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PRIMES project highlights good practice in GPP

28 July 2016

A series of good practice case studies have been published which show how GPP is being implemented in smaller municipalities. The case studies were developed through the EU funded PRIMES project. They focus on the product categories that have been found to be particularly relevant when it comes to the implementation of green public procurement in smaller municipalities. These include energy efficient street lighting, sustainable construction works, procuring energy efficient ICT products, and green electricity.

PRIMES is an EU funded project that aims to develop basic skills and provide hands-on support for public procurers in order to overcome barriers and implement Green Public Procurement (GPP). The project is offering good GPP practice examples from several smaller and medium sized municipalities of six European countries (Croatia, Denmark, France, Italy, Latvia and Sweden.

PRIMES first green public procurement good practices aim at helping small and medium sized municipalities in implementing green public procurement and at sharing procurers’ experiences. The good practice case studies can be found on the PRIMES website, with more due to be made available during the course of the year.

For further questions do not hesitate to contact Jorgen Grubbe at the Municipalities of Holbaek, Denmark at jogru@holb.dk.

900,000 tonnes of CO2 savings achieved by GPP2020 project

26 July 2016

As highlighted by July’s 2016 GPP News Alert, the EU-funded GPP2020 project, through its green procurement activities, predicts an environmental saving of 900,000 tonnes of CO2. The savings estimation amounts to 956,000 barrels of crude oil, or the content of over fifteen oil tankers.

The GPP2020 project has been working with public procurers in Europe to implement innovative, environmentally-friendly tenders within the scope of easing purchases of low-carbon goods and services. Over the course of three years, more than 100 tenders were implemented by over 40 public authorities in nine countries.

Examples of green procurement go from more energy-efficient commercial dishwashers in Germany to the joint procurement of an energy performance contract for Italian hospital. The latter having managed to save, respectively, the equivalent of 207 flights from Barcelona to Ljubljana, and the equivalent of the power needed to light 341 football stadiums each year.

For more information, read the latest GPP News Alert.

Procura+ Webinar on SPP monitoring

22 July 2016

The Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network recently hosted a webinar entitled How sustainable are your purchases? Monitoring to improve your SPP. Attended by over 40 people, the webinar explored best practice, success stories and key techniques for effective monitoring of sustainable procurement.


Robert Kaukewitsch of DG Environment gave an introduction to SPP monitoring at European policy level, including current research into the scope of monitoring and the possibility to align green public procurement (GPP) monitoring with mandatory e-procurement. This was followed by a presentation by Els Verwimp of the Government of Flanders on the practical approach to SPP monitoring in the Flemish Environment, Nature and Energy Department. In the next presentation, Patrizia Giancotti of Metropolitan City of Rome Capital provided an overview of SPP Monitoring in Rome, showing how the authority tries to make reporting simple and “force” buyers to comply with GPP criteria. The third presentation, by Aure Audell of EcoInstitut, examined key elements and recommendations for monitoring SPP implementation.

If you missed the event, you can view a full recording of the webinar at the Procura+ website.

Second InnProBio factsheet focuses on sustainability

20 July 2016

The InnProBio team has issued its second factsheet, entitled Sustainability of bio-based products. This publication explains what the basis for sustainable bio-based products is. Importantly, just being a non-fossil feedstock is not enough, and considerations such as the agricultural practices for the cultivation of the biomass, the energy used in the production process, or the process agents such as chemicals and solvents, need to be taken into account.

This second factsheet contains detailed information about feedstocks, the end-of-life of bio-based products, and how to measure environmental impacts using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Product Carbon Footprint (PCF). There is also a section on certifications and labels that can help public procurers to define their requirements regarding bio-based products in their public tenders.

Bio-based products can offer improved functionalities compared to traditional fossil-fuel products, and the different aspects covered in this factsheet should be considered in order to make the bio-based products sustainable across their life cycles. The third factsheet, which will be issued in the coming days, will address different myths and facts about biodegradability.

The new factsheet is available here.

Rotterdam joins sustainable tropical timber initiative

15 July 2016

The European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) saw its membership increase during its recent conference in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), with the host city ending the conference by joining. ‘We aim to be the world’s most sustainable port city and we see joining the STTC as integral to that,’ said Leon Dijk, Sustainable Procurement specialist with Rotterdam City Council. Almost 100 people from across the STTC membership took part in the conference. European Timber Trade Federation Secretary General Andre de Boer told participants that there are early signs that efforts to strengthen the sustainable tropical timber market are paying off, but warned that more needs to be done to make the concept mainstream. He finished by urging companies and organisations to join the STTC.

The STTC recently launched a €2 million funding campaign to help local authorities and businesses to implement sustainable timber procurement policies. The Netherlands has been particularly active in promoting sustainable tropical timber, backing the STTC and implementing a procurement system that has seen a rise in sustainable timber market share from 13.4 percent to 74 percent. The so-called ‘Green Deal’ between the public and private sectors aims to boost sustainable timber’s market share further.

In addition to plenary sessions, the conference featured lively workshops that looked at designing sustainable procurement policies and financial instruments for driving sustainable timber markets. By stimulating demand for sustainable tropical timber, European authorities can prevent deforestation and provide a livelihood for millions of people in developing countries.

For more information on joining the STTC, contact mark.vanbenthem@probos.nl.

Procura+ Seminar 2016 to look at the power of networks

12 July 2016

ICLEI, in cooperation with the Forum CompraVerde-BuyGreen conference, have announced the 2016 Procura+ Seminar, which will take place 14 October 2016 in Rome (Italy). The Procura+ series of seminars provide an opportunity for face-to-face exchange with purchasers from all levels of government and a wide-range of procurement stakeholders.

The 2016 Seminar will explore how working together in networks – from regional to European level – can increase capacity and support implementation of sustainable and innovation procurement. The programme will include keynote presentations, workshops and interactive sessions aimed at building and strengthening existing networks.

The Procura+ Participants and Strategic Partners meeting will take place on the afternoon of 13 October, the day before the Procura+ Seminar. All are welcome to attend to gain a better idea of the activities the Procura+ Network has to offer. The full-day seminar is organised together with the SPP Regions and GPPbest project consortia.

For more information, visit the Procura+ website or contact rome2016@iclei.org.

EU framework aims to prevent funding of warlords and criminals

8 July 2016

Following thorough discussion and debate between the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council, the EU has agreed on a new framework to prevent the purchase of materials that could be used to fund armed groups. Mobile phones, electronics, cars and jewelry are among the products most likely to include so-called conflict materials, such as tin, tungsten, and gold.

The new framework tackles companies early in the supply chain, ensuring they procure materials responsibly. The majority of metals and minerals imported to the EU will be covered by the framework, with small suppliers exempt. The EU will further develop reporting tools for companies to ensure that they are abiding by supply chain standards.

Speaking to Supply Management magazine, Bernd Lange, Chairman of the European Parliament’s INTA committee, said: “We need to step up to our responsibilities and finally break the vicious cycle between the trade in minerals and the financing of conflict.” A full regulation will be adopted in the coming months.

For more information, visit Supply Management.

Procura+ Awards for sustainable and innovative procurement

6 July 2016

Public procurers that have carried out a sustainable and innovative procurement procedure are invited to apply for the prestigious Procura+ Awards.

The awards, which replace the Procurement of Innovation awards, have been broadened to include three categories: 'Sustainable Procurement of the Year' recognises the outstanding environmental, social and economic impacts of a procurement; 'Innovation Procurement of the Year' acknowledges an impressive procurement of innovation and the public authority as a launch customer; and 'Tender Procedure of the Year' rewards procurers that took an exceptional approach to sustainable and innovation procurement.

The Federal Procurement Agency of Austria won last year’s Procurement of Innovation award as a result of their procurement of a machine that vaporises waste-water to remove waste particles. The solution is used by the Austrian mint to clean water contaminated during the production of coins and notes.

For more information and to apply, visit procuraplus.org.