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Global Slavery Index 2018 published highlighting role of procurement

16 August 2018

To this date people all over the world remain victims of modern slavery. The  Modern Slavery Index 2018, published by the Walk Free Foundation, sheds light on the extent to which different forms of slavery prevail across the globe. The Index highlights that public authorities are often indirectly linked to these practices, not least due to non-transparent supply chains and a lack of regulation enforcement.

The Index presents the first ever global estimates on the issue – revealing that all countries including developed ones are affected:

An estimated 40.3 million men, women, and children were victims of modern slavery on any given day in 2016. Of these, 24.9 million people were in forced labour and 15.4 million people were living in a forced marriage.

“Striking” do the authors describe the fact that in 2018 there has been an increase in government engagement fighting modern slavery through procurement. In 2018, 36 countries (as opposed to four in 2016) have taken steps to investigate forced labour along supply chains and have introduced procurement guidelines to enforce ethical working conditions.

The role of public procurement in the extractive industries, where forced labour is particularly prevalent, is also a key topic at the Make ICT Fair live market engagement alongside this year’s EcoProcura conference (3-5 October, Nijmegen, the Netherlands).

For more information about the Global Slavery Index click here.

Nijmegen to use Rapid Circular Contracting to renew street

14 August 2018

The 2018 Green Capital of Europe Nijmegen (The Netherlands) wants to catalyse sustainable and circular development through procurement. For the renovation of the street Malderburchtstraat the city went for a “Rapid Circular Contracting” (RCC) tender, challenging the civil engineering sector to develop innovative circular solutions to a regular street renovation.

RCC was developed by the Dutch Foundation for the Circular Economy as a way to stimulate innovative circular solutions through procurement. It allows innovative market parties to develop concepts that fall outside of conventional approaches while striving toward circular ambitions that have been defined in the tender.

In essence, Nijmegen does not award the contract based on a previously developed plan, instead the winning party is selected based on its vision and ambition in the circular economy. The final product will be developed in close collaboration with the city authorities after the contract has been awarded.

For more information on RCC, click here (in Dutch). To find out more about Nijmegen’s procurement trajectory, click here.

The City of Nijmegen is also host of this year’s EcoProcura conference (3 -5 October).

Procurement features heavily among 2018 TA submissions

9 August 2018

The application deadline for the 2018 Transformative Action Award recently closed, with this year’s award setting a record for the number of applications received. Among the 40 entries, were a number of innovative and sustainable procurement actions working towards socio-economic, socio-cultural and technological transformation.

The award, co-organised by ICLEI, 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.

The shortlisted candidates will be revealed in September and the winner will be announced at an award ceremony on 15 November at the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels (Belgium).

Alongside being recognised as a leader of sustainable urban transformation in Europe, the winner of the 2018 award will receive €10,000 to help initiate further transformative actions in their city or region.

For more information about the award and to see the full list of entries, click here.

Transition to low carbon economies through public procurement

7 August 2018

The World Energy Investment Report 2018, published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights public procurement as one strategy to phase out fossil based fuels and materials.

As an example, the report points out the Netherlands and Canada, which have public procurement rules in place that favour materials with low-carbon footprints for building projects. In the Netherlands, tenderers can have their bids evaluated with a price reduction of up to 5% if their performance meets certain criteria. This, the report says, could “make the difference” for companies that convert CO2 into building materials, and ultimately help establish “significant and sustainable” markets worldwide.

Globally, 2017 has seen a decline in investment in renewables, which could threaten the expansion of clean energy. As the IEA states, this investment would need to go up rapidly to meet clean energy targets.

The full report can be accessed here.

The state as a role model for sustainable consumption

2 August 2018

In an article published this week, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter underlines the important role public procurement has to play in a transition towards a more sustainable society.

The German politician points to the fact that public procurement accounts for about 11 per cent of German GDP - showing that it can be used as a powerful instrument to implement sustainable consumption. The public sector can provide incentives for market players to focus more on sustainability and to support the market of green products.

Ambitious sustainable public procurement (SPP) policies pave the way for public authorities to purchase more sustainably – yet the social dimension of implementing change is key as well. ‘Employees have to be made aware of the changes in their work routine that will follow sustainable procurement decisions’, says Ms. Schwarzelühr-Sutter.

Behavior and organisational change are also key topics at this year’s EcoProcura Conference (3 – 5 October, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

To read the full article by Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter click here.

EcoProcura 2018 to collaborate with FSC

31 July 2018

EcoProcura 2018 is proud to announce that it will collaborate with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) on its 2018 conference on sustainable, circular and innovation procurement, which is taking place 3-5 October in Nijmegen (The Netherlands).

FSC is a global not-for-profit organisation that sets the standards for what is a responsibly managed forest, both environmentally and socially.

During the conference, the FSC will host a breakout session titled ‘The building blocks of sustainability: Procuring bio-based materials and other circular solutions for construction’, which will explore how circular innovations can be translated into technical procurement approaches. Participants will identify the links between circular procurement, bio-based solutions and more established technical solutions, and explore how the public procurement of today can contribute to tomorrow's policy and targets for buildings and infrastructure.

The FSC will also host a Market Lounge table, titled: ‘Calculating the impact of procuring timber’. The session will showcase the recently developed FSC Impact calculator, which highlights possible social costs (climate change, loss of biodiversity) of non-FSC tropical timber.

EcoProcura participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about and speak directly to FSC staff at their information stand during coffee breaks and lunches.

For more information about EcoProcura and to register, click here.

Palm oil and green public procurement

26 July 2018

The latest GPP News Alert discusses the role of sustainable palm oil in green public procurement (GPP) including current guidance and policies on the issue. With tropical forests disappearing at a rate of about 13 million hectares per year, the spotlight is also on palm oil as one potential driver of deforestation. Palm oil is used in a wide range of products from food over fuel to cosmetics and its market share has increased over the past 20 years.

Requirements addressing sustainably produced palm oil form part of the proposals for the new EU GPP Criteria for Food and Catering Services. Certification schemes for sustainable production that are based on multi-stakeholder organisations with a broad membership, such as that of RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), can be used as a mean for proof.

Earlier this year, a study was commissioned by the European Commission’s (EC) DG Environment seeking to understand the environmental, social and economic aspects (both positive and negative) of palm oil production and consumption as well as existing palm oil sustainability schemes. This study will serve to inform the EU’s work on global deforestation, including the consideration into setting up an EU Action Plan on deforestation.

To find out more about the relation of palm oil and GPP including further guidance, read the latest GPP news alert here. For more information on the EU’s action on deforestation, click here.

12 Candidates in the Running for Procura+ Awards

24 July 2018

The scene is set for the 2018 Procura+ Awards, with 12 candidates now through to the next round of selection in the run up to the EcoProcura conference in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where the winners will be unveiled.

The 12 candidates have been selected from a strong field of two dozen entries in three contest categories: Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year, and Procurement Initiative of the Year. With four nominees for each category, the scene is set for a close contest.

This year’s jury is comprised of high-level representatives with vast experience in procurement practice and policy making. Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö and Procura+ Network Chair, Janos Bertok, Head of the Public Sector Integrity Division at the OECD, and Marzena Rogalska, Acting Director of the European Commission’s DG Grow are all taking part in the judging process.

Commenting on the record number of entries for this year’s awards, Procura+ Award Jury Chair and Global Director of ICLEI’s Procurement Centre Mark Hidson said: “We were incredibly impressed by the quality of all applications this year. All of the entries reflected the great strides that public authorities across Europe are making in sustainable, circular, strategic and innovation procurement."

For more information on the 2018 awards, visit the Procura+ website.

UN High Level Political Forum: Procurement key to achieve SDGs

19 July 2018

Sustainable procurement was recognised as key to the achievement of the SDGs at the UN’s annual High Level Political Forum (HLPF), which took place this week, 9 - 18 July 2018, in New York (USA).

The HLPF is the UN’s main platform on sustainable development and plays a central role in the follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. Among the SDGs addressed was SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

During the forum, ICLEI’s Secretary General Gino Van Begin emphasized strategic public procurement’s role in achieving this goal. Van Begin pointed out that public procurement makes up 15 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product. Therefore, how to procure should underpin governments’ decisions, making them beneficial for the organisation, but also for the environment, society and the economy.

ICLEI’s work is a key driver for sustainable development through public procurement. Networks such as the Procura+ Sustainable Procurement Network and the Global Lead City Network (GLCN) on Sustainable Procurement engage over 300 cities in 50 countries.

ICLEI was represented during the Forum by local and regional leaders from across the world, among which Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn (Germany) and President of ICLEI, Procura+ Member Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona (Spain), and Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal, a GLCN member.

To learn more about the HLPF, click here. To find out more about ICLEI’s delegation at the HLPF, click here, and for ICLEI Europe’s contribution to the HLPF, click here.

EcoProcura 2018: Keynote Speakers and Market Lounge tables confirmed

17 July 2018

The EcoProcura 2018 conference on strategic, sustainable, circular and innovation procurement has confirmed its keynote speakers and over 50 Market Lounge tables. Speakers include representatives of the European Commission, mayors of leading cities, business leaders and some of the brightest inspirational thought leaders, among which Bertrand Piccard, the initiator behind Solar Impluse - the first airplane to fly around the world powered by solar energy .

The Market Lounge tables, each hosted by pioneering practitioners, are an opportunity for participants to engage in personal conversation with experts and other experienced procurers, and learn about circular procurement in practice, sustainability of supply chains, developing approaches to innovation, putting procurement policy into practice, and many more essential procurement skills.

EcoProcura 2018 marks 20 years of the conference series and is an unmissable opportunity to meet with other procurers, policy makers, businesses, researchers and international organisations.

For more information about the conference and registration, click here. A list of confirmed plenary speakers can be found here. The full programme, including breakout session speakers and Market Lounge hosts can be found here.