NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 10 from 10 )

Large purchasers demand greater environmental transparency from suppliers

30 November 2016

The US Department of Defense, which boasts a budget of $500 billion annually, is testing a system that requires suppliers to report the lifecycle impact of each product they produce. Other government agencies in the United States are following suit, placing a greater focus on ensuring supplier sustainability. It is estimated that the move to cut greenhouse gas emissions among US agencies will save taxpayers $18 billion.

Given their vast purchasing power, governments have the ability to drive a major shift in the market. Hewlett Packard, for example, designed new servers that use significantly less energy based on guidance from the US Department of Defense.

Private sector companies are also pushing for environmental transparency. The US retailing giant Walmart has asked more than 1,000 suppliers to report on carbon emissions, resulting in the elimination of more than 28.2 million metric tons of CO2. It has also been observed that when larger companies adopt sustainable procurement strategies, smaller companies are inspired to do so.

For more information, visit

November GPP News Alert looks at greening national framework contracts

29 November 2016

The November edition of the EU GPP News Alert has been published, providing a roundup of the latest news in the field of green public procurement. The News Alert leads with information on the untapped potential of greening national framework contracts. The article details the findings of an investigative research project that sought to determine what country-specific solutions could be proposed to improve the current level of GPP implementation in national framework contracts.

An interview with Jonas Ericson, who works in the Clean Vehicles Group for the City of Stockholm (Sweden), contains advice on how public procurement can be used as a strategic tool to influence the market to embrace clean vehicles. Mr. Ericson outlines the mistakes that many procurers make when attempting to procure clean vehicles and gives guidance on how these mistakes can be avoided.

The UK's Nottingham Trent University provides this edition's case study feature. The university recently reduced its estate’s carbon footprint with the construction of a brand-new pavilion building that generates more energy than it consumes.

To read the November GPP News Alert, click here.

Cambridge University Press implements sustainable procurement policy

22 November 2016

Cambridge University Press, the publishing business of the University of Cambridge, has instituted a sustainable procurement policy that seeks to minimise negative impacts on the environment and local communities. The policy aims to ensure that raw materials used are derived from legal and sustainable sources, and sets the standard for the board and paper used in all books published.

To make these objectives verifiable, Cambridge University Press works with bodies including the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of World Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Around 75 per cent of Cambridge books and journals solely contain paper and board that is either FSC or PEFC certified. The European Union's Timber Regulations are also taken into account when procuring materials for publishing.

For more information, read Cambridge University Press’s sustainable procurement policy [PDF].

New toolkit helps local authorities contribute to SDGs through Fair Trade

18 November 2016

The Fair Trade Advocacy Office launched the toolkit Localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Fair Trade at a recent ceremony in Brussels (Belgium), highlighting the key role that local authorities have in contributing to the new global Agenda 2030 for sustainable development through Fair Trade.

The toolkit provides guidance and best practices across different policy areas at local level, such as public procurement, local economic development, international cooperation, awareness raising, and multi-stakeholder engagement. It provides international examples and is meant to serve as a companion for local officials working on the implementation of the SDGs at local level.

Joakim Reiter, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) stated in the foreword: “This publication is timely and welcomed. It serves as a practical tool for cities and towns to learn from the experience of other local authorities in contributing to the 2030 Agenda via Fair Trade.”

To download the guide, click here.

Pilot project aims to produce new workwear from old clothes

15 November 2016

Can used clothing be turned back into its component materials and then used to create more clothing? Dutch waterways, public works and environment authority Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) is coming to the end of a unique pilot project that trialled this concept. As part of the project, around 50 lock stewards – who spend their days on the Netherland’s waterways - were issued with caps, polo-shirts, raincoats and fleece jackets made of 100 per cent recyclable polyester materials.

Supplied by innovative manufacturer Dutch aWEARness, the season’s uniforms are handed in following use to be ‘dematerialised’ into their component raw materials. According to the manufacturers, this ‘new from old’ process could be repeated up to eight times. The benefits of this approach are significant: no new raw materials (or perhaps very few) are needed for new workwear, and no waste has to be burned.

The experiment is part of the European REBus (Resource Efficient Business Models) project, in which RWS is working with the market to evolve business models for dealing responsibly with raw materials. If the pilot project is evaluated as a success, new RWS tenders could place increased focus on environmental aspects, not just for workwear but for hosts of other products.

For more information, click here [PDF].

Procura+ Awards finalists announced

11 November 2016

The nominees for the Procura+ Awards have been narrowed down to six finalists, representing the most remarkable procurements carried out in Europe. Copenhagen (Denmark) and Wageningen (The Netherlands) have been nominated in the category of 'Sustainable Procurement of the Year', the City of London (UK) and Rijkswaterstaat (The Netherlands) in the category of 'Tender Procedure of the Year', and the Galician Public Health Authority (Spain) and Transport for London (UK) in the category 'Innovation Procurement of the Year'.

The awards will be presented as part of the Sustainable City Development conference in Malmö (Sweden) on 30 November. The finalists were chosen after extensive deliberations of the jury, which was made up of procurement experts Simon Clement (ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability), Bertrand Wert (EASME), Livia Mazza (Ecosistemi), and Wouter Stolwijk (PIANOo).

Each of the award categories looks at a different aspect of procurement. 'Innovation Procurement of the Year' acknowledges impressive procurement of innovation and the public authority as a launch customer; 'Sustainable Procurement of the Year' rewards the outstanding environmental, social and economic impacts of a procurement; and 'Tender Procedure of the Year' recognises procurers that took an exceptional approach to sustainable and innovation procurement.

For more information on the finalists, visit the Procura+ website.

GLCN profiles sustainable procurement activities of Denver

8 November 2016

The City of Denver (USA) has been profiled by the Global Lead City Network (GLCN), providing an insight into the Coloradan city's efforts to make its procurement activities more sustainable. The city hopes to expand the concept of environmentally preferable purchasing into a more full-bodied policy on sustainable procurement, one which focuses not just on what is purchased but also on the sustainability practices of major suppliers.

Among its sustainable public procurement achievements, the city has managed to reduce emissions by incorporating compressed natural gas (CNG), hybrid and electric vehicles into its vehicles fleet, expanded the amount of solar panels in the city, and increased the quantity of locally produced food purchased by the municipal government.

The city is also taking steps to increase the recyclability, durability and reusability of the products it purchases. The GLCN on Sustainable Procurement is a group of cities committed to driving a transition to sustainable consumption and production by implementing sustainable and innovation procurement. All participating cities act as ambassadors of sustainable procurement to lead to a resource efficient, low carbon and socially responsible society.

To read the profile, click here.

Nominees revealed for Procura+ Awards

4 November 2016

The 12 nominees have been announced for the 2016 edition of the prestigious Procura+ Awards, spanning cities and public authorities from across Europe. Winners will be invited to collect their trophies at a ceremony taking place as part of the Sustainable City Development conference in Malmö (Sweden) on 30 November.

The awards will be presented in three categories: 'Innovation Procurement of the Year' acknowledges an impressive procurement of innovation and the public authority as a launch customer; 'Sustainable Procurement of the Year' rewards the outstanding environmental, social and economic impacts of a procurement; and 'Tender Procedure of the Year' recognises procurers that took an exceptional approach to sustainable and innovation procurement.

Innovative solutions procured by the nominees include a home-assistance platform for patients suffering with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a spatial modelling service to identify areas for the installation of sustainable drainage measures to reduce the risk of flooding, and the procurement of innovative cleaning solutions. As well as international recognition, award winners will receive free entry and a presentation at the next EcoProcura conference; publicity through ICLEI’s channels; and one year’s free participation in the Procura+ Network.

To view the nominees, visit

New York City lays out roadmap to cut carbon emissions

3 November 2016

A new report commissioned by the mayor of New York City (USA) has set out the measures needed to achieve an 80 percent cut in emissions by the year 2050. Titled New York City’s Roadmap to 80 by 50, the document lays out strategies across four sectors: energy supply, buildings, transportation, and waste.

Among the suggestions, the roadmap calls for greater efficiency at power plants in the five boroughs, and increased investment in large-scale renewable energy projects, as well as energy storage. Energy codes related to buildings will be tightened and the government will help to provide financing for energy retrofits. The strategy also calls for increased amounts of solar panels on New York rooftops.

In terms of transport, the city wishes to improve opportunities for walking and cycling and the use of public transport. It will also increase the number of electric vehicles in the city’s fleet and work to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Organic waste will be diverted from traditional landfills, and a greater focus will be placed on energy conversion from waste water treatment.

For more information, visit

New green public procurement case studies published by PRIMES

1 November 2016

A wide-range of green public procurement (GPP) case studies covering diverse topics have been published on the PRIMES project website. Case studies on subjects such as the procurement of electricity, transportation services, IT-equipment and more are available to read online. New examples will continue to be added over the next weeks.

Practical case studies are being developed throughout the life of the project to support local procurers to buy green products and services and to carry out energy-efficient construction works. Those interested in the public procurement of energy-efficient street lighting, electric vehicles, and green building retrofitting are invited to visit the website and learn more about the purchasing practices in place in other municipalities.

The EU-funded PRIMES project works with local authorities to develop basic skills and provides hands-on support for public purchasing organisations to help them overcome barriers and implement Green Public Purchasing.

To view the case studies, visit the PRIMES website.