PUBLIC PROCUREMENT NEWS

  

NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 10 from 11 )

New EU GPP Criteria – focusing on indoor cleaning services

29 November 2018

The European Commission's DG Environment has released new Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for indoor cleaning services, which aim to make it easier for public authorities to purchase cleaning goods and services with reduced environmental impacts.

By focusing on cleaning services, the new EU GPP Criteria recognise that the key life cycle impacts of cleaning services relate to the energy consumed in providing the service, and the frequency and quality of the service, in addition to the chemical and production impacts linked to cleaning products.

The criteria are designed to be easily integrated in part or fully into any public authority's tender documents with minimal editing, and are closely aligned to the requirements of the EU Ecolabel, therefore making verification easier for procurers.

A webinar introducing the new criteria will be held on the 18 December 14.00 - 15.30. To register, visit the ICLEI registration page.

Circular Procurement - taking a bold step for sustainability

26 November 2018

A recently published report titled ‘Building circularity into our economies through sustainable procurement’, (UNEP) explores how to integrate circular economy in public procurement. The report highlights the power of institutional purchasing and advocates for circular procurement as a tool that advances the sustainability goals.

The report outlines two pillars of implementing circular public procurement and provides guidance for public authorities on how to put them into action: 

Pillar 1 - Promoting circular supply chains by procuring more circular products, materials and services - such as using circular procurement criteria in tender specifications.

Pillar 2 - Promoting new business models based on innovative and resource-efficient solutions - such as adopting supplier take-back systems

These strategies need to be enabled by cooperating with other organizations or new legal instruments that favour circularity in value-chains. For purchasing units wishing to get started, the report provides lessons such as ‘start with easy wins’ or ‘engage suppliers at an early stage’.

Additional powerful drivers to advance the inclusion of circularity in procurement practices are setting ambitious targets - as cities around the world did as part of the Global Leads City Network on Sustainable Public Procurement (GLCN), as well as knowledge sharing and actively contributing to international initiatives such as Procura+.

The report draws from previous work by, among others, the EU and ICLEI, showing that circular public procurement is already applied by forward thinking public bodies. There are many good practice cases to learn from, which you can explore in our Resource Centre

Read the full report here.

UrbanWINS CityMatch activity to focus on sustainable procurement

22 November 2018

Applications to the 3rd exchange of the UrbanWINS CityMatch Programme are now open. The activity will be hosted by the City of Malmö (Sweden) from 6-8 March 2019 and will focus on contract management for strategic and sustainable public procurement. Participants in this exchange will discuss, together with contract managers from Malmö purchasing cleaning and transport services, about market analysis before tender and will go through the criteria for the evaluation of tenders.

The UrbanWINS City Match Exchange Programme is open to politicians, policymakers, procurement officials, environmental and utilities service providers, and waste managers, amongst others. The goal of the programme is to bring people together to share knowledge, experience and working methods on sustainable and innovation procurement on the waste and resources sector. Participants in the first UrbanWINS CityMatch had the opportunity to convene in Rome (Italy) to discover how furniture circular procurement and Green Public Procurement monitoring work in practice. The second edition – applications are already closed – will take place next January in Zürich (Switzerland) and will shed light on the reuse of recycled concrete.

UrbanWINS is a three-year EU-funded project that aims at developing and testing methods for designing and implementing eco-innovative strategic plans for waste prevention and management in eight pilot cities: Cremona, Albano Laziale, Pomezia and Torino (Italy); Leiria (Portugal); Bucharest (Romania), and Manresa and Sabadell (Spain).

To apply to the 3rd UrbanWINS CityMatch Exchange Programme, visit here.

MEPs agree to ban single-use plastic items

21 November 2018

Plastic waste and marine litter are major environmental hazard that requires political action as pointed out in the last edition of Sector Watch.

EU policy makers have long looked to address the issue of plastic waste on multiple fronts. In what was celebrated as a major success, EU parliamentarians (MEPs) have recently approved a bill that bans various kinds of single-use plastics. The ban will have to be adopted by member states as of 2021. It covers plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks. These items were chosen because of readily available alternatives such as paper straws and cardboard containers. The new regulation also requires member states to reduce plastic items that have no alternatives by 25% by 2025.

The bill is part of a larger scale EU initiative to tackle the issue of plastic waste. The EU strategy for plastics in the circular economy, adopted in 2017, seeks to introduce a holistic approach. Among others, it requires that all plastic packaging put on the market is either reusable or recyclable by 2030.

So why are plastic bans necessary when top-notch recycling practices are implemented? Practice has shown that despite all efforts to recycle plastics, several issues are not solvable by better recycling: some items are highly likely to end up in the environment, they are used outside, taken by the wind, forgotten. Recyclable and reusable, after all, does not mean that all plastics are actually recycled or reused. The move to straight up ban certain single-use plastic products could even improve recycling rates – the less waste there is to treat, the more of it can be treated properly in recycling facilities.  On top, recycling of plastics, depending on the type of plastic, still means down-cycling: The process hampers the quality of the product and can only be repeated a few times until the material is not recyclable anymore.

Within a circular economy, the priority is always to reduce material use, before recycling it.  A future looking circular strategy thus not only improves recycling practices, it also reduces the need to recycle at all.

The European project CIRCPACK is one example of how this could be achieved in practice. In three demonstration cases, it shows how plastic packaging waste could be reduced and transformed into a resource. For the first case, new bio-based polyesters are developed that have the potential to replace fossil based materials. The second case looks into eco-friendly packaging design that requires little material input put offers the same qualities as regular packaging does. And finally, the project also develops and enhances sorting and recycling practices to improve the reuse rate of recycled material and this way keep them in the loop longer.

Improving materials and their use is just one dimension of a comprehensive circular strategy. UrbanWINS, a European project that develops and tests innovative waste management and prevention methods, looks at the Urban Metabolism of cities. This helps to understand waste streams and to prevent or turn them into resources wherever possible. To learn more about the pilot actions that are implemented as part of UrbanWINS, go to the project website.

In the coming edition of Sector Watch, we will take a look a global perspective on the plastic waste problem. Stay tuned.

Procura+ Network China National GPP Study Visit 2018

20 November 2018

In October 2018, the China National Green Public Procurement (GPP) delegation conducted a 10-day learning visit to six Nordic cities. The delegation visited Copenhagen, Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Oslo, and Bergen - many of which are already Procura+ Participants. This visit was hosted by the Procura+ Network as the first international exchange event between the East Asian and European counterparts since the launch of Procura+ East Asia in May 2018.

The delegation consisted of six high-level officials from the Ministry of Finance, the China Quality Certification Center (CQC, a Procura+ strategic partner), Jilin Provincial Government, and China Finance and Economics Newspaper. The overall aim was to experience cutting-edge cases of  green procurement policies and practices. Nordic cities developed their GPP practices based on EU policy schemes, but have incrementally increased their standards in terms of sustainability. The well-established and sophisticated GPP mechanisms at respective Nordic cities are valuable for China GPP policy makers to refer to, contributing to the current research of establishing a national GPP scheme in China.

During the visit, Fangming Guo, Deputy Director General of the Treasury Department of China’s Ministry of Finance, shared an overview of the current GPP policy landscape, on-ground implementation, and the Government Procurement System Reform in China.  Furthermore, he shared insights toward the latest development and achievements in crafting an integrated government procurement legal system and advancing information release. The Nordic audiences appreciated and congratulated the rapid development and expansion in scope of GPP in China.

Established in 2003 by ICLEI, Procura+ is a network of public authorities around the globe to connect, exchange, act on sustainable, green and innovation procurement through meetings, seminars, and discussion forums, with Procura+ active in Europe and Procura+ East Asia active in East Asia. Managed by the ICLEI East Asia Secretariat with support from the ICLEI Global Sustainable Procurement Center, Procura+ East Asia supports local governments from China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia in achieving sustainable and low-carbon development goals through sustainable, green and innovation procurement.

In the photo:

China National GPP Delegation Visit Stockholm City Hall
Left to Right: Xiuli E, Director of Procurement Office, Jilin Provincial Finance Bureau; Zhigang Wang, Deputy Chief, China Quality Certification Center; Xiuqin Cheng, Secretary, China Quality Certification Center; Stefan Nordin, Chief Procurement Officer, Stockholm Municipality; Fangming Guo, Deputy Director General, Treasury Department, Ministry of Finance, China; Yaling Feng, Vice President of China Finance and Economics Newspaper

Did you know: We have only one Planet Earth

15 November 2018

“We are the first generation that has a clear picture of the value of nature and the enormous impact we have on it. We may also be the last that can act to reverse this trend. From now until 2020 will be a decisive moment in history” – concludes the Living Planet Report 2018, recently published by WWF. The report shows the devastating environmental consequences of our way of production and consumption for biodiversity. For instance, almost 20% of the Amazon has disappeared in just 50 years.

The report emphasizes that biodiversity loss is not only unfortunate in and of its own, but it risks the very foundation of human prosperity: “As we better understand our reliance on natural systems it’s clear that nature is not just a ‘nice to have’.” Healthy ecosystems offer services worth about US$125 trillion a year that enable us as human species to thrive.

The report highlights that “Consumption is the driving force behind the unprecedented planetary change we are witnessing, through the increased demand for energy, land and water”. Thus, procuring products, goods and services sustainably across sectors and along supply chains is a significant part of the solution to re-design how humans can thrive within capacities of the Earth’s ecosystems.

For a shift in processes, practices and structures, concepts such as circular procurement or sustainable public procurement (SPP) are necessary and already applied by forward thinking public authorities. To learn how your procurement department can make a change have a look at our Resource Centre.

If you want to get involved in this important transition, consider becoming a Procura+ member, joining a network of European public authorities and regions that connect, exchange and act on sustainable and innovation procurement.

Read the full report, the summary and get to know more on how to take action.

A Circular Economy for Plastics

15 November 2018

The tides are turning for plastics and with them marine litter and plastic pollution will hopefully vanish. From the first image of a turtle squeezing its shell into a fishing net to recent news of microplastics found in human poop, the issue of plastic pollution is looking dire.

Plastic is not per se an evil material. It is highly flexible, stable, and durable, while also cheap in production. It can be used for a wide range of purposes, from light weight vehicles to prostheses. But its longevity is blessing and curse: Plastic items left to their own devices in the environment tend to stick around for up to 400 years.

Experts estimate that the total amount of marine litter might be as high as hundred million tonnes, crumpling into ever smaller pieces of non-biodegradable micro beads, entering marine life’s food chains with toxic and harmful effects.

A lot is happening in the EU to tackle the issue. And two EU stories hit the news recently: The EU bans single-use plastic items from 2021 while 14 EU member states are lagging behind on meeting the recycling target. For a small Sector Watch series on plastics we look into these developments in plastic waste management, what has been achieved and what still needs to happen to implement a successful circular plastics chain and to once and for all stop plastics from entering the oceans.

In May this year, European Member states approved a set of ambitious measures paving the way toward a more circular economy: By 2020, all EU member states have to reach recycling rates of at least 50% of household waste, 55% by 2025, and 65% by 2035. For packaging waste, a target of 70% recycling by 2035 has been set. Household waste only makes up for 10% of waste generated in the EU, however, it is one of the most complex sources of waste in terms of management and hence a major contributor to landfills. Landfills are the least desirable option for managing waste as they come with a range of associated adverse environmental and public health impacts.

And while some EU countries are well on track to meeting this goal, a recent report issues early warnings: 14 members states are at risk of failing to meet this target. The early warning report urges policymakers in the respective countries to step up their game in municipal waste recycling.

The UrbanWINS project's pilot actions show the way on how to tackle the recycling issue on a local level, involving citizens in the solution finding process. The City of Bucharest is testing a promotional tool for separate collection of waste generated during public events. These events usually generate tons of waste and separate collection could lead to recycling rates of up to 75%. And the City of Cremona is piloting household waste disposal charges that raise with the amount of waste disposed as to incentivise recycling on a household level.

Public procurement of innovation can stimulate higher recycling rates as well as high quality material recovery. This has been shown during the PPI4Waste project where a group of public authorities procured eco-innovative waste management solutions. Cooperation between the authorities helped them to better formulate their tenders and find the solutions they were looking for. More guidance material for public bodies on how to stimulate innovation in their waste management can be found here.

Stay tuned for the next Sector Watch which will look at another way of dealing with plastic waste: banning single use plastic.

Global North-South Knowledge Exchange Event on Sustainable Public Procurement

13 November 2018

Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) is growing in importance globally as a tool to achieve sustainable development and take climate action, particularly with the global commitment to SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production. The project ‘Municipalities Promoting and Shaping Sustainable Value Creation (MUPASS) – Public Procurement For Fair and Sustainable Production’, which ICLEI Africa is supporting, is a project of the German Development Institute (DIE), that analyses potentials and challenges in this policy field.

As part of this project, from 17 – 19 October 2018, eight representatives from Sub-Saharan Africa attended the MUPASS Global North-South Knowledge Exchange in Bremen (Germany) along with European city governments and other stakeholders working in SPP. This intensive three-day learning engagement gave representatives a chance to share their practice and learn from one another how to advance SPP.  Main challenges addressed during the event included the management of supply chains and broader change management principles needed to address climate change and sustainability challenges.

Mutual and equal learning is an important aspect of the project, as was underlined during the event. Attendants also had the chance to learn more about the ICLEIs work in this field, in particular the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Public Procurement and the Procura+ Networks, giving examples of good practice and shared challenges between the regions.

ICLEI Africa has been working with the German Development Institute to undertake research in to SPP in Sub-Saharan Africa and supported and participated in this event as part of this work.

Learn more about ICLEI Africa and their Sustainable Public Procurement work here.

Learn more about the MUPASS programme here.

 

European parliament adopts regulation banning single use plastics

9 November 2018

The EU Parliament approved an EU wide ban of several single-use plastic items by 2021 and adopted strict recycling regulation over other plastics such as beverage bottles, food containers at rates of up to 90% by 2025. This ban is a significant contribution tackling plastic pollution in the environment. Single-use items included in the ban such as cutlery, straws or cotton buds make up over 70% of marine litter. The intention behind banning the items is “…to protect the marine environment and reduce the costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe, estimated at 22 billion euros by 2030.” says Frédérique Ries (MEP ALDE, Belgium).

The single use plastic items covered by this regulation were selected since there are sustainable alternative readily available. However, this ban could have implications on how public procurement is handling catering and event management as these often rely heavily on reusable cutlery. Procurement will need to consider alternatives such as reusable cutlery and dishes, which come with a different set of service requirements. 

As part of the ICLEI project InnProBio the Swedish region Skane has set a cutting-edge example for how public procurement can tackle the issue of plastic pollution. Through innovation procurement the region has managed to introduce a new product in all regional hospitals: Their disposable aprons are now made from a newly developed biobased material that meets high performance and sustainability criteria. Learn more about the procurement procedure, results and lessons learned, here.  

For more information on the EU single use plastic ban go here
 

 

Suwon – recycled asphalt unlocks major benefits of GPP

6 November 2018

Green Public Procurement enabled recycling of 33,617 tons of asphalt concrete in total and created environmental and economic benefits worth more than 800 million KRW in Suwon, South Korea.

This was achieved through the “SPP Tender Implementa­tion and Impact Monitoring” that is being conducted in Asia under the UN 10 Year Framework Programme for Sustainable Consumption and Pro­duction (10 YFP) since March 2017. In addition, Suwon reached their targets for increasing the ratios of the annual GPP to over 40% and that of Recycled Asphalt Concrete (RAC) to more than 20% through this project.

During the project, the city of Suwon determined to recycle of asphalt concrete as its core influence area and pledged to make its utmost efforts to promote green public procurement in cooperation with ICLEI Korea Office (KO) and Korea Environ­mental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI). The step-by-step process was guided by the Procura+ Manual, resulting in a strategy of five phases. More detail is available in the case study published by ICLEI KO as part of the UN10YFP SPP working group No.1a.

In the future, the city of Suwon wants to build on this successful practice with the aim of becoming a leading city in terms of green public procurement by sharing their experience across the world.

Read the full case study here