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SPP and Circular Procurement webinar - available online

22 March 2017

A webinar on "Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) and the Circular Economy", organised by REBus and ECAP, hosted by ICLEI– Local Governments for Sustainability and supported by UNEP, took place on 13 March and is now available to view online.

Aimed at demystifying the concept of Circular Procurement for a cross-sectoral audience with varying levels of involvement with SPP, the webinar used best practice examples from the REBus and European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) projects. Pointers for various sectors from ICT to construction were also discussed.

Current priorities for the European Commission in Circular Procurement and the related area of GPP were set out by a representative from DG Environment, including a reminder of the 2nd Circular Procurement Congress which will take place in Tallinn on 19 October. Also discussed were the recent activities of Working Group 4c on "Promoting Resource Efficient Business Models and a Circular Economy", including details of training resources and e-learning modules.

The recorded webinar is now available to view on the SP Platform.

BuyZET project aims to lower transport emissions of procurement activities

17 March 2017

The BuyZET project is a partnership of cities aiming to achieve zero emission urban delivery of goods and services through changes to their procurement practices. The cities of Rotterdam, Oslo and Copenhagen will study the transportation impacts of different types of procurement activities using methodologies developed within the project. Based on these results, each city will then identify two priority procurement areas to focus on.

For each procurement priority area, the cities will explore potential innovative procurement solutions through market dialogue, engaging with other cities, exploring best practice from across Europe, and forming buyers groups to launch joint or collaborative procurement actions. At the end of this process plans will be developed for each procurement area, to be implemented by the cities in the coming years.

Outcomes from the project will include new procurement plans for each priority area in each city, a methodology for mapping the procurement transportation footprint, a BuyZET Implementation Handbook and input into EU policy making and relevant working groups.

Southampton and the Brussels Capital Region are also participating as Observer Cities and will aim to implement the project activities as well. The project, launched in November 2016, is co-ordinated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, with the support of Polis and TNO. The project will end in April 2019, with procurement transportation and emission footprint reports for each city the first major project delivery in July 2017.

State of the Art report on market engagement published

15 March 2017

The SPP Regions project has released its State of the Art report on market engagement, aimed at guiding public procurers in engaging with suppliers in the context of procurement projects where input from the market can improve procurement outcomes.

The report contains practical advice and guidance, using examples of successful processes and actions to demonstrate how market engagement works, including the risks, resources required and first steps for public authorities.

Detailing the various points in the procurement process that procurers can engage with the market, the State of the Art report provides examples of formats for engaging with suppliers. These include 'meet the buyer' events, supplier information days and other networking and briefing events with illustrative case studies from across Europe. The report also points to how sustainability objectives can be achieved through the market engagement process.

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

SPP Regions publish new tender models

9 March 2017

The SPP Regions project has published two new tender models in self-regulating LED lighting and in joint procurement of renewable energy.
Piedmont Region, the City of Turin and ARPA Piedmont collaborated in the purchasing via a framework contract of 500 GWh of energy from certified renewable sources, realising 150,000 tonnes of CO² savings as well as significant financial savings. The joint procurement approach resulted in a reduction in unit cost of 8% and the power procured can be used by 300 organisations across the region.

Turin Polytechnic's tender model details a pilot procurement of 16 LED installations at its Department of Control and Computer Science. The self-regulating LED tubes communicate between themselves to give uniform brightness and respond to changes in daylight and the presence of people. The pilot is intended to reduce both energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Both projects were completed under the framework of the APE GPP network, based in Turin. If you are interested in joining SPP Regions as a regional network, email the project coordinators.

The tender models and more information can be found on the SPP Regions website.

European Green Public Procurement NGO network issues GPP guide

1 March 2017

The European GPP NGO Network has published its Green Public Procurement Guide for NGOs, aimed at enabling NGOs to encourage public procurers to embrace GPP principles and processes. The 16-page guide provides GPP ideas in four key GPP sectors: food and catering, road vehicles, energy-consuming products and buildings.

Transferable examples of GPP projects completed by local authorities and other public agencies from across the EU are presented as case studies.
No previous knowledge of the procurement legislative context or prior engagement with GPP is required to use the guide, which also contains useful facts and figures demonstrating the budgetary and environmental benefits to local authorities of implementing GPP principles in their procurement processes.

Practical advice on how NGOs can approach local authorities with low awareness, commitment to or capacity in GPP is provided alongside a resource list and testimonials on how embracing GPP has impacted cities and NGOs.

For more information visit ec.europa.eu and download the guide from the Sustainable Procurement Platform.

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 susproc.jrc.ec.europa.eu

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 greensproject.eu

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 cerdd.org [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 nepcon.org