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Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement to hold Summit at COP21

26 November 2015

Participants of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement will showcase their achievements during their 1st Summit, to be held at COP21 in Paris (France). The event will be hosted in ICLEI’s Cities and Regions Pavilion – TAP 2015 on the afternoon of 5 December, from 16.00 until 17.15. During the Summit, cities in the network will outline how they intend to fulfil the commitments they have signed and will exchange experience and knowledge. The programme is available online.

Auckland (New Zealand), Denver (USA), Oslo (Norway), Quezon City (Philippines) and Warsaw (Poland) are the latest participants to join the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement. The Network is a joint initiative of Seoul Metropolitan Government and ICLEI to promote sustainable public procurement (SPP) and related environmental, societal and financial benefits. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) have welcomed the initiative and are looking forward to its integration in the 10YFP on SPP Programme. The Network was launched in April 2015 with Seoul (Republic of Korea), Cape Town (South Africa), Helsinki (Finland), Ghent (Belgium) and Rotterdam (The Netherlands) as founding participants.

“These global SPP ambassadors are joining efforts to raise awareness on the benefits of sustainable public procurement and public procurement of innovation, as well as combating climate change with their activities,” said Gino Van Begin, ICLEI Secretary General. “Network participants show their commitment to improve the quality of life for their citizens, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster new markets, create new job opportunities and save money for their administrations.” The latest updates are available on twitter by following @GLCN_on_SP.

For more information, contact, or visit the website.

Bristol seeks public’s views on social spending targets

25 November 2015

The City of Bristol (UK) has set new targets to spend 25 percent of its annual £300 million budget on social enterprises, including voluntary and community organisations and SMEs. The city council is currently seeking feedback from residents on the proposals. The new policy was spurred by the UK's Social Value Act, which mandates local authorities to use public procurement as a means to improve the social, economic and environmental aspects of urban areas.

Under the new policy, public procurers must add a 10 percent weighting to social value in the tender process; involve the local community in the commissioning process; consider the environmental impact as part of the tender process; work with a wide-range of suppliers; improve employment opportunities and skills training; promote the local economy; and build relationships with the business community, social enterprises and voluntary and community organisations.

“Only by gathering the views of the wider community can we truly be sure that this policy will deliver benefits for the city as a whole. I see social value as a way of recognising the real benefit to our local communities,” said Geoff Gollop, councillor and Deputy Mayor of Bristol, Speaking to Supply Management.

For more information, visit

InnProBio invites procurers to share their experience of procuring bio-based products

19 November 2015

The InnProBio team is inviting stakeholders to take a survey that will assess their experiences with public procurement of innovation (PPI) and with public procurement of innovative bio-based products (wholly or partly derived from biomass) and their associated services. The answers will help to map the hurdles to the procurement of bio-based products and services and ways of overcoming them.

The short survey takes around 15 minutes to complete and all responses will be kept anonymous. Two different surveys are available - one specifically for purchasers, the other for companies (as suppliers or service providers to the public sector). The questionnaires are available in English, German and Polish.

The InnProBio project is a European Commission funded project that aims to build a community of public procurement practitioners interested in PPI of bio-based products and services. Bio-based products and services can contribute to meeting the EU’s climate protection goals, which has led the European Union to declare it a high priority sector.

To take part in the survey, visit the InnProBio website.

UAE shows support for sustainable procurement by joining global networks

18 November 2015

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has joined two UN-led global networks aimed at supporting sustainable public procurement (SPP). The move will give the UAE access to a network of policy experts on SPP and eco-labelling and will allow the nation to share its own experiences and expertise in the field with peers. Both networks are part of the UN’s 10 Year Frame Programme on SPP.

The UAE is now a partner within the SPP Programme, which is jointly headed by ICLEI and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI). The programme supports the implementation of sustainable procurement through providing access to capacity building tools and public procurement experts. It also aims to build up a body of knowledge on how SPP can be used to support the shift to a green economy.

The other network joined by the UAE is the Consumer Information programme, which provides reliable information regarding a product’s environmental and societal impact. It aims to improve ways of communicating this impact, such as by enhancing eco-labels. Ahead of COP21, the UAE has also submitted a report to the UN that states the country’s goal to generate 24 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2021.

For more information, visit

EU GPP Helpdesk webinar to focus on engaging the market

13 November 2015

A webinar to discuss how public procurers can work with the market to develop more environmentally friendly solutions will be held by the EU GPP Helpdesk on 24 November 2015 between 14.30 and 16.00 CET. The online meeting will look at how effective market engagement can enable procurers to gain a better understanding of what goods and services are currently available, and what suppliers are capable of offering in the future.

A series of presentations will be given by noted speakers from across Europe, including Abby Semple, Legal Expert, Public Procurement Analysis, and a representative of the award-winning Federal Procurement Agency of Austria. To provide the private sector’s perspective, the meeting will be addressed by Aren Mijs, IMS Medical, The Netherlands. Michael Sorensen of the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment will introduce the webinar.

The webinar will also look at key legal issues which must be considered before, during and after a market engagement process, and how market engagement can help businesses to meet the upcoming needs of public authorities. Participation is free of cost and open to all interested parties.

For more information and to register, contact

Barcelona invites cities to follow its lead on sustainable procurement

11 November 2015

Public procurers from across Europe are gathering at the 2015 Procura+ Seminar in Barcelona (Spain) today to learn from the city’s experiences of using sustainable procurement to reduce its ecological footprint and improve citizens’ quality of life. Organised by ICLEI, the seminar is an annual event that, through practical workshops and facilitated discussions, offers inspiring examples of sustainable and innovative procurement.

“By bringing procurers from all regions of Europe together, the Procura+ Seminar provides an excellent environment for exchange and learning. Barcelona is the ideal host city, having used their purchasing power to drive a shift towards sustainability. It is my hope that the procurers in attendance go away with a greater sense of the benefits that smart procurement choices can bring,” said Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director with ICLEI Europe. "Responsible public procurement is a very important part of Barcelona's broader approach to sustainability," added Janet Sanz, Deputy Mayor for Environment, Urban Planning and Mobility.

Similar to many cities in Europe, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving social conditions are priorities for Barcelona. Procurement is a key tool in this mission, as it enables the city to set ambitious environmental targets and encourage innovative thinking to address social challenges. Barcelona is an integral member of the Procura+ campaign, working closely with ICLEI and other local authorities to create a European movement for sustainable public procurement. This work has led to a number of impressive results. A recent example includes a 48 month contract for the rental of 198 electric scooters by the Barcelona City Police, which is currently being rolled out as part of the GPP 2020 project. By 2018, over 80 tonnes of CO2 will have been saved through this one contract alone.

For more information, visit the seminar website.

French network produces video to promote sustainable public procurement

5 November 2015

A new video to raise awareness about the environmental and economic benefits of Sustainable Public procurement (SPP) has been produced by Réseau Grand Ouest (R.G.O), a network representing local authorities based in the west of France. The film itself was made with recycled and reclaimed toys and objects and developed in an environmentally friendly way.

The video looks at how procurers can use their purchasing power to increase the demand for sustainable products, and outlines ways in which sustainability can be inserted into procurement processes. The video, which is just under seven minutes, explores a range of product categories, from electronics to cleaning products, outlining the benefits of sustainable purchasing in each.

R.G.O is a partner in SPP Regions, a European project that promotes the establishment of regional networks of municipalities collaborating on the topic of SPP, and a participant in the Procura+ campaign, which supports public authorities in implementing SPP.

To view the video, visit YouTube [in French].

Scottish Government encourages procurers to ask about treatment of workers

3 November 2015

The Scottish government has released new procurement guidance that encourages public procurers to question the fairness of working practices within companies invited to bid for contracts. While the guidance is not mandatory, the government says that it should only be ignored if the procurers have “a very good reason” to do so. The guidance will apply to procurement processes launched on or after 1 November 2015.

In deciding what constitutes fair working practices, the Scottish Government points to the payment of a “living wage”, which in Scotland is calculated at £7.85 per hour. Under EU law, procurers may not demand that workers be paid beyond minimum wage, but can use other means to encourage suppliers to do so. Zero-hour contracts, in which staff can be hired without a guaranteed amount of work, should also be viewed unfavourably according to the government.

"The Scottish Government believes that employers whose staff are treated fairly, who are well-rewarded, well-motivated, well-led, have access to appropriate opportunities for training and skills development, and who are a diverse workforce are likely to deliver a higher quality of service," states the guidance document. Other factors for selecting contractors, including cost, will remain relevant.

For more information, visit