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European Commission promotes Clean Fleets LCC tool

29 January 2016

A new free-to use tool, specially developed for local authorities to calculate life-cycle costs of vehicle fleets in line with the Clean Vehicles Directive (CVD), is now available via the European Commission’s Mobility and Transport site.

Developed by the Clean Fleets project with the support of the European Commission's Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, this calculator performs a lifetime cost calculation on the basis of the harmonised methodology in Art. 6 of the Clean Vehicles Directive (CVD) 2009/33/EC.

The Clean Fleets project, which ran from 2012 to 2015 and was coordinated by ICLEI Europe, produced a number of publications, tools and policy recommendations based on its work assisting local governments with the implementation of the CVD and the procurement or leasing of clean and energy-efficient vehicles.

For more information, visit ec.europa.eu.

Stakeholders invited to shape review of EU GPP transport criteria

27 January 2016

The Joint Research Centre's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS), a European Commission research agency, is asking stakeholders in the field of transport to help revise the existing EU GPP criteria for Transport. The JRC-IPTS is currently conducting a study into the existing EU GPP criteria for Transport, the results of which will be used to inform the criteria review process. A wide-variety of stakeholders are invited to take part in the criteria consultation process, from local government officials to transport service providers, manufacturers to consumer organisations.

Respondents are requested to fill out a questionnaire, which registers whether they agree or disagree with the current definition of technical specifications, award criteria, and contract performance clauses for a range of transport areas. The JRC-IPTS has said that it is particularly interested in feedback regarding practical implementation of the current criteria.

Those taking the survey are encouraged to propose revised definitions for transport-related criteria, and will be provided with an annex that gives background information on the current criteria. The questionnaire should be returned by 19 February 2016 to JRC-IPTS-GPP-TRANSPORT@ec.europa.eu.

For more information, visit the consultation website.

European Commission adopts procurement paper designed to reduce administrative work

21 January 2016

The European Commission has officially adopted the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD), a policy paper designed to make it easier for businesses to apply for public contracts. The ESPD allows companies to self-certify that they are eligible to apply for public contracts, greatly reducing the current administrative burden.

While the current system varies by country, in most cases suppliers are required to provide full documentation proving their abilities and financial status. Under the new system, only the winning bidder will be required to provide such documents. It is hoped that by lowering the amount of paperwork necessary, more small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to participate in the bidding process.

The ESPD stems from the 2014 Public Procurement Directive, which states that the EU must reduce red tape and encourage SME participation in bidding for public tenders. “By reducing the volume of documents needed, the European Single Procurement Document will make it easier for companies to take part in public award procedures. Public administrations will benefit from a wider range of offers ensuring better quality and value for money,” said Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

For more information, visit supplymanagement.com.

Cities showcase sustainable energy solutions on CEPPI website

19 January 2016

The CEPPI team, comprised of expert partners Jera, Optimat, Steinbeis Transferzentrum and ICLEI, has launched the CEPPI project website to showcase the sustainable energy solutions being developed by the five participating cities: Birmingham (UK), Budapest (Hungary), Castelló and Valencia (Spain), and Wrocław (Poland). By using a pro-innovation procurement approach, these cities aim to achieve energy savings of 33GWh per year.

This 3-year project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, intends to build the cities’ capacity in the fields of public procurement of innovation (PPI) and sustainable public procurement (SPP). Public authorities have started identifying the possible areas of intervention and related information has been published on the CEPPI website - Birmingham City Council, for example, announced its interest in procurements related to its waste strategy; Budapest is exploring the implementation of PPI practices in tenders to retrofit the City Hall; Valencia is looking at city lighting, fountain systems and sports centres; and Wrocław is considering a focus on street lighting modernisation.

Within CEPPI, partners will produce reports, guides and other tools of interest for public authorities implementing SPP and PPI practices, while relevant documents related to the cities’ procurement processes will be made available. Those who want to keep updated about the project are encouraged to subscribe to its newsletter through the online form.

For more information, visit the CEPPI website.

New factsheets provide clarity on bio-based products

14 January 2016

The EU-funded InnProBio project has produced the first of a series of factsheets containing information on bio-based products and services. The publication helps to define bio-based products, providing an insight into the primary differences with traditional products.

The first factsheet highlights the benefits of bio-based products, such as their potential to reduce the economy’s dependence on fossil fuels, create green jobs in the European Union, and drive European innovation. The link between bio-based products and sustainability is also outlined.

The section From biomass to bio-based products shows, in a very visual way, different biomass materials that can be used to create products (known as “feedstocks”), such as sugar, starch and natural rubber, as well as bio-based intermediates, such as fibres, polymers and composites, and bio-based end products. Factsheet #1 is available online. The InnProBio team is currently working on the following factsheets.

For more information, visit the InnProBio website.

New license scheme aims to stamp out slavery in supply chains

13 January 2016

A new voluntary licensing scheme that encourages self-regulation in the procurement sector has been backed by the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s office as a means to reduce modern slavery in supply chains. The new licences require procurers to demonstrate that they are professionally qualified and will apply standards of practice and ethics in their procurement duties.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement (CIPs) has been advocating for the licence scheme as a means to improve professionalism in the sector, winning the support of the UNDP. As well as lessening instances of forced labour within supply chains, the license also aims to improve procurement and supply practices, leading to greater sustainability and innovation in procurement processes.

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) also backs the license. Speaking to Supply Management, Paul Broadbent, chief executive of the GLA, said: “We at the GLA strive to ensure the UK’s fresh produce sector is free of such abhorrent practices by requiring all licence-holders comply with our stringent standards. We aim to achieve this through working collaboratively with the industry and we fully support any new initiative that promotes self-regulation."

For more information, visit supplymanagement.com

London Underground tests system for recapturing energy used in braking

4 January 2016

The London Underground has found positive results after testing technology that recaptures the energy used in braking, feeding it back into the mains. The tests showed that the system will reduce the London Underground’s energy bill by 5 percent, saving £6 million per year. Around 1MWh per day is saved by the inverter energy capture system, which is enough to power 37 homes.

More commonly associated with hybrid and electric cars, the technology works through capturing the energy usually dissipated as heat during braking and returning it to the system. The London Underground version is essentially a much larger model of the version used in cars.

Since less heat will be produced, stations will also need to run their cooling systems less, providing an added benefit. The move is part of Transport for London’s, the government body responsible for most public transport in the British capital, drive to make public transport more energy efficient and to reduce their carbon footprint.

For more information, visit Tree Hugger.