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Buyers and suppliers to engage on socially responsible ICT

20 June 2018

Public authorities and businesses from across Europe will engage on procurement needs and solutions for social responsibility and transparency in information and communication technology (ICT) supply chains. This live market engagement event is taking place on 3 October in 2018 European Green Capital Nijmegen (the Netherlands), alongside the 2018 EcoProcura conference.

Public authorities will inform suppliers of their socially responsible procurement needs and upcoming procurement plans for ICT, which includes large contracts for smartphones, laptops and PCs, and servers. Opportunity will be provided for suppliers to showcase solutions and initiatives that increase the social, ethical and environmental sustainability of their supply chains. The dialogue will help inform the design of procurements and contracts, and lead to suppliers submitting stronger bids.

The event is taking place as part of the Make ICT Fair project, which aims to improve the lives of workers and communities associated with ICT supply chains, particularly in the Global South.

For more information please consult the invitation letter and draft programme here.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is necessary to ensure a place. In order to register, please fill in the form here.

Circular economy will help meet emission reduction targets

19 June 2018

A new report on reducing carbon emissions through a circular economy has highlighted the importance of reusing materials in order to cut consumption emissions and meet the emissions targets of the Paris Agreement.

By reusing and recycling four materials which are central to our everyday life - steel, plastic, aluminium and cement -it would be possible for the EU to reduce the carbon footprint of its industry by 56% by 2050 (saving around 300 megatonnes of CO2). The report by Material Economics highlights a range of interventions, including procurement, which could support greater material cycling. 

Public procurers are already discovering the benefits in terms of overall impact and total cost of moving to more circular procurement models, and the European Commission has recognised the role of public procurement in promoting the transition to a circular economy, publishing the Public Procurement for a Circular Economy brochure to provide a range of good practice case studies as well as guidance on integrating circular economy principles into procurement.

For more information on the carbon impacts of materials, read "The Circular Economy - a Powerful Force for Climate Mitigation" here.

Cities should demand zero emission construction sites

14 June 2018

Diesel engines are major contributors to urban air pollution, carbon emissions and noise pollution, yet to date, little attention has been paid to their use in the building and construction activities and the risks that they pose to the health of construction workers and neighbouring residents.

A new report by Bellona argues that cities - as major purchasers of construction work - need to begin harnessing their procurement power to encourage greater innovation and a transformative shift to clean vehicles in the construction industry. At a European level, there is also an opportunity to include construction site vehicles in the ongoing reformulation of the EU's Clean Vehicles Directive.

Electrified machinery is cleaner, quieter, and has lower operational costs. It is also becoming increasingly available on the market, and some cities are already leading the way, such as the City of Oslo, which recently procured four kindergartens with a requirement for fossil free construction sites (a case study is available here).

The full report on 'Zero Emission Construction Sites' can be read here.

New tool developed to help green urban furniture purchasing

7 June 2018

The first version of a Green Urban Furniture (GUF) Tool has been developed by the LIFE FUTURE project, which aims to support public bodies to purchase more environmentally friendly urban furniture.

The manufacturing of urban furniture, as well as choices around which materials to use, can generate environmental impacts. But comparing these impacts can be difficult.  Some materials are durable, but require chemical coatings or more energy in manufacturing, while others might involve less impacts in production, but have a shorter lifespan.

The GUF Tool has been created to help this decision making. It allows environmental criteria to be easily generated and inserted into public procurement tender requirements. It also creates a checklist which helps to validate the offers that bidders provide for their products.

The GUF Tool - as well as more information on how it has been created - can be accessed here.

2018 TA award - Win €10,000 for your next procurement action

5 June 2018

The winner of the 2018 Transformative Action Award will receive a prize of €10,000 to help initiate further transformative actions in the winner’s city or region.

Innovative and sustainable procurement actions working towards socio-economic, socio-cultural or technological transformation are particularly welcomed, especially those which showcase the use of public procurement as an instrument to accelerate the market introduction of innovative and sustainable technologies.

The award, co-organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Country, and the City of Aalborg (Denmark), rewards ongoing or concluded Transformative Actions that use the 15 pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration to bring about the socio-cultural, socio-economic, and technological transformation of societies.

Current or concluded actions in the field of procurement can apply for the award by the closing date of 31 July 2018. Applicants will be shortlisted in September and the award ceremony will be held at the European Committee of the Regions, Brussels (Belgium) in November 2018.

For more information and to apply for the Transformative Action Award, visit the Sustainable Cities Platform.

Procura+ East Asia network for sustainable procurement launched

30 May 2018

ICLEI East Asia has launched the Procura+ East Asia network, the first network of its kind in the region, which will serve the interests of local governments and accelerate the uptake of green public procurement.

Green public procurement has received increasing attention of decision-makers from emerging economies in Asia as an effective mechanism to achieve emission reduction targets and sustainable development goals, and at EcoProcura China 2018, held in Beijing on 16-17 May, it was officially announced that a new network would be established the uptake of green public procurement across the region.

Participants of Procura+ East Asia will be brought together through regular events and exchange programs to collectively develop new policies and criteria on specific areas related to green procurement. The Procura+ East Asia will also showcase participants’ achievement on the global stage and celebrate their success through the Procura+ Awards.

Procura+ East Asia is an affiliated network of Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network.

Reducing energy use of data centres through innovation procurement

29 May 2018

Data centres might be easy to forget about, but they have become central to our everyday lives, acting as the hubs of our increasingly digitally powered societies - and consuming an enormous amount of energy in the process.

Global demand for energy from internet-connected devices already consumes 3-5% of the worlds electricty, and the need for data centers is only expected to increase as our use of digital devices and collection of data continues to rise. Mitigating strategies such as powering centres through renewable energy and increasing their energy efficiency are therefore extremely important, and as demonstrated by the EURECA project, can achieve significant results.

Funded by the European Commission, the EURECA project used a public procurement of innovation approach to support new build and retrofit data centre projects. The resulting pilot projects saved over 131 GWh/year of primary energy. As well as creating training modules on innovation procurement for data centres, the project has also compiled a market directory, and a tool which helps procurers self-assess the efficiency of their data centre and find solutions.

For more information, visit the EURECA project website.

ICLEI World Congress to feature sustainable procurement

24 May 2018

In recent years, sustainable procurement has grown in both scope and depth, as the knowledge and techniques developed by frontrunners have been disseminated and standards raised.

The ICLEI World Congress 2018 on 19 - 22 June in Montreal will explore how sustainable procurement can address different sustainability agendas and call for ambitious and strategic sustainable procurement practices during the 4th High Level Event of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN).

The GLCN brings together 14 cities from across the globe - including Montreal - to drive a transition to sustainable consumption and production, by acting as ambassadors of sustainable procurement and championing a resource efficeint, low carbon and socially responsible society.

Have a look at the full sustainable procurement track and learn more about Ville de Montréal's ambitious sustainable procurement targets on the GLCN website.

Green Week showcases sustainable public procurement in cities

22 May 2018

This year's EU Green Week - taking place between the 21-25 May - will focus on "Green Cities for a Greener Future", and will celebrate the many ways in which cities can improve their environmental footprint while also becoming better places to live and work for citizens.

One key way cities can reduce their impact is through public procurement, which forms the focus of the "Greener cities through smart public procurement" session on Tuesday 22 May. During this session, the City of Budapest and City of Nijmegen will share practical experience on integrating sustainable public procurement into their overall procurement strategies, and Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre, will provide an overview of how cities can utilise their procurement for the maximum social and environmental benefit, and the networks and initiatives which exist to support them in this.

Both DG Grow and DG Environment will also be present at the session, providing further information on the policies and tools developed at the EU level to facilitate the uptake of sustainable public procurement.

For more information on the details of this event, visit the EU Green Week website.

European Commission publishes innovation procurement guidance

17 May 2018

New guidance has been published by the European Commission's DG GROW, addressing the fundamental aspects of innovation procurement - why it is important, who should be interested, and most importantly, how it can be done.

The guidance is based around good practice examples, and aims to help public procurers with a range of practical issues, including reducing administrative burdens, using selection criteria effectively, mobilising innovation brokers, and implementing SME-friendly payment schemes. It covers a range of alternative public procurement procedures - such as competitive dialogue, design contests and innovation partnerships - providing inspiration and advice for implementing these.

In addition to practical examples, the guidance also highlights wider innovation procurement initiatives, such as the Procure2Innovate project on establishing and expanding innovation competence centres in 10 EU Member States, and draws attention to important points for sharing and learning about international experiences in innovation procurement, including the Procurement of Innovation Platform and the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network.

This guidance is released as part of the Renewed Agenda for Research and Innovation, and is available here.