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Only one month left to apply for the 2019 Transformative Action Award

8 July 2019

With only one month left before applications close, don’t miss your chance to win €10,000 and become recognised as a leader of sustainable urban transformation with the 2019 Transformative Action Award.

The award, co-organised by ICLEI, the Basque Country, and the City of Aalborg (Denmark) and supported by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) 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.

Actions under the following topic areas are welcomed: decarbonisation, urban mobility, biodiversity, greenfield land and natural space, water resources and air quality, climate change, public space, housing, social inclusion and integration, and local economies and employment.

The competition is open to any local or regional authority or civil society organisation located in an EU Member State, EEA country, or EU candidate or accession country. Applicants must be endorsers of the Basque Declaration. The application deadline is 31 July 2019.

For more information and to learn more about how to endorse the Basque Declaration and apply for the Award, click here.

Copper with a Cost - how procurement can help

2 July 2019

A recent report published by Swedwatch showcases findings from an investigation on human rights risks and impacts associated with large-scale mining of copper in Zambia, one of the largest copper producing and exporting countries in the world. As mineral, copper is an essential component of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products, such as smartphones and laptops.

In 2011, the public sectors of 29 European countries procured 50.3 billion EUR in ICT goods and services. Public procurement holds significant buying power, giving opportunity to shape the market with regards to implementation and monitoring of social and environmental standards.
However, the report outlines that ICT supply chains are characterised by low transparency and traceability. As ICT involves many business intermediaries, from mineral extraction to finished product, it is challenging for public authorities to know the source of minerals present in their ICT devices and if they are associated with conflict and human rights impacts.

Swedwatch's report titled 'Copper with a Cost' emphasises two main issues based on their research in Zambia: 1) mining activities detrimentally impacted local communities’ right to clean water and health as well as their livelihoods and 2) following the establishment of a new mine livelihood restoration has been insufficient and community members face impacts on their food security, as well as disturbance of social structures and norms.

Swedwatch’s findings suggest that there is a need for the ICT sector as a whole to enhance human rights due diligence efforts beyond the scope of 3TG and cobalt and include copper and other high-risk materials. Furthermore, the report outlines recommendations to e.g. companies along the supply-chain but also to contracting authorities within the European Union:

  • Include social criteria in public procurement processes and contracts for ICT products.
  • Criteria should ensure that suppliers perform effective human rights due diligence within their mineral supply chains of ICT products, in line with international standards and best practice.
  • Monitor suppliers’ compliance with the requirements closely and collaborate with other contracting authorities to build leverage.

Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement contains an expanded set of provisions relating to Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP). The directive enables public buyers to use social and environmental criteria in public tenders. As part of the Make ICT Fair project, 5 public authorities such as Region Stockholm, Barcelona City Council, Municipality of Haarlem, Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) and London are pioneering criteria and clauses on social responsibility in ICT tenders. Get to know more here.

Explore the full report by Swedwatch.
As public authority consider affliation to Electronics Watch and participation in the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network.

Launching the Procura+ Africa Network: a milestone towards SPP in Africa

1 July 2019

Last week at the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum, ICLEI Africa launched the Procura+ Africa Network. This is a major step toward supporting African local governments to work together to reap the benefits of sustainable public procurement (SPP). The network was founded with the goal to increase and deepen implementation of SPP in South Africa. Working together, the members of the network can learn from each other’s good practices in SPP and cities are able to further the implementation of SPP at higher political levels. It is also envisioned to facilitate joint procurements and increased collaboration with market parties and research institutions.

Representatives from African cities were invited during the launch to join the network to learn from each other and share best practices to implement sustainable public procurement, benefitting the economy, the environment, and the society.

The founding members of the Procura+ Africa Network include:

The Procura+ Africa Network is one of three regional Procura+ networks established by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, therefore connecting cities in Africa with a strong global community of local governments implementing sustainable public procurement. This will take place through in-person meetings, webinars, and where possible study tours for focused in-person learning.

The City of Tshwane is proud to be the first chair of the Procura+ Africa Network for the year 2019/2020, with ICLEI Africa as the secretariat supporting this important initiative.

Procura+ participants lead the way towards zero-emission procurement

28 June 2019

Three Procura+ participants have released Innovative Procurement Plans for zero-emission transport in procurement, to be implemented in the coming years.

Oslo (Norway)’s zero-emissions plan covers procurement broadly; they have also released a guidance document outlining recommended environmental requirements that can be used in procurement that includes transport. Rotterdam (The Netherlands) has created plans for zero-emission transport in procurement of Construction Materials, and for Craftsmen Service Contracts. Copenhagen (Denmark)’s plans cover Supply Consolidation as a way to lessen emissions, and zero-emission transportation for Craft and Facility Management Services.

These plans have informed a new handbook, Procuring zero emission delivery of goods and services. By drawing on the three cities’ experiences, the handbook, produced as part of the BuyZET project, coordinated by ICLEI, assists local authorities to reduce the carbon footprint of their procurement activities. Furthermore, it sheds light on how cities can fight climate change not only through municipal policies, but also as consumers.

The public sector is a major consumer of goods and services. More strategic and sustainable planning regarding the procurement and transport of these can thus have sweeping effects on both reducing emissions and traffic. Taking these bold steps in transport procurement emphasises the lighthouse role that both Oslo and Rotterdam already hold as member cities of the Global Lead Cities Network (GLCN) on Sustainable Procurement

To download the handbook, click here.

Learn how to GPP: Toolkit available now

27 June 2019

Green Public Procurement (GPP) helps public authorities to buy goods and services with a lower environmental impact. The Environment Directorate General of the European Commission recently published the GPP Training Toolkit. The Toolkit was developed by ICLEI Europe and is designed for use by public purchasers and by GPP trainers, or integration in general public procurement training courses and workshops. As such it supports public buyers in implementing GPP across sectors. 

It consists of six independent modules covering themes such as strategic implementation, legal aspects, market engagement and circular economy. In addition, the toolkit includes ten operational modules, which explore GPP implementation in various sectors such as building design, transport, lighting or textiles.

The toolkit comes in the form of modular PowerPoint presentations (including trainer notes) and accompanying guidance.

 

Explore the toolkit here.

If you need further help, consult the GPP Helpdesk. Stay up to date with GPP activities across Europe, subscribe to the GPP Newsalert!

Two examples for sustainable procurement in Chinese cities

26 June 2019

Sustainable procurement is being applied around the world as a tool to achieve environmental and social goals with regards to sustainable consumption and production. ICLEI East Asia, as part of their contribution to the One Planet Network Working Group 1a, recently published two case studies that showcase the ongoing efforts to reach high environmental standards in China.

The first example is the planned procurement of an 'Ice Storage Air Conditioning for a Green Building', in Shenzhen, Guangming district. The AC procurement of the Guangming Cultural and Arts Center was selected to apply green tender criteria. By 2020, the Center is expected to become a landmark public building which meets the highest environmental and energy standards at the national level. In addition to the environmental gains, the procurement has great potential for monetary savings. Example criteria are 'AC system designed with minimum refrigerating capacity and optimized with off-peak electricity tariffs' and 'AC system with the guaranteed end of life collection and disposal services'.

Read the full case study here.

Read the full story here.


The second case study presents an innovative furniture procurement that aims to contribute to a green supply chain in the Binhai New Area, Tianjin. The core procurement team decided to develop a new green evaluation scorecard for school furniture. The award criteria were structured to embrace a broader dimension of environmental performance covering the whole life cycle. Environmental performance is listed out as a separate category and represents 15% of the total assessment, which stands a significant increase from previous practice (4%). The assessment criteria for price and quality represent 30% and 55% respectively.


Lessons learned are that (1) effective communication between the procurement supervisory body and the procuring entity is the key to Binhai's success, (2) that more attention is required in informing the market of new bidding rules and (3) that international cooperation opens up new opportunities for GPP in China such as the work with ICLEI East Asia and Procura+.

Read the full case study here.

 

16 Candidates in the Running for Procura+ Awards

26 June 2019

The scene is set for the 2019 Procura+ Awards, with 16 candidates now through to the next round of selection in the run up to the Award ceremony at the Nordic Edge Expo in Stavanger, Norway, where the winners will be unveiled.

The 16 candidates have been selected from a strong field of over two dozen entries in four contest categories: Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year, Outstanding Procurement in ICT, and Procurement Initiative of the Year. With four nominees for each category, the scene is set for a close contest.

Among this years' nominees are Procura+ participants City of Ghent with their procurement of sustainable workwear, the Catalan Governement with a sustainable framework contract for cleaning services, the City of Helsinki with their innovation procurement for their historic stadium. Procura+ participant City of Växjö was nominated for their sustainable food procurement. Nominees for the Procurement Initiative of Year inlcude Procura+ participants Cit of Oslo, City of Zurich, the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat, and Ihobe.

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 and Global Director of ICLEI’s Procurement Centre Mark Hidson are all taking part in the judging process.

The Award ceremony will take place at the the Nordic Edge Expo, on 24 September 2019. Nordic Edge promotes solutions for smarter cities and communities and aims to be one of Europe´s most important arenas for knowledge exchange and inspiration to creators of smarter businesses, cities and societies. Established in 2015, Nordic Edge is by far the largest Smart City event in Norther Europe.

For more information on the 2019 awards, visit the Procura+ Awards page.

We are hiring: Officer in Sustainable and Innovation Procurement

25 June 2019

The Sustainable Economy and Procurement team at ICLEI is looking to fill the position of Sustainable and Innovation Procurement Officer at its European Secretariat in Freiburg (Germany).

ICLEI's Sustainable Economy and Procurement team has been working on the topics of sustainable, strategic and innovation procurement for 22 years. In more recent years our work has expanded to cover the topic of circular local economies. The team offers support to public authorities in implementation activities, spreading awareness of the concepts, developing new approaches, capacity building and encouraging policy developments at the European and international level.

We are looking for a person who has experience of sustainable and innovation procurement to complement the existing expertise within the team.

The deadline for applications is 14 July 2019. The description of the position and information on how to apply can be found on the ICLEI jobs page.

We look forward to your application!

10 challenges & good practices for circular public procurement

19 June 2019

Public procurement holds the power to implement sustainable production and consumption across sectors. To achieve high impact with regards to resource use, procurement needs to involve circular principles.

A new report developed by Climate KIC, the City of Malmö and the City of Helsinki as part of the Circular City project, recognises the important role that public authorities play in the transition to a circular economy. The report -  'The challenges and potential of circular procurements in public construction projects', points out that circular procurement focusing on construction projects can be the instrument to address the increasing challenge that cities face regarding their resources.

Circular procurement is still a relatively new theme and especially in the construction sector, circular procurements are still rare globally. The report outlines 10 challenges for the uptake of circular procurement such as 'procurements are locked down in the planning phase' or 'Lack of information and circular economy expertise is reflected in every stage of procurement'. Integrating circularity into the procurement for the public construction sector is possible as a curated case catalogue demonstrates as part of the report.

Among the 10 good practice cases are examples from ICLEI member Gothenburg, Sweden, Procura+ Participants Haarlem, the Netherlands and Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as GLCN City Helsinki, Finland. The ladder showcases the procurement for multifunctional space in the Laasko Hospital with the goals of easy maintenance and material longevity.

In the EU context, the new report connects well to the Circular Economy Action Plan, which was published by the EU Commission in 2017. Procurement specific guidance can also be found in the report on Public Procurement for a Circular Economy.

Looking ahead, the report concludes that to much more experience is needed about the use of recycled materials before circular building can become a standard procedure in the sector. Also, it will be important to incorporate emissions and cost calculations into pilot projects to make it easier to justify the benefits of circular building materials in the future. All in all, the report underlines the big opportunity to create systematic change towards circularity through public purchasing power.

 

Read the full report here.

Browse our Resource Centre for more material on circular procurement.

Are you ready to boost your procurement power?

13 June 2019

ICLEI is excited to bring opportunities to procurers to engage with suppliers and public authorities across Europe to discover and shape new innovative and sustainable solutions to their purchasing needs. ICLEI can link procurers’ plans and needs with funded projects, such as the Big Buyers Initiative and the Innovation Procurement Brokers, that can bring procurers closers to other buyers or suppliers.

The Big Buyers Initiative is a European Commission platform for promoting collaboration between big public buyers in implementing strategic public procurement. ICLEI is looking for ambitious and committed public authorities willing to work together to develop pioneering approaches to procurement, and develop strategic joint actions to help move the market. For that, different working groups on different procurement sectors are being set up. Practitioners interested in joining, just have to check the Big Buyers Initiative webpage.

On the other hand, the Innovation Procurement Brokers is a project that brings public buyers and suppliers of innovation together. If you are a procurer and already have a need, ICLEI and other expert partners can connect you with SMEs and start-ups from across Europe that can provide or develop innovative solutions to meet your challenge. If you are at an earlier stage, the Innovation Procurement Brokers team can also support you to identify and refine your needs. For more information, visit here.