NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 9 from 9 )

GPP 2020 project on low-carbon procurement kicks off in Freiburg

30 May 2013

The GPP 2020 project kicked off in Freiburg (Germany) from 7 – 8 May 2013, with project partners from across Europe gathering and plunging right into work: reducing C02 emissions through Green Public Procurement (GPP). The consortium consists of major purchasing bodies and national support bodies, such as nongovernmental organisations or research centres, from Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, as well as an expert organisation from Sweden. ICLEI is the project coordinator.

At the meeting, partners expressed a number of reasons for participating in GPP 2020, from “raising awareness amongst internal and external procurers” and “having effective tools and methodologies to incorporate energy efficiency criteria in GPP” to “harmonising EU-wide GPP approaches”. The aim of GPP 2020 is to build capacity on the implementation of energy-related GPP amongst public authorities and procurement training providers. Over the course of the three-year project, more than 750 participants will be reached out to. Furthermore, GPP 2020 will see over 100 GPP tenders implemented.

The project will contribute to the EU’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, increase the share of renewable energy by 20 percent and increase energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020. The GPP 2020 project is supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Commission. To explore the possibility of becoming an associate partner in the project and receiving free assistance with your low-carbon tenders, contact the project coordinator Philipp Tepper at

First Europe-wide award scheme recognising ethical cotton procurement established

29 May 2013

European public bodies who follow exemplary procedures in procuring cotton can apply for the new European Fair Cotton Procurement Awards, an initiative which recognises and rewards excellence in the sourcing of Fair Trade cotton and responsible purchasing within the cotton supply chain. The awards are organised under the auspices of the project “Cotton on to Fairtrade procurement”, which seeks to increase public awareness and support for Fairtrade, and to encourage the purchase of Fairtrade cotton.

The awards showcase organisations’ commitment to Fair Trade cotton and responsible procurement, and can help to improve their reputation as ethical procurement leaders at European level. Participants will also have the opportunity to exchange best practice case studies. All levels of local authorities, public bodies and higher education establishments that are subject to the EU public procurement rules are eligible to apply, however a national award scheme must be organised in the organisation’s country of residence.

So far France and the United Kingdom have put in place a national award scheme. The Award criteria cover organisational policy and sustainable sourcing, procurement practice and ethical standards, and performance in procuring Fair Trade cotton products. The call for applications will open in June 2013 and the prize winners will be awarded during an official ceremony that will take place in April 2014 in Brussels (Belgium).

For more information, click here.

Environmental Product Declarations developed for concrete mixes

23 May 2013

Central concrete, a US firm supplying concrete mixes, is now offering 1,400 verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) on their products. The EPDs - a standardised label designed to communicate the environmental impacts of a product - have been provided by the US based Climate Earth Inc. The company is the first to produce large volumes of EPDs at the individual product level, a change from the usual practice of developing EPDs for classes of products.

“Our combination of expertise in life cycle analysis and enterprise systems enabled us to combine environmental data with traditional mix performance data into an on-line system that allows Central’s customers to see and consider environmental performance as an easy and natural part of the mix procurement process” said Chris Erickson, president and CEO of Climate Earth. “We were honoured to provide Central with a systems-based approach that helps them lead their industry in providing stronger, greener, and cleaner mixes.”

The genesis of the Concrete EPD process began with the formation of the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF), a broad alliance of researchers, associations and companies within the building industry dedicated to promoting methods of life cycle assessment (LCA), and to devising standards for reporting the carbon footprint of building products and systems. “The fact that Central has secured fully verified EPDs is a monumental step in realising the Carbon Leadership Forum’s goal,” said Frances Yang, structural engineer at Arup, a CLF member.

For more information, click here.

FIRED-uP project releases preliminary report

22 May 2013

London Fire Brigade and the City of Ghent (Belgium) have published the preliminary report from the FIRED-uP project. The report analyses vehicle fleets and their environmental performance, identifies areas of focus for the project and profiles a range of innovative technologies. Following an expert workshop held in London (United Kingdom) on 5 April 2013, the London Fire Brigade has launched a market consultation.

The consultation covers data logging for front line fire service vehicles (primarily pumping appliances) to track fuel and water consumption, emissions, use of operational systems and equipment; software allowing for the collation and analysis of the logged data; and application of the collected data to influence future vehicle design and use, driver training, life-cycle policies and fleet composition.

All suppliers in relevant sectors are welcome to participate in the consultation, which closes on 29 May 2013. To participate, suppliers must register on the Blue Light portal and download the market sounding questionnaire. Registration is free of charge. A notice has also been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The FIRED-uP project is co-financed under the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme. Information gathered in the market consultation will contribute to the development of a business case for procurement.

To view the preliminary report, click here.

Vancouver food strategy emphasises sustainability, social justice

16 May 2013

A new food strategy designed to create a just and sustainable food system is being implemented in the City of Vancouver (Canada). The strategy aims to make nutritious, locally produced food easily accessible to all members of the community, and to revaluate the way in which food is grown and distributed. It is expected that the strategy will positively contribute to the city’s social, environmental, economic, and health goals.

Amongst other initiatives, the strategy encourages the use of urban streetscapes for food production, promoting a shift from ornamental to edible plant life. The strategy also aims to involve communities in the food system to a greater degree. Current food distribution channels are to be reassessed, with an emphasis on local markets as an alternative to large scale supermarkets. A reduction in food waste is also foreseen as part of the strategy, as is an increase in the beneficial reuse of discarded food.

The city will achieve its aims through legal changes, updating land regulation policies, organising grant programmes, and through partnering with relevant community organisations. Vancouver has also adopted a corporate procurement policy that embeds sustainability and ethical considerations into the procurement process. To be considered, suppliers must meet the city's minimum requirements related to ethical, social, and environmental standards as set out in the Vancouver Supplier Code of Conduct.

For more information, click here.

Questionnaire released in preparation for EU furniture criteria revision

13 May 2013

Interested stakeholders are invited to fill in a questionnaire on furniture standards to aid in the revision of the EU furniture criteria, including the Ecolabel criteria for wooden furniture and the Green Public Procurement criteria for furniture. Ecolabel stimulates the production and consumption of more environmentally friendly products and services and is awarded only to the best environmentally performing products on the market.

The revision process aims to obtain simplified criteria, addressing the most important environmental impacts of the furniture from a life cycle perspective. A scoping document has also been released, which discusses preliminary findings and presents the proposal. The stakeholder consultation forms one of the most important steps in the revision process.

The draft criteria will be discussed with stakeholders at the first Ad Hoc Working Group meeting in autumn 2013. Respondents are requested to submit the questionnaire by Friday 17 May 2013 to

For more information, click here.

HAPPI website launched to identify innovations in ageing well

9 May 2013

HAPPI (Healthy Ageing - Public Procurement of Innovations) is a European project which aims to identify innovative products and services in the field of “ageing well”. Funded by the European Commission, HAPPI addresses the challenges of the demographic change in Europe by putting in place procurement contracts that will benefit healthcare organisations, hospital staff, the elderly and their families.

The HAPPI project website will keep industry and healthcare professionals informed about the project and key events, including information days to be held in major European cities from September 2013, starting in London (United Kingdom). The website also provides manufacturers, suppliers and healthcare organisations with detailed information on the project, its objectives, milestones and members. Additionally, it allows manufacturers and suppliers to register their interest in the project and receive updates.

From September 2013, suppliers and manufacturers will be able to access an online platform via the HAPPI website where they will have the opportunity to confidentially submit information on their innovative solutions for caring for an ageing society and maintaining health in old age. Before this, they can register their expressions of interest in the project on the website. The HAPPI project is run by 11 strategic partners from seven European countries that are a mixture of healthcare central purchasing organisations, innovation and SME experts and academics. The HAPPI project is also on twitter - follow the project at

For more information, click here.

Chair and Vice-Chairs chosen to lead Procura+ Sustainable Procurement Campaign

7 May 2013

A panel of international experts have been chosen to head ICLEI’s Procura+ Campaign, Europe’s foremost campaign to encourage sustainable procurement at the local level. The three candidates were chosen based on their commitment in the field of sustainable public procurement. The appointees will lead the Campaign from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. Pekka Sauri, Deputy Mayor of the City of Helsinki (Finland), returns as the Chair of Procura+.

Mercè Rius I Serra was appointed Vice Chair, along with Deputy Mayor of the City of Malmö (Sweden) Lari Pitkä-Kangas. Deputy President for Environment of the Province of Barcelona (Spain), Ms. Rius i Serra has been heavily involved in the issue of green public procurement throughout her political career. Mr. Pitkä-Kangas has a great deal of experience in implementing sustainable procurement policies in a municipal context, and a particular interest in sustainable development. Each Chair will act as an ambassador for the Campaign.

Speaking on his role, Pekka Sauri said: "Public spending represents almost one fifth of GDP in the European Union - clearly, responsible public procurement represents a tremendous opportunity, not only to make our societies more sustainable, but also to ensure social justice and fair treatment. I'm delighted to be reappointed chair of the Procura+ Campaign, and look forward to continuing to support its work in mainstreaming sustainable public procurement across Europe and encouraging exchange amongst public authorities.” Pekka Sauri continued: “In this time of EU procurement directive reform, it is my belief that the Campaign can send a strong message to Europe on the importance of Sustainable Public Procurement.”

For more information, click here.

Workers’ deaths shines spotlight on global working conditions

2 May 2013

Fair and safe working conditions in global supply chains are still a distant prospect. More than 700 workers were killed last week when an unstable factory building in Bangladesh collapsed. Just five months previously, over 100 workers died when they were unable to escape a fire in a garment factory in Dhaka (Bangladesh). Seven months ago a fire in a textile factory in Karachi (Pakistan) killed almost 300 workers, who found themselves trapped due to locked exits and bars across the factory windows. On the same day in the Pakistani City of Lahore 25 people were killed in a shoe factory in similar circumstances.

While large accidents like these shock the western world, most human rights violations occur further along the supply chains of the products we consume and never make it to the media. The LANDMARK project is trying to go beyond the short term outcry that large accidents cause. It highlights practical mechanisms for procurers to ensure fair working conditions throughout supply chains, verifying compliance with the ILO core conventions in particular.

LANDMARK’s Legal and Practical guide helps public procurers to decide how to include social criteria in their purchases in compliance with EU Procurement rules. The Good Practice case study collection provides examples of how a variety of public authorities have achieved this. High risk product categories featured in these publications, which are each available in seven languages, include textiles, construction materials, food and sports equipment.

For more information, click here.