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Did you know: We have only one Planet Earth

15 November 2018

“We are the first generation that has a clear picture of the value of nature and the enormous impact we have on it. We may also be the last that can act to reverse this trend. From now until 2020 will be a decisive moment in history” – concludes the Living Planet Report 2018, recently published by WWF. The report shows the devastating environmental consequences of our way of production and consumption for biodiversity. For instance, almost 20% of the Amazon has disappeared in just 50 years.

The report emphasizes that biodiversity loss is not only unfortunate in and of its own, but it risks the very foundation of human prosperity: “As we better understand our reliance on natural systems it’s clear that nature is not just a ‘nice to have’.” Healthy ecosystems offer services worth about US$125 trillion a year that enable us as human species to thrive.

The report highlights that “Consumption is the driving force behind the unprecedented planetary change we are witnessing, through the increased demand for energy, land and water”. Thus, procuring products, goods and services sustainably across sectors and along supply chains is a significant part of the solution to re-design how humans can thrive within capacities of the Earth’s ecosystems.

For a shift in processes, practices and structures, concepts such as circular procurement or sustainable public procurement (SPP) are necessary and already applied by forward thinking public authorities. To learn how your procurement department can make a change have a look at our Resource Centre.

If you want to get involved in this important transition, consider becoming a Procura+ member, joining a network of European public authorities and regions that connect, exchange and act on sustainable and innovation procurement.

Read the full report, the summary and get to know more on how to take action.

Global North-South Knowledge Exchange Event on Sustainable Public Procurement

13 November 2018

Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) is growing in importance globally as a tool to achieve sustainable development and take climate action, particularly with the global commitment to SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production. The project ‘Municipalities Promoting and Shaping Sustainable Value Creation (MUPASS) – Public Procurement For Fair and Sustainable Production’, which ICLEI Africa is supporting, is a project of the German Development Institute (DIE), that analyses potentials and challenges in this policy field.

As part of this project, from 17 – 19 October 2018, eight representatives from Sub-Saharan Africa attended the MUPASS Global North-South Knowledge Exchange in Bremen (Germany) along with European city governments and other stakeholders working in SPP. This intensive three-day learning engagement gave representatives a chance to share their practice and learn from one another how to advance SPP.  Main challenges addressed during the event included the management of supply chains and broader change management principles needed to address climate change and sustainability challenges.

Mutual and equal learning is an important aspect of the project, as was underlined during the event. Attendants also had the chance to learn more about the ICLEIs work in this field, in particular the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Public Procurement and the Procura+ Networks, giving examples of good practice and shared challenges between the regions.

ICLEI Africa has been working with the German Development Institute to undertake research in to SPP in Sub-Saharan Africa and supported and participated in this event as part of this work.

Learn more about ICLEI Africa and their Sustainable Public Procurement work here.

Learn more about the MUPASS programme here.

 

European parliament adopts regulation banning single use plastics

9 November 2018

The EU Parliament approved an EU wide ban of several single-use plastic items by 2021 and adopted strict recycling regulation over other plastics such as beverage bottles, food containers at rates of up to 90% by 2025. This ban is a significant contribution tackling plastic pollution in the environment. Single-use items included in the ban such as cutlery, straws or cotton buds make up over 70% of marine litter. The intention behind banning the items is “…to protect the marine environment and reduce the costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe, estimated at 22 billion euros by 2030.” says Frédérique Ries (MEP ALDE, Belgium).

The single use plastic items covered by this regulation were selected since there are sustainable alternative readily available. However, this ban could have implications on how public procurement is handling catering and event management as these often rely heavily on reusable cutlery. Procurement will need to consider alternatives such as reusable cutlery and dishes, which come with a different set of service requirements. 

As part of the ICLEI project InnProBio the Swedish region Skane has set a cutting-edge example for how public procurement can tackle the issue of plastic pollution. Through innovation procurement the region has managed to introduce a new product in all regional hospitals: Their disposable aprons are now made from a newly developed biobased material that meets high performance and sustainability criteria. Learn more about the procurement procedure, results and lessons learned, here.  

For more information on the EU single use plastic ban go here
 

 

Suwon – recycled asphalt unlocks major benefits of GPP

6 November 2018

Green Public Procurement enabled recycling of 33,617 tons of asphalt concrete in total and created environmental and economic benefits worth more than 800 million KRW in Suwon, South Korea.

This was achieved through the “SPP Tender Implementa­tion and Impact Monitoring” that is being conducted in Asia under the UN 10 Year Framework Programme for Sustainable Consumption and Pro­duction (10 YFP) since March 2017. In addition, Suwon reached their targets for increasing the ratios of the annual GPP to over 40% and that of Recycled Asphalt Concrete (RAC) to more than 20% through this project.

During the project, the city of Suwon determined to recycle of asphalt concrete as its core influence area and pledged to make its utmost efforts to promote green public procurement in cooperation with ICLEI Korea Office (KO) and Korea Environ­mental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI). The step-by-step process was guided by the Procura+ Manual, resulting in a strategy of five phases. More detail is available in the case study published by ICLEI KO as part of the UN10YFP SPP working group No.1a.

In the future, the city of Suwon wants to build on this successful practice with the aim of becoming a leading city in terms of green public procurement by sharing their experience across the world.

Read the full case study here

Launch of TCO Certified, generation 8

2 November 2018

How far away is a future where all IT products have a circular and sustainable life cycle?

It might come closer when there are specific criteria for helping suppliers and buyers to contribute to a more sustainable future toward the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. TCO did exactly so, launching a wide range of updated and new criteria, designed to promote a circular approach to IT products along with transparency and responsibility in the supply chain.

Want to learn more about the criteria? Then, join the launch event 14.00-17.30 on December 4, 2018, in Brussels.

The event is moderated by human rights lawyer and author Parul Sharma, who has led the Swedish Government’s delegation for implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The keynote speaker is the sustainability expert and award-winning designer Leyla Acaroglu. Challenging the audience with thought-provoking ideas, she will talk about how innovation can help drive positive environmental and social change and how disruptive design solutions can help promote the circular economy.

Register here.