PUBLIC PROCUREMENT NEWS

  

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Pre-Commercial Procurement helps Norwegian Ferries Run Emission-free

10 December 2019

In 2017, Sør-Trøndelag County Council in Norway decided to take action to lower the emissions of the public ferry services, in support of achieving the County’s climate goals. Six speedboats emit the same amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) as 1000 busses. In 2018-2019, together with 10 other Counties, Trøndelag conducted a pre-commercial procurement (PCP) to challenge the market to develop emission free high speed ferry boats. Five consortia delivered on the challenge and the Counties are now preparing to procure the new emission free boat services.

Five consortia started the competition beginning 2018: Brødrene Aa, NTNU Technology Transfer / Flying Foil, Rødne Trafikk AS, Transportutvikling AS and Selfa Arctic AS. The 5 consortia brought together a variety of expertise to come up with an end-to-end solution that tackles the problem from all angles: ship builders, designers, engineering companies, system integrators, energy companies, operators etc.

The five consortia came up with different ways to address the problem: they proposed different types and configurations of renewable electricity that ranged from pure battery to pure hydrogen to hybrid hydrogen / battery solutions. All solutions were so promising that they all made it through to the final testing in the summer of 2019.

The tests that were conducted in the summer of 2019 showed that it will indeed be possible for the Counties to buy emission free express boats in their upcoming call for tenders, some of which are already under preparation.

For more information about the PCP, click here.

Our demand for electric cars and smartphones is drying up the most arid place in the world

5 December 2019

The recent investigation ‘Devices draining the desert’ by Danwatch found that lithium extraction for the batteries in our computers, telephones and electric cars is using many of the scarce water resources that let indigenous peoples and animals inhabit the world’s driest desert – the Atacama.


Underneath the Atacama and adjoining salt flats, Chile is estimated to possess more than half of the world’s reserves of lithium - the light metal that is an essential ingredient in the batteries of our telephones and computers as well as the electric cars that are deemed essential for a green energy transition. With the soaring EV industry, the global lithium demand is expected to more than triple by 2025 and so a “white gold rush” is upon Chile and its neighbouring countries.


But extracting Atacama’s lithium entails pumping up massive amounts of the scarce water resources that have allowed indigenous peoples and animals to survive for thousands of years in this harsh environment. And according to researchers, it already causes lasting harm to the fragile ecosystem of the world’s driest place.


In the Atacama and elsewhere in Chile, indigenous communities are now protesting current and future lithium extraction plans. Many communities claim they have never been consulted prior to the extraction projects, though Chilean authorities are obliged to do so according to international conventions ratified by the Chilean state. Danwatch can document that companies such as Samsung, Panasonic, Apple, Tesla and BMW get batteries from companies that use Chilean lithium.


Read more about the impacts on the indigenous communities here.
Read more about the impact on biodiversity here.
Read more about lithium supply-chains and companies involved here.

The Danwatch investigation was supported by the EU-funded project Make ICT Fair and published in collaboration with Setem.

Breaking Ground – Big Buyers Procurement Training leverages public purchasing for clean construction and EVs

3 December 2019

European cities are ready to take their public procurement to the next level. At an event in Oslo this week, frontrunner cities got together to make their procurement power count in the fields of circular construction, heavy duty electric vehicles and zero emission construction sites.

Over 40 cities, among them GLCN Cities Helsinki and Rotterdam, as well as Procura+ participants such as Zurich, and Haarlem, as well as leading cities such as Paris and Brussels, got together in Oslo on 28 and 29 November to build their capacity for innovation procurement, to share market engagement experiences, and to develop criteria for pilot procurements in the sectors mentioned above. This collaboration takes place thanks to the European Commission’s Big Buyers Initiative.

At the workshop, cities visited a zero-emission construction site where all construction machinery is powered by renewable-sourced electricity and a building renovation and expansion project in which nearly 70% of construction materials were reused. Rounding off the site visits, participants were transported by some of Oslo’s electric public buses. Oslo also shared a deep dive into how their environmental criteria for zero-emission transport and construction sites have been received by the market, which aligns with their target that by 2025 all publicly procured construction in the city must have a zero-emission site.

After a welcome from Ivo Locatelli of DG Grow, participants heard from innovative procurement experiences around the room: from a dynamic purchasing system for joint procurement by Copenhagen and Oslo, a buyer-supplier trust partnership model by Amsterdam, and procuring sustainable housing using LCA criteria by Helsinki. Procurers affirmed the available levers and procedures available to them to incentivise innovation, build trusting relationships with suppliers, and accelerate progress towards their environmental goals.


A session on dos and don’ts of market engagement highlighted a wide variety of experiences procuring innovative and sustainable solutions and also demonstrated the importance of close collaboration between buyers and suppliers to align their needs and ambitions. Going forward, participating cities will engage in further capacity building events and will give and receive feedback on their approaches and criteria for upcoming procurements in these fields.

 

The cities are part of the Big Buyers Initiative, a European Commission Initiative run by ICLEI and EUROCITIES, for promoting collaboration between big public buyers in implementing strategic public procurement to improve their cities’ sustainability and quality of life. They are united by their common ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions and minimise resource consumption. As part of the initiative, three working groups on circular construction materials, heavy-duty electric vehicles, and zero-emission construction sites were established.

For more information about the Big Buyers Initiative go here.

 

Procurement to localise the SDGs – New ICLEI guidance for towns and cities with 15 pathways

2 December 2019

ICLEI, alongside the City of Aalborg and the Basque Country, recently launched a new publication, which presents towns and cities with 15 pathways they can use to localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The publication, which was launched at the European Committee of the Regions during the 2019 Transformative Action Award ceremony, provides local governments with inspiring and replicable examples of how the 15 pathways of the Basque Declaration can be used to implement the SDGs at the local level.

Sustainable public procurement is featured as key mechanism for several pathways. For example, Pathway 6 “We will turn the challenges in front of us into opportunities for our local economies” features the cutting-edge work on food procurement of GLCN City and Procura+ Participant Ghent.

Geestland's procurement of LED street lighting as well as GLCN City and Procura+ Participant Rotterdam's customer-centred approach to the procurement of transport services for the elderly and disabled form examples for Pathway 12, which focuses on accelerating sustainability and innovation through public procurement.

In addition, Pathway 15 features Udaltalde 21's project which sees 11 small Basque municipalities coming together under a supra-municipal cooperation model in order to share tenders and work on a common sustainability strategy.

For more information and to download the publication, click here.

 

The latest on life-cycle costing for procurement

26 November 2019

On behalf of the European Commission, ICLEI Europe and Ecoinstitut will host a webinar focussed on the 5 product-specific life cycle costing (LCC) tools that the European Commission has produced to facilitate the use of LCC in tendering processes among public authorities in the European Union.

The webinar will serve to:
- present the tools and help authorities understand their structure and features;
- demonstrate how to use one of them with real data; and
- reflect on what the results mean from a green public procurement perspective.

Details:

16th December 2019 at 14:00 CET

Access the full agenda here.

Register to attend the webinar here.

 

China, ICLEI, the Netherlands and UN Environment Programme join hands to lead the globe towards sustainable procurement

25 November 2019

The UN-led initiative “One Planet Network” has a new leadership for its Sustainable Procurement Programme. Four organisations are going to jointly manage the programme to accelerate the uptake of sustainable procurement (SPP) – a key pillar in achieving SDG 12. The selected organisations are: ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Environment Development Centre of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China (EDC), the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS) of the Netherlands, and the UN Environment Programme. The initiative is mandated by the UN member states and supports the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 - ensuring Sustainable Consumption and Production.

The new leadership brings together a strong combination of expertise on SPP alongside vast experience in addressing sustainable public procurement at different governance levels and across the globe.   

Public procurement can be used to address environmental issues and encourage social cohesion. It can create new jobs, new markets and opportunities for business. ICLEI has been advocating for and supporting implementation of sustainable public procurement globally for over 23 years. Together with ambitious organisations like the EDC, RWS, and the UNEP, we will be able to support the uptake and implementation of sustainable public procurement at the local, national, regional and worldwide level to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns and assist in the delivery of Sustainable Development Goal 12,” said Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö, ICLEI Global Executive Committee member on the Sustainable Local Economy and Procurement portfolio.

With the new leadership, the Sustainable Procurement Programme will empower public authorities at all levels to make use of their public funds to pave the path towards SDG 12.

“For a healthy future we have to stop wasting our finite resources and focus on circularity. We have to reuse materials and turn them into new products. Sustainable public procurement is our way of leading by example and helping to create a sustainable, circular market. And it works! So let’s coordinate our efforts, share what we learn and make a difference together,” highlighted Stientje van Veldhoven, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands

Procurement has a key - although often overlooked - role in this endeavour. The One Planet Network’s SPP programme therefore mobilises support for SPP at all levels, involving a multitude of global actors. It supports countries and public authorities by demonstrating the value of SPP in addressing key environmental and social challenges, and working towards SPP implementation.

“Sustainable Public Procurement is the key measure for sustainable consumption and production transition. The Environmental Development Centre, China,  has long been committed to the policy research and implementation of sustainable consumption and production, environmental labeling and climate change, thus accumulating rich experience in these areas. By teaming up with international partners like UNEP, ICLEI and RWS, we will steadily advance cooperation and exchange between countries and regions, and stimulate the SPP programme globally. Exploring together, we will make every endeavor to achieve global sustainable development goals,” said Dr. Ren Yong, Director General of EDC.

To achieve this, the programme will connect SPP initiatives at global, regional, national and local level to replicate and scale-up impactful projects in collaboration.

For the upcoming period, the new leadership will focus on a range of key themes and sectors with high expected impact on SDG 12: construction and infrastructure, health, ICT, food, and circular procurement. Additional themes or sectors may be included at a later date.

New GPP Criteria - Public Space Maintenance

22 November 2019

The EU GPP criteria for public space maintenance have been finalised.

The criteria cover the following categories:

- outdoor cleaning products and services

- gardening products and services

- machinery products and services

- vehicles and service fleets and,

- common criteria for service categories

The use of these criteria has the potential to considerably reduce environmental impacts from public space maintenance, for instance by setting requirements on the cleaning products formulation and raw material use, manufacturing and end-of-life of cleaning products and disposable cleaning accessories; water saving in irrigation systems and watering practices, gardening practices to enhance biodiversity or the use of low-emissions vehicles and machinery.

These criteria are one of several product group EU GPP criteria that are being developed to facilitate the inclusion of green requirements in public tender documents.

The new criteria are currently available in English but translations are ongoing.
They will soon be included on the GPP webpage.

In the meantime, you can view the criteria on the project webpage with the description EU GPP criteria for public space maintenance SWD.

 

European Big Buyers advance procurement of zero emission vehicles

14 November 2019

The Big Buyers is a European Commission Initiative (BBI) for promoting collaboration between big public buyers in implementing strategic public procurement. As part of the platform, three working groups on circular construction, electric vehicles, and zero emission construction were established. The first meeting of the Big Buyers working group on electric vehicles took place on the 30 of October in Procura+ Participant and GLCN City Rotterdam. 25 participants from 11 cities and institutions discussed the procurement of (heavy-duty) electric vehicles, in particular for waste collection, street cleaning, and goods delivery.


The cities of Oslo (Procura+ Participant), Paris and Helsinki (Procura+ Participant) presented three best practice examples. Each participant also presented their current work, ambitions and challenges related to the procurement of electric vehicles.
Participants also had the chance to see Rotterdam’s electric fleet: 8 electric vehicles (light commercial vans, a garbage truck, an equipment carrier and sweeping machines) were presented in operation. During the site visit the participants gained valuable insights on what type of electric vehicles are already on the market and in daily use by the City of Rotterdam.
In the upcoming months, this cross-European working group decided to work on three main actions:

• Creating a platform for collaboration and sharing on technical specification for these type of vehicles, which are unique for the public sector
• Joint market dialogue and engagement
• Joint statement of demand

Additionally, a market engagement event is planned to take place in the spring of 2020. The next meeting of this group will be a BBI Procurement Training in Oslo, Norway on 28 & 29 November 2019. This will be an event for all three Big Buyers working groups, with cross-cutting capacity building sessions on how to build innovation in procurement.

MUPASS 2019 - our three take-aways

12 November 2019

The MUPASS Dialogue Forum 2019 took place in Bonn, Germany. The three-day Forum enabled a fruitful exchange on the topic of sustainable public procurement (SPP) with many interactive formats for senior officials from Europe, Africa and South America. The event was jointly organized by the German Development Institute, Engagement Global, Service Agency Communities in One World and the German Federal Ministry for Economy Cooperation and Development. Our colleague Philipp Tepper attended the event to share ICLEI’s work on enabling socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) through the Procura+ Network or the Global Lead Cities Network (GLCN) as well as the opportunity to submit good practice cases as part of the #WeBuySocialEU Project.

Back in 2018, the German Development Institute started organizing international dialogue on SPP, finding that despite regional differences, key challenges in implementing SPP are similar. Thus, mutual exchange and learning beyond borders appears extremely beneficial for public procurement experts.

Our three key take aways from this year:

1. SRPP benefits from a curated space and time for practitioners from different cultural contexts to exchange on its meaning and implications. This international exchange emphasized the spectrum of what social responsibility can entail e.g. tackling corruption across supply-chains, supporting local employment schemes, to fair working conditions and gender equality.

2. Social responsibility is a topic where public authorities hold leverage to makeshift. Procurement is a tool to act on the public responsibility of buying fair, just and for public benefit. GLCN cities such as Oslo, Ghent or Buenos Aires have put in place policies, strategies and processes that implement SRPP across sectors.

3. Lighthouse stories from cities such as Bonn, Freetown or the state of Sao Paulo inspire momentum and efforts towards replication. SPP is not yet mainstream. However, exchanging experiences and identifying common challenges strengthens the sense of direction and future collaboration.


Looking beyond the MUPASS Forum, the Procura+ Network offers thematic City Matches for a select group of procurers to connect and foster exchange.

Watch a recap of the MUPASS Forum 2019.

Local governments for climate conference calls on procurment to combat climate change

7 November 2019

There is great potential for local governments to use public procurement to strengthen their work on climate change and sustainability. Green and socially responsible public procurement are key tools laid out in the German governments’ Sustainability Agenda to achieve its climate targets.

How can local governments incorporate climate targets and resource efficiency in their procurement practices? Which criteria need to be considered?

At 12th annual “Kommunale Kilmakonferenz” (Local Governments for Climate Conference) in ICLEI Member Berlin (Germany), local governments and climate leaders got together to discuss these topics.

In his keynote address, Wolfgang Teubner, ICLEI Europe Regional Director, encouraged local governments to pick up public procurement as a key area of focus in combatting climate change. He highlighted that 13% of GDP in Germany results from public procurement, and provided a range of examples from German and European cities that make use of this spending power to minimise carbon emissions and improve resource efficiency.

Cities such as ICLEI Member Hamburg (Germany) are constantly pushing for greener procurement criteria and leading the way in the implementation of sustainable procurement. Examples from sectors such as transport, mobility, and catering show that public procurement can incorporate climate change related goals and help to achieve them.

“It is good for cities to dare to move off the beaten path and try out new and different approaches,” concluded Mr Teubner.

At the conference, ICLEI Member Ludwigsburg (Germany) was honoured with an award for outstanding climate-friendly procurement for their work in using procurement strategically to achieve better public health, lower carbon emissions, and improve resource efficiency, all by introducing circular procurement approaches. The city has made strict sustainability criteria mandatory across all procuring departments.

To learn more about the conference, click here.