NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 9 from 9 )

The Circular Revolution – Remanufacturing, Repair and Reuse

30 October 2018

In the 20th century, we dug up, chopped down, drilled for or harvested 34 times more construction materials, 27 times more ore and minerals, 12 times more fossil fuels and 3.6 times more biomass than in all years before. Today, two-thirds of us live in cities, draining nature of materials to build homes, schools, hospitals, roads, transport systems and factories. Urbanization, together with a growing middle-class, has increased demand for consumer goods.  

Hence, re-thinking how we manufacture industrial products and deal with them at the end of their useful life could provide breakthrough environmental, social and economic benefits, according to a new report by the International Resource Panel and UN Environment, released at the World Circular Economy Forum, in October 2018.

The report highlights that if products were re-manufactured, comprehensively refurbished, repaired and directly re-used, the amount of new material needed could be significantly reduced – by 80-98%for re-manufacturing, 82-99 %for comprehensive refurbishing, and 94-99 per cent for repair.

The implementation of value-retention processes (VRP) can be steered by governments through public procurement strategies with a leading-by-example approach. For instance, through policies, which provide a level playing-field for VRP product options in order to establish new markets for early-stage product innovations or low rates of adoption for innovative processes.

As one example, the project Circular PP aims to address the societal challenge of resource efficiency through procurement. It demonstrates how public authorities can exploit synergies between public and private stakeholders in their procurement, with the goal of creating innovative circular processes and products.

If you like to know more about how to integrate circularity into public procurement, consult our guide.

The full report mentioned above is available here.

Make ICT Fair: Live Market Engagement connects buyers and suppliers for fair ICT

25 October 2018

Universities, hospitals, cities, and other public bodies in the European Union (EU) together procured electronic devices such as desktop or laptop computers, servers or smart phones for about €50.3 billion in 2011 – this spending power can be put to good use. By working together, public buyers can shape the market by requiring corporations to implement social and environmental standards, and monitor their progress.

To achieve this, a live market engagement event, which took place this October (in Nijmegen, the Netherlands), back-to-back to the EcoProcura conference, brought together suppliers and public procurers to discuss social responsibility in ICT supply chains for information and communication technologies (ICT). Public authorities from across Europe took the chance to inform suppliers of ICT of their procurement needs and plans, in terms of social responsibility, possibly for upcoming tenders. For suppliers the event offered the chance to present available solutions and to demonstrate their capacity to meet the requirements.

The event was held as part of the Make ICT Fair project, a collaboration between 11 partners from public bodies and the civil society, which leverages the power of public procurement to create change and improve lives in electronic industry supply chains. The project conducts research, runs awareness raising campaigns and develops guidelines and criteria for public authorities to use in their ICT tender processes.

This first live market engagement event is one of many more to come, responding to interest from both suppliers and procurers to engage in dialogue to affect change. If you are interested in the topic of fair ICT supply chains and procurement, there are many opportunities to get involved:

-          be part of the discussion online using the #MakeICTFair

-          read more about social sustainability in ICT here

-          stay tuned for upcoming events as part of this project.

In case you’d like to participate, consider joining the SRPP Procura+ Interest Group.

Presentations and results from Live Market Engagement event on 3 October in Nijmegen:



Introductions - ICLEI | Electronics Watch

From Public Authorities - Aalborg | Advanced Procurement of Universities and Colleges Scottland | Barcelona | Haarlem | Partnership for IT-Procurement in French-speaking SwitzerlandShared Service Organisation Noord & DUO

From Suppliers - Circular Computing | Dell | HP


Advancing Bioeconomy – the new strategic pathway for the EU

23 October 2018

This month, the EU Commission put forward a new bioeconomy strategy including 14 specific steps towards implementation. The underlying aim of the strategy is to help address global challenges such as climate change by providing innovative solutions that deliver on targets around circular resource management and local economies.

"It has become evident that we need to make a systemic change in the way we produce, consume and discard goods. By developing our bioeconomy – the renewable segment of the circular economy – we can find new and innovative ways of providing food, products and energy, without exhausting our planet's limited biological resources. Moreover, rethinking our economy and modernising our production models is not just about our environment and climate. There is also great potential here for new green jobs, particularly in rural and coastal areas.” - Jyrki Katainen (Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness)

Public procurement can play an important role in the transition to a biobased economy. InnProBio, a European project that finished earlier this year, focused on bio-based innovation in public procurement. The results aim to assist European public entities in their purchasing decisions and actions when it comes to bio-based products and services. Click here to see all available resources published by the project.

The full bioeconomy strategy can be accessed here.

Trailblazer Ghent – procuring traffic management as a service

18 October 2018

Being stuck in traffic or experiencing delays is very common. In Belgium, for instance, the average driver typically spends up to 39 hours in congested traffic. Clearly there is a huge need for traffic management solutions which engage with all the complexities of mobility - and this is exactly what the City of Ghent has devised with its TMaaS - Traffic Management as a Service, which recently won the Civitas ‘Bold Measure Award’.

The ICLEI member used innovation procurement to purchase a traffic management platform which could revolutionise mobility in Ghent. How is this going to change traffic more specifically? If everything rolls-out as planned, users can be informed about issues around their mode of transport, and City of Ghent employees will be able to use the information to adjust traffic lights, inform residents, evaluate and prepare mobility measures when needed.

The traffic platform provides governments and citizens with a wealth of traffic information in real time aimed to optimise urban mobility. It combines mobility information from data and transport companies and other players and communicates them automatically to citizens. As a cloud-based platform, no major hardware investments are required. It is directed at public procurers working for small- and medium-sized cities.

This procurement was conducted as part of the TMaaS project. If you want to learn more, read these 10 Steps to Implement TMaaS and find out how to become a Replicator City here.

For more information on Ghent's wider activities in sustainable and innovation procurement, you can visit its profile on Procura+ or the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Development.

Towards circular public procurement: let’s learn together

16 October 2018

It is tricky to transform the enthusiasm about a sustainable concept such as the circular economy into governmental regulation and legislation, finds a new article by Jo-Anne St. Godard. Institutional inertia and administrative fragmentation do not necessarily blow new wind for the sail.

From a Canadian perspective, the article highlights that the structural and sectoral fragmentation in public bodies increases the lack of awareness on topics that need non-siloed thinking to realize a transition to the circular economy.

The article emphasizes that an approach to the rescue would be to learn from other existing cases, especially from the European examples. Organisations such as ICLEI provide knowledge transfer, capacity building through collaboration, and guidance that can help implement new paradigms such as Circular Public Procurement (CPP). In 2017, a guiding report was published - read it here.

Despite being a powerful tool in and of itself, integrative institutional structures and regulations need to enable CPP. Policymakers, therefore, must provide suitable conditions for circular procurement to expand.

To learn more about the work of ICLEI click here and to read the full article click here.


Helsinki region cities set joint criteria for 'greener' heavy vehicles

10 October 2018

Public authorities in the Helsinki region have joined forces to set joint tender criteria for greener heavy vehicles. In an interview the Procurement Manager at Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY), Kristiina Bailey, said that heavy vehicles are responsible for carbon emissions and other air pollution, and are therefore an important area of focus to meet the region's CO2 reduction and other emission targets.

Air quality is an increasingly pressing issue in many European cities, with cities frequently failing to meet EU air quality targets. To tackle this issue, an initiative has been formed by the Urban Environment Division of Helsinki City, Helsinki City Construction Services Stara, Helsinki City Transport, Helen Ltd (energy), City of EspooCity of Vantaa and HSY to define joint tender criteria for heavy vehicles.

Joint tender criteria offer a range of benefits. According to Ms Bailey, contractors feel more confident in improving their fleet and machinery accordingly, since multiple public bodies are implementing the same criteria. And, says Ms Bailey, “the initiative has shown us that cooperation between different public procurers, contractors and other organisations is possible!”

Read the full interview in the latest GPP News Alert

Procuring sustainable timber to combat deforestation

9 October 2018

Only  30% of tropical timber products in the EU market are sustainable - this is one of the key findings of a recent report commissioned  and  co-authored by  IDH - the Sustainable Trade Initiative and forest and timber  experts. The report identifies trends in the trade of tropical timber on the European market, and explores how a European commitment to 100% verified   sustainable tropical timber, can contribute to deforestation-free supply chains and help meet climate change mitigation targets.

It also highlights the successes of Sustainable Timber Procurement Policies (STPPs) which have been implemented in 19 EU countries. However, for these policies to affect the market they need to be backed by strong political commitment and enforcement. Certification is mentioned as "a key component for an effective strategy to combat imported deforestation" and it can also support public procurers in defining criteria for their timber products. Procurers need be able to verify whether timber actually meets their procurement policies, a need to which certification schemes can respond.

"If the seven main consuming countries would source onlyverified sustainable primary tropical timberproducts, itwould have a positive impact on approximately 5.3 million ha of tropical forests", concludes the report.

Click here to access the full report.

Become a change agent in sustainable procurement

4 October 2018

Doing things differently - EcoProcura 2018 dares its participants to implement behaviour change in their own organisations. Recognizing Sustainable Procurement (SPP) as a strategic tool to achieve sustainability goals is just the first step. Often it is the people in the organisation that need to be on board to implement change.

Procurers can be change agents within their own organisations and empower their peers to take bold steps, says Dr. Jolien Grandia from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. A strong mission statement combined with ambitious and clear targets is crucial when implementing sustainable and innovative procurement, agree the speakers of the second day of the conference.

Change can also be achieved by finding simple solutions to complex problems - this is Reyes Tirado’s message from Greenpeace. Procurers have direct influence on the food supply in public organisations and reducing animal based products benefits both the environment and public health.

A more radical approach to behavioural change was proposed by Tilman Reinhardt suggesting that governments today already have a legal obligation to implement sustainable procurement. This is an option for strategic litigation in case public procurement does in fact not include certain sustainability criteria - holding public authorities accountable and creating jurisprudence.

For more information about the programme, latest updates, and the speakers at this year EcoProcura conference, click here.




Bertrand Piccard challenges procurers to buy better

3 October 2018

This year’s Ecoprocura conference in Nijmegen is exploring how governments can step up the game and do more to implement the solutions that are already available to environmental and social problems.

Dr. Bertrand Piccard, pilot of the Solar Impulse - the solar airplane which flew around the world - kicked off the day with a powerful call to action. We are living with past technologies - combustion engines, badly insulated homes, incandescent bulbs. But “the challenge is not technology, it’s psychology” - procurers need to change mindsets and become change makers!  

Dr. Piccard was followed by a number of speakers, from cities such as Nijmegen, Ghent, Barcelona, as well as the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, who shared stories of their own bold actions to encourage greater sustainability and innovation through procurement. A range of actionable insights in specific sectors was also discussed through a range of breakout sessions.

For more on the EcoProcura conference, visit the conference news corner here.