NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 8 from 8 )

New initiative enlists public procurers to improve conditions for electronics workers

31 October 2013

Electronics Watch, an initiative that launched in September 2013, is tasked with improving the conditions of workers in the electronics industry across the world. As a result of revelations regarding the conditions for workers in gathering raw materials and manufacture of many popular electronics brands, Electronics Watch has been organised to help European public sector purchasers use their buying power to improve these matters.

Currently there is little public awareness and action among political and procurement decision makers in Europe concerning the labour rights violations that occur in the electronics sector. Neither is there any independent, comprehensive, and credible monitoring system to combat these.

Electronics Watch will provide detailed information regarding the electronics industry, and give help to public buyers with the aim of controlling their supply chain’s ethical standards. Collaborative working will be an important part of addressing the existing issues in procuring electronics. Solutions will promoting labour rights issues such as the right to organise trade unions without fear of reprisal, and improving health and safety standards.

For more information, click here.

PPI Platform launch offers exciting new resource for procurers

29 October 2013

With Europe’s economy facing serious challenges, there is a need to find innovative and sustainable solutions to stimulate the market. Recognising this, ICLEI has co-developed the Procurement of Innovation Platform, an online hub that helps public authorities, procurers, policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders harness the power of Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) and Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP). The platform has been developed with support from the European Commission, and in partnership with PIANOo, REC and IWT. It will be launched today at a high-level event in Brussels (Belgium) on 29 October 2013.

“Public procurement of sustainable and innovative goods and services is one of the essential tools for stimulating new technological or service solutions while helping to create jobs and boosting the competitiveness of the European industry and SMEs. It also encourages more efficient public services.” said Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC and European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship. Custom-made to meet user’s needs, the Procurement of Innovation Platform is comprised of three elements: Website, Procurement Forum, and Resource Centre.

The website contains the latest news on PPI and PCP developments and events, as well as policy support, and background information on the European legal framework. The Procurement Forum is a networking space for procurers and stakeholders from around Europe. The Resource Centre provides a database for PPI guidance, making useful documents accessible in one place. In addition, the platform will provide hands-on support. A series of training courses will focus on tools and techniques, while an experience exchange programme will be held between public authorities. European local authorities will also be invited to apply for the Public Procurement of Innovation Award, to be presented to those that purchase innovative, effective and efficient products and services.

For more information, or to sign up to the Platform, visit

Second edition of STA guide to purchasing sustainable timber published

25 October 2013

Following considerable interest and feedback on the first edition of Buying sustainable timber, the STA guide for public procurers on sustainable timber procurement, a new edition was published in October 2013.

This edition expands on the information contained in the original publication, and aims to align the definition of sustainable forestry with those of different Member States in the EU. It includes guidance on recent legal changes, completely revised technical specifications and up to date information about other European timber initiatives. Ways that public authorities can support smaller businesses are also touched on.

Additionally, the guide outlines replicable information on supporting Fair Trade in Timber procurement, and looks at methods to combine sustainable timber procurement with other policy goals, such as awareness raising activities. The guide will soon also be available in German, Italian, Estonian, Romanian, Spanish and Hungarian. Printed copies of the English guide can be requested from

To download the 2nd edition, click here [pdf, 9.5 MB].

Taiwan sees major rise in green procurement

22 October 2013

Taiwan (Republic of China) has seen a meteoric rise in the procurement of green products and the purchase of sustainable goods across all sectors, representing a major boon to the economy. The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) reported that green purchasing by civil organisations, government bodies, and private businesses reached a value of $45 billion in 2012.

The green procurement rate for government agencies stands at an astounding 94.87 percent, worth over $9.5 billion according to Stephen Shu-hung Shen of the EPA. The number of public enterprises reporting green purchasing of at least $20 million also increased by almost 30 percent in 2012 from 45 firms in 2011.

Over 11,000 businesses have recorded sales of green-certified products, totalling over $27.4 billion. An upturn in the number of green products sold is being recorded by retail sectors across the nation, with companies specialising in motorbikes, household electrical appliances, construction materials, stationery and computers all reporting increases in the sale of eco-products.

For more information, click here.

EcoProcura 2014 to focus on sustainability, innovation & cost efficiency in procurement

17 October 2013

The EcoProcura 2014 conference is set to take place in Ghent (Belgium) from 24 – 26 September 2014, and will develop and explore topics including the cost efficient use of public money through procurement, strategies for integrated sustainable public procurement, implementing the new European Public Procurement Directives, and how public procurement can stimulate innovation. The 2014 edition is titled ‘Sustainability, innovation and cost efficiency: taking procurement forward’.

The conference programme will ensure that ideas, experiences, guidelines and opinions are exchanged between participants across the event. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in good practice exchange, initiate dialogues between business and the public sector, and discover new initiatives and projects. There will also be training sessions and a ‘meet the buyers’ event.

The EcoProcura conference series provides a dynamic and unique setting for exchange and equips participants with essential information on implementing sustainable public procurement and procurement of innovation. EcoProcura 2014 is the ninth conference of this series and will see procurers from all levels of government, policy-makers, suppliers and representatives from the European Commission and European Parliament attend.

For more information, click here.

Nordic countries to develop norms and standards for green buildings

15 October 2013

Nordic governments have unveiled plans to issue common standards within the construction sector as a means to boost green growth. Standardisation, they contend, is essential to a healthy and sustainable building sector. Focus will be placed on three areas: sustainable renovation of existing buildings, indoor climate and voluntary classification standards, and Nordic contributions to EU regulations and standards in sustainable construction.

Nordic Innovation, an institution within the Nordic Council of Ministers, has been tasked with spearheading the projects. “Standardisation is a key tool in reducing trade barriers and building markets. Harmonised standards within the Nordic countries will make it easier for companies in the building sector to conduct business across the region,” says Johan Englund, Senior Advisor at Nordic Innovation.

Each project will be led by a Nordic country - Norway will lead on sustainable renovation, Denmark will be responsible for the indoor climate project and Finland will take charge of Nordic contributions to EU sustainable construction product declarations. The projects aim to enhance Nordic influence in green standardisation, developing models that will be adopted Europe-wide.

For more information, click here.

Public buildings in Brandenburg to only use electricity from renewable sources

10 October 2013

From 1 January 2014 the state of Brandenburg (Germany) will be supplying all of its public buildings with electricity generated from 100 percent renewable energy. Prior to this, the state had been using renewable sources to meet 73 percent of its energy needs.

By using electricity solely from renewable sources, the state government will make a saving of roughly 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This is the equivalent emissions production from electricity generation of approximately 9,900 households. The suppliers will be Stadtwerke Potsdam and Stadtwerke Cottbus.

Public buildings in Brandenburg includes those of all public authorities, universities and other public institutions, comprising over 200 state properties with approximately 1.2 million square metres of floor space.

For more information, click here [in German].

UN initiatives aim to scale-up sustainable procurement

8 October 2013

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in conjunction with the UN Global Compact Team, is taking steps to both green its own procurement and encourage corporations to green their procurement activities. Together the two bodies are providing web-based material, extensive guidance and training to vendors, to ensure that the goods procured by UNDP are sustainable. In this way they aim to use procurement as a tool to minimise environmental impact while enhancing positive social outcomes.

The initiative coincides with the UNDP’s roll out of its new sustainable procurement policy, as well as the Practitioner’s Guide to Sustainable Procurement. The guide looks at ways to make each stage of the procurement process more sustainable, and includes environmental, social and economic considerations to take into account.

“Coordination between UNDP and the UN Global Compact is critical to making our sustainable procurement effort a success,” said Jens Wandel, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of Bureau of Management at UNDP. “Vendors are an important stakeholder in the procurement process and this effort between UNDP and the Global Compact will provide them with the information they need to become more sustainable in their business practices.”

For more information, click here.