PUBLIC PROCUREMENT NEWS

  

NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 10 from 11 )

Vacancy: ICLEI's Economy and Procurement team seeks Sustainable Construction Officer!

28 February 2019

The Sustainable Economy and Procurement team at ICLEI is looking to fill the position of Sustainable Construction Officer at its European Secretariat in Freiburg (Germany).

ICLEI's Sustainable Economy and Procurement team has been working on the topics of sustainable, strategic and innovation procurement for 22 years. In more recent years our work has expanded to cover the topic of  circular local economies. The team offers support to public authorities in implementation activities, spreading awareness of the concepts, developing new approaches, capacity building and encouraging policy developments at the European and international level.

This brand new position has been created to develop ICLEI's work on sustainable construction - in particular in relation to the circular economy - and support the delivery of sustainable and innovation procurement projects.

The deadline for applications is 25 March 2019. The description of the position and information on how to apply can be found on the ICLEI jobs page.

We look forward to your application!

Tackling food waste at the urban level

27 February 2019

In the European Union (EU), around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros. According to the FAO, up to one third of all food is spoiled or squandered before it reaches the consumer. This food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain.

Wasted food is not only an ethical problem, but also has negative environmental impacts. Food production is one of the major contributors to climate change, it consumes large amounts of water and contributes to soil depletion. Production of food that never gets eaten exacerbates these issues in vain. On the other end, organic waste makes up about half of municipal waste in the EU. All the while poor households still struggle to afford healthy meals. 

When talking about food waste, we need to distinguish avoidable and unavoidable food waste and losses. Produce that spoiled, or is thrown out due to overproduction or for aesthetic reasons is considered avoidable, whereas waste associated with food production that cannot be used for human consumption, such as husks in grain milling is unavoidable food waste. This category of organic waste can still be used for other purposes such as compost or biogas, but not for human consumption.

It is the avoidable food waste, which makes up about 30% of food waste and loss, that policy makers  need to tackle.  Contrary to common belief, food production and processing industries – not the end consumer – contribute the largest share of avoidable food waste and losses. Cities can play an important role in addressing these stakeholders and effectively reduce food waste.

A public school canteen in Belgium has managed to cut their food waste from about 30% to only 10% of food prepared and served in the canteen. As part of the ambitious programme, the canteen operators weigh the occurring food waste every day and make adjustments to meal plans.

Together with citizens and stakeholders, the UrbanWINS project pilot cities Cremona (Italy), Leiria (Portugal) and Sabadell (Spain) are developing local pilot actions that seek to eliminate food waste. Among the initiatives, Cremona has started a “last minute market” for recovered and donated food surpluses and expiring products, which will also contribute to social solidarity.

The Portuguese city of Leiria is developing a guide for food waste reduction addressing restaurants, canteens, bars, catering services and citizens. And Sabadell has kicked-off a programme of activities to raise awareness on the topic. So far, they have conducted some talks at schools, organised “cooking with leftovers” workshops and are planning a popular “gleaning” – a collection of leftover fruits, vegetables and crops.

Representatives from the three cities will share their experiences in tackling food waste in an upcoming webinar, Tuesday 12 March 11.00-12.30, organised by the UrbanWINS project.

They will also be joined by a speaker from FoodWIN , who will present the networks views on the importance of fighting food waste.

To register to the webinar, click here.

 

Clean vehicles on the rise in Europe

26 February 2019

The transport sector contributes about 27% to greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union (EU). In addition, it is a source air pollution which is associated with a variety of health risks. Specialised vehicles, such as buses and waste collection trucks, are examples of market sectors where public demand may be particularly influential in moving towards lower emissions and greater fuel efficiency.

To harness this potential, European Union lawmakers recently reached an agreement on green public procurement rules for new buses, requiring local authorities purchase a minimum share of clean vehicles running on gas or electricity by 2025 and 2030.

In addition, the European Commission (EC) has published new guidance which can support public authorities in Europe in achieving these targets. The new guidance comes in the form of EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria and is an update of previous guidance issued in 2012. The updated criteria have been considerably broadened in scope, now covering purchases, leases and rentals of vehicles and related mobility services. The latter covers services such as car sharing, taxis, combined mobility services, and cycles.

Learn more about the new EU GPP guidance in the latest GPP News Alert.

Modelling the Urban Metabolism for Circular Cities

22 February 2019

Becoming Circular is an important goal for cities worldwide. And it is promising. A circular economy could put an end to resource exploitation without halting global production.

But to get to that place, a deep understanding of current resource flows is necessary. Traceable data about most material stocks and flows is still scarce. This limits policy makers’ leverage to design new policies and hinders industry from reusing materials efficiently.

The UrbanWINS project sees cities as living organisms that eat, digest, and dispose of materials. It seeks to understand the process whereby resources enter, stay, and leave the system.

A key tool to reach this level of understanding is the Urban Metabolism Analyst (UMAn) model. It is a method of material flow accounting that allows decision makers to investigate the relationship between the economy, policies, lifestyles, and flows of resources. It helps to implement more efficient and targeted waste management and prevention tools – eventually transitioning to an advanced circular economy.

For this edition of Sector Watch, we have spoken to researcher Leonardo Rosado of Chalmers University (Gothenburg, Sweden) about the potential of analysing material flows on a city and regional level.

The UMAn model is a powerful tool to support cities and regions in the transition towards a circular economy. It is a holistic model of material stocks and flows that accounts for all product and material categories that enter, stay, and leave the urban system. Its power lays in the comprehensiveness that this overview provides to decision makers.

The model combines analysis of stocks and flows. The flow analysis provides insight into material consumption over time, which allows for comparisons and shows trends in material consumption. The stocks analysis shows which materials remain in the urban system – accumulating and eventually becoming so called waste in the future.

The UMAn model is about more than just waste. It addresses the broader topic of material consumption and therefore allows for active interventions rather than reactive waste management.

This can be achieved by modelling various future scenarios, which show the impacts of different waste management and prevention policies. Combined with environmental impact data on the materials that are tracked in the model, it can reveal hotspots in the environmental impacts of a city, identifying the most problematic product categories.

Results

As part of the UrbanWINS project, the UMAn model is used to research material stocks and flows of several cities. The results point to priority areas for intervention in the region. The analysis of the material flows in for instance the city of Leiria has successfully identified the top product groups and materials in circulation in the city.

Agricultural products such as straws and husks, maize and corn produced in the livestock industry and construction materials are among the biggest consumed products. These product types offer circular opportunities. By-products from straws and husks can be used to improve the nutrient level of the soil. Waste biomass can be converted to energy using the maize waste, and sands and other building materials can be used for new construction works. The City of Zurich is an inspiring example of how the construction and demolition waste can be used in new building material.

Challenges ahead

The UMAn model is designed to account for every conceivable product, which is a strength and a weakness since often the required data is either not available or it is confidential.

The fact that the model examines at the city level is another two sided coin: it allows for precise insight on the one hand, but on the other, the boundaries of a city are not as clear cut, and often it is more useful to look at regions.

Analysing the resource flow of a city with the UMAn model is just a starting point. The results need to be translated into solutions, such as sustainable procurement or urban planning tools and the model in turn can be applied to evaluate their success.

To learn more about the UMAn model and how you can apply it on your city join us at the UrbanWINS final conference in Brussels on April 4, 2019. For more information on this full day conference dedicated to the urban metabolism and local action for a circular economy click here.

Give your opinion on the future of the EU Ecolabel

21 February 2019

The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary ecolabel which covers a range of products and services, from cleaning products, to electronics, furniture and more. It can be useful tool in procurement, helping procurers easily set criteria and verify environmentally friendly products, and indeed is closely linked to the voluntary EU GPP Criteria, developed to facilitate the inclusion of green requirements in public tender documents.

The European Commission is currently requesting input to the future of the EU Ecolabel via an online consultation. It is aiming to identify opportunities to increase the EU Ecolabel uptake, focusing on the most promising product and service groups.

Questionnaires target consumers, EU Ecolabel license holders, retailers, industry representatives and others, and will be online until the 3rd March 2019.

Questionnaires are available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish and can be accessed here.

Webinar on how cities can tackle food waste

19 February 2019

The European Commission estimates that up to 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually in the EU alone. This results in associated costs of about 143 billion euros. According to the FAO, up to one third of all food is spoiled or squandered even before it reaches the consumer.

The Cities of Cremona (Italy), Leiria (Portugal) and Sabadell (Spain) are three of the UrbanWINS project pilot cities that are implementing actions to tackle food waste. Representatives of the three cities will share their experience in a webinar organised by ICLEI taking place Tuesday 12th March, from 11 to 12.30.

Among their initiatives, Cremona has started a last minute market for recovered and donated food surpluses and expiring products, that will also contribute to social solidarity. The Portuguese city of Leiria is developing a guide for food waste reduction addressing restaurants, canteens, bars, catering services and citizens. Sabadell has kicked-off a programme of activities to raise awareness on the topic. The network FoodWIN will also join as a speaker at the webinar to present their view on the importance of fighting food waste from a city perspective including measure that cities can take, such as innovating their food procurement to minimize waste.

Find the full programme on the project website. To register for the webinar, go here.

 

Live Market Engagement Event inivites buyers and suppliers of ICT

14 February 2019

The Make ICT Fair project invites procurers and suppliers, NGOs, and public authorities involved in the ICT hardware sector to a Live Market Engagement event. The Live Market Engagement will give insights into public procurement goals, tender opportunities, and sustainability policies in relation to ICT products and services.

Procura+ member the City of Barcelona (Spain) will showcase their needs for an upcoming large procurement of ICT hardware, and other Make ICT Fair pilot procurements will be presented. The event is a unique opportunity for stakeholders along the ICT supply chain to engage in dialogue and to cover some ground in achieving fair and sustainable supply chains in ICT together. 

The Live Market Engagement will take place on February 27, 9.30 am – 1 pm in Barcelona alongside the Mobile Social Congress  For more details and to register click here.

The Make ICT Fair project aims at improving the lives of workers and those impacted along different stages of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) supply chain. At the heart of Make ICT Fair are public buyers that pilot advanced ICT tenders on socially responsible public procurement (SRPP), including manufacturing and mining. The event in Barcelona is part of the Make ICT Fair Live Market Engagement Event Series which brings together public procurers and suppliers in the field of ICT from all over Europe or in a local context to discuss procurement needs and solutions, focusing on social responsibility and transparency in supply chains.

Toward a European Common Food Policy

12 February 2019

The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems has published a report calling for a common food policy for the European Union. The report, authored by experts in sustainable agri-food systems, presents alternatives to Europe’s current unsustainable food and farming system. It calls for synergies among policy sectors and criticizes various European policies cancelling each other out instead of supporting common sustainability and health goals.

As a sector overarching topic, food policy must be considered on all levels of decision making. Innovations in public procurement can help in achieving strategic goals such as relocalising and diversifying food production. According to the report, short supply chains and local crop varieties are key to reducing the environmental impact of food production and improving public health. Procurement can support local economies and breeds while making sure public caterers offer a varied diet with lower carbon footprints.

There is a variety of case studies available giving examples on how local authorities can play their part in reaching sustainability goals through sustainable and innovative food procurement. Head over to our Resource Centre to learn more.

Read the full report here

Boston aims for 100% GHG-free electricity and energy

7 February 2019

The City of Boston has published a new Carbon Free Boston report, which sets out a series of actions which lead the city to carbon neutrality by 2050, including the procurement of 100% zero-carbon electricity and fuels.

As well as procuring 100% green electricity – through a combination of Renewable Energy Credits (REC), Local Power Purchase Agreements (LPPA), and Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VOOA) – the city has also considered how to eliminate emissions in those sectors which can’t be electrified, such heavy transport and buildings, using liquid biofuels, renewable natural gas, biomass and hydrogen from renewable energy.

Reaching 100% GHG-free electricity by 2030 would enable the City to meet and exceed its interim target of a 50% reduction in emissions (against a 2005 baseline) and meet the rate of decarbonization needed to align itself with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

The full Carbon Free Boston report, including more information on its energy procurement plans, can be found here.

Shenzhen reduces Ozone Depletion using Green Procurement

5 February 2019

Through the successful application of Green Public Procurement (GPP), Shenzhen has greatly reduced the use of products that contain Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). When emitted, ODS cause the thinning of the ozone layer, reducing the protection it offers against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun. 90% of the world’s ODS are currently produced in China. Although the Chinese central government has been taking steps to phase out ODS, local governments can help accelerate the process.


The Shenzhen Municipal Government introduced more stringent regulations on public purchases and promoted newer, more environmentally friendly technology, providing a model for other cities to emulate in combating ozone depletion and climate change.

Since Shenzhen began implementing GPP in 2006, the city has eliminated 150.9 tons of ODS, as well as greenhouse gases equivalent to 1,360,863 tons of CO2. Another benefit is that the increased spending on ODS alternatives prompts more goods and services providers to stock such products, growing the market for ODS alternatives.


The case of Shenzhen showcases the significance of adopting a green public procurement approach with regards sustainable development. ICLEI (e.g. ICLEI Europe, ICLEI East Asia) offers a wealth of resources to learn more about the topic, connect public procurers, and exchange experiences through participation in networks such as Procura+.  


Read the full case study here in English or Chinese.