networks of municipalities, has released a Best Practice Report and Collection of Case Studies on Circular Procurement (CP). Aimed at demystifying CP in the context of the Circular Economy, the report identifies how circularity can be introduced to procurement, and more specifically what changes to current procurement practices need to be adapted.

With the concept of Circular Procurement still in its infancy, the report is released alongside a collection of 13 in-depth case studies of procurements already completed or underway involving CP best practice. The case-studies cover various service, goods and works categories, including construction, car-sharing and office furniture in the EU and the USA.

The SPP Regions project promotes the creation and expansion of 7 European regional networks of municipalities working together on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI), and releases detailed guidance and case-studies for public procurers to introduce to their own organisations.

For more information and to download the report and case studies, visit the SPP Regions website.

Irish Government includes GPP in new procurement guidelines

28 August 2017

The Irish Government's Office for Government Procurement (OGP) has released new Procurement Guidelines for public authorities, including chapters on Environmental, Social and Labour provisions and interpretations of EU-level GPP guidance. The new edition is the first major update since the 2014 Procurement Directives were introduced, and are intended for use at both the national and local levels and across the Irish public sector.

The guidance includes practical guidance for above-threshold and below-threshold procurements around process, criteria and technical specifications. It also provides template tender documents and signposts to specific guidance different aspects of e.g. procurement law, GPP and Life Cycle Costing.

The Irish State spends €8.5 billion annually on goods and services. The OGP was established in 2014 and operates in four key sectors of Irish public expenditure: Health, Defence, Education and Local Government. In addition, the OGP also has responsibility for procurement policy and procedures for the entire Public Sector.

For more information, visit the Office of Government Procurement website. The guidelines can also be downloaded from the SP Platform Resource Centre.

Report recommends integration of SPP in UK food production

25 August 2017

The Eating Better alliance has published a report with ten recommendations towards sustainable food production in the UK after Brexit. The report, developed in collaboration with a consortium of UK and international civil society organisations and experts, analyses the opportunities and risks around the Brexit negotiations and the future of the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Britain.

Among the ten recommendations for livestock's role in a sustainable food and farming system is a transition to healthy and sustainable eating patterns with less and better animal products, and its full integration into public health, procurement and economic policy. The report also recommends sufficient funding for innovation to support a shift towards lower intensity, innovative and sustainable farming.

The Eating Better alliance involves over 50 civil society organisations and works towards catalysing shifts towards healthy and sustainable eating patterns.

For more information, visit the Eating Better website. The full report can also be downloaded from the SP Platform Resource centre.

UrbanWINS newsletter features pilot city waste reduction events

17 August 2017

The third edition of the UrbanWINS project newsletter is now available on the UrbanWINS website. This edition features the first series of Face-to-Face Agoras held during the summer in the project's eight pilot cities, in which 300 representatives of local authorities, companies in the waste industry, academics, NGOs, local initiatives groups and citizens met to discuss issues related to resource consumption and waste prevention.

The eight pilot cities in the UrbanWINS project are Bucharest, Sabadell, Pomézia, Cremona, Leiria, Torino, Manresa and Albano Laziale. Under the title of "Cities' priorities in resource consumption and waste prevention”, specific issues discussed included upstream waste reduction, the implementation of obligatory separate waste collection at source, educational and awareness campaigns. The implementation of reduction incentives and the "pay as you throw" system, energy recovery, territorial planning, sustainable production and proximity consumption were also addressed.

Further Agoras will be organized during 2017 and 2018 to define, in a participatory way, objectives and indicators for cities' Strategic Plans for Waste Prevention and Management.

For more information, and to read the latest newsletter, visit the UrbanWINS website.

European Commission publishes new GPP criteria for furniture

14 August 2017

The European Commission has published new Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for furniture, covering new furniture products as well as refurbishment and end-of-life services. The voluntary criteria provide technical specifications and award criteria for furniture, including detailed information for inclusion in tenders on which chemicals, materials and processes increase resource-efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of furniture procurement.

In particular, the criteria are designed to assist public authorities in procuring timber sustainably and legally, as well as using renewable and low-emissions materials in wood and upholstery products. The criteria also aim to help procurers procure products complying with recognised EN standards which can be reassembled, repaired and repurposed and covered by a service warranty.

Core criteria are provided to assist procurers and suppliers to apply GPP criteria easily, while more comprehensive criteria are also included to support public authorities seeking to reach higher levels of environmental performance and innovation.

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

UrbanWINS circular economy webinar available online

2 August 2017

A webinar featuring circular economy and procurement experts on "urban metabolism", held as part of the UrbanWINS project, has been made available online. The webinar explores the urban metabolism analysis and its application to cities implementing circular economy initiatives, with presentations given by the University of Chalmers in Sweden and Dutch sustainability consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV. Examples of initiatives and approaches within urban tourism and waste management are given by the city of Copenhagen and insights from ICLEI's European network on the circular economy also feature.

The UrbanWINS project, which involves eight European pilot cities carrying out circular economy initiatives aimed at reconceptualising "waste", started in 2016 and employs a participatory approach involving citizens in the pilot activities and in the decision-making process around waste-management.

The final outcome of the project will be a toolkit for participatory and science-based decision-making and planning for waste management that can be applied in any public authority across Europe.

For more information and to view the webinar, visit the UrbanWINS website.

SPP Regions project publishes Life Cycle Costing report

31 July 2017

The SPP Regions project, which promotes SPP and PPI in European regional networks of municipalities, has released its State of the Art report on Life Cycle Costing (LCC). The report fully explains the concept of life cycle costing and total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis. Specifically, it refers to the new EU public procurement Directives, which clearly defines the use of LCC within the public procurement process.

Focusing on examples of best-practice from across the SPP Regions partnership and wider across Europe, the report demonstrates in detail how LCC methodology is applied to products, services and works categories. It also signposts existing tools and case-studies involving sustainable and innovation procurements where LCC has been used.

The SPP Regions project promotes the creation and expansion of 7 European regional networks of municipalities working together on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI), and releases detailed guidance and case-studies for public procurers to introduce to their own organisations.

For more information and to download the full report, visit the SPP Regions website.

SPPI Network of the Balearic Islands launched

28 July 2017

The 5 June 2017, 27 participants from the central, regional and local governments from the Balearic Island attended the “Day of Eco-Municipalism” to boost the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and Sustainable and Innovative Public Procurement and to officially launch the new SPPI Network of the Balearic Islands.

During the first session of the event, the agreement and promotion of the Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) was presented. The agreement was signed in January 2017 by the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Fishing and the Ministry of Territory, Energy and Mobility and the Council of Mallorca and commitments and opportunities for participating municipalities were explained, as well as the possibilities to replicate the initiative in the other Balearic islands: Menorca, Eivissa and Formentera.

In the second part of the meeting, the Government of the Balearic Islands introduced the SPP Regions project and the recently established Balearic Network of Sustainable and Innovative Public Procurement. Ecoinstitut and ICLEI presented the dynamics and benefits of regional SPPI networks, and introduced some of the key elements of sustainable and innovative procurement.

For more information on SPP Regions visit the project’s website, to listen to the video presentation prepared by SPP Regions Coordinator visit ICLEI’s Youtube channel.

PPI4Waste project to host Brussels procurement conference

20 July 2017

The PPI4Waste project will host its final conference, "Feedback and opportunities for public procurement of innovation in the waste sector" on 12 September in Brussels. The purpose of the conference is to share the principal findings of the research, networking and training activities implemented during the project's lifetime to help increase the uptake of innovative waste solutions.

The one-day conference will have two main sessions. The first session will present the main findings of the PPI4Waste project and how public procurement of innovation (PPI) can be experimented and stimulated in the field of waste management. It will be followed by an afternoon session exploring synergies between procurers and projects on innovative solutions. A full programme and participant registration will be available shortly.

PPI4Waste is a three-year Horizon 2020 project involving eight partners and explores how innovative public procurement can be a key instrument in galvanising the market in order to foster sustainability, preserving and recycle material resources.

For more information and to register, visit the PPI4Waste website.