NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 10 from 11 )

Procura+ Awards: Deadline Extended and Jury Announced

29 March 2019

The deadline for applications to the 2019 Procura+ Awards has been extended until 30 April 2019 in all three award categories - Sustainable Procurement, Innovation Procurement and Procurement Initiative of the Year.

Hosted by Procura+ network coordinators ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability in cooperation with the Procure2Innovate project, the competition rewards sustainable and innovative public procurements leading to significant improvements of public good, services, process and infrastructure.

A high-level jury will include Procura+ Network chair and Mayor of Malmö Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Director in the European Commission's DG GROW Marzena Rogalska, Head of the OECD's Public Sector Integrity Division, Janos Bertok and Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre, Mark Hidson.

Last year's Procura+ Awards saw the Government of Flanders (Belgium), the City of Rotterdam (Netherlands), and the City of Barcelona win awards for Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year and Tender Procedure of the Year, respectively.

“To apply for the Procura+ Award means to have successful, sustainable and innovative public procurement activities in place that generate improvements in public goods, services, processes and infrastructure. By applying for the award, you start sharing your positive experience with other authorities that can benefit from them and contribute to this global exchange” - said Frederic Ximeno, Commissioner for Ecology for the City of Barcelona.

“Your case doesn’t have to be world changing or sustainable to the last detail, as long as you can make a difference that matters. A smart case that is as sustainable as possible considering the context of the market, your needs, your budget, your capacity and the level of innovation that you wish to achieve, goes a long way. Don’t hesitate and apply,” - added Alexander Lemmens from Procurement team of the Government of Flanders.

For more information and to apply, visit the Procura+ Awards page.

How three leading European cities are reducing the carbon footprint of their procurement activities

28 March 2019

Oslo, Rotterdam and Copenhagen are showing how cooperation with private sector actors is essential to reduce the carbon footprint of their transport-related procurement activities.

The cities are pilot sites in ICLEI's BuyZET project, which will help them develop innovative procurement plans to achieve zero-emission urban delivery of goods and services.

In the recently released market engagement reports, the cities lay out the key findings from the constant dialogue they have conducted with all relevant market actors in the supply chains of the selected procurement areas. These provide helpful advice to other cities that are willing to reduce emissions of public procurement activities. The market engagement reports are available here.

The city of Rotterdam, Procura+ Participant and GLCN Member, highlights how suppliers are open to learn more about the existing possibilities for zero-emission vehicles, and about the latest technology developments. At the same time, local authorities should consider carefully the practical barriers and the costs that suppliers may face in adopting zero-emission vehicles.

According to the city of Copenhagen, suppliers’ benefits to employ zero- or low-emission vehicles for their transport activities is two-fold: on one hand, they contribute to their sustainability and CSR strategies; on the other hand, they are more efficient. Within BuyZET, Copenhagen is working in the fields of consolidation of supplies and maintenance and repair services.

One key message put forward by the city of Oslo, Procura+ Participant and GLCN Member, which is focussing on facility waste collection and maintenance and repair services, is that it is preferable to encourage investments in zero-emission vehicles during rather than before the contract. Longer contracts, Oslo has learned, are also a way to reduce the risks that suppliers face when investing in zero-emission vehicles.

The cities have also investigated the potential and feasibility of buyers’ groups within each priority sector to foster the demand for innovative transport solutions. Through the buyers’ group, BuyZET partners aim to attract other public authorities potentially interested in enhancing their public procurement skills for sustainable transport solutions, as well as private buyers and other large attractors such as universities, hospitals, etc. This consolidated report presents the approach taken by Oslo, Copenhagen and Rotterdam in establishing buyers groups within the BuyZET project.

BuyZET will host a final event to share and discuss the tools and recommendations developed. Find out more here.

To read all reports, please click here.

UNEA resolution highlights the importance of sustainable and circular procurement

26 March 2019

At the UNEA conference in Nairobi, Kenia, national and city governments met to discuss how to build sustainable, prosperous and inclusive societies that address key environmental challenges with innovative solutions and rely on responsible patterns of consumption and production.  

One of the main negotiation outputs of the conference are resolutions. An example is the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) UNEA 4 resolution, which highlights the need to support sustainable procurement policies.

Key extracts:

Encourages all Member States as well as cities and local communities and relevant stakeholders, including manufacturers and retailers, to enhance their collaboration to enable consumers and public authorities to make informed choices.

Invites all Member States, in order to work towards achieving sustainable consumption and production, to develop sustainable public procurement policies and update their public procurement legal frameworks in line with the Sustainable Development Goal target 12.7 commitment.

Encourages Member States to promote public, private and public-private initiatives and alliances to stimulate demand for sustainable products.

This high-level support encourages starting on, continuing or advancing sustainable procurement measures. For this, ICLEI provides guidance for every step of the way. Check out ICLEI's Resource Centre, our Tools & Guidance page, as well as the case study page. If you are keen to connect with other ambitious public authorities in Europe, consider joining the Procura+ Network.

See the full resolution here.

GLCN Cities call for sustainable procurement at UN Environment Assembly

22 March 2019

The United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) is the highest level global decision making body on issues related to environment held every two years since 2013. 

At the 4th Session of UNEA to be held in Nairobi this week, national governments are negotiating a set of resolutions aiming at building sustainable, prosperous and inclusive societies that address key environmental challenges with innovative solutions and rely on responsible patterns of consumption and production.

During the UNEA Cities conference on March 13, ICLEI hosted a session on integrated planning and policies for circular transitions. Convening cities, national government representatives and business, the session explored how circular urban systems that achieve both social and ecological benefits can be promoted through nature-based solutions, public procurement and technologies.

GLCN member city Oslo (Norway) was among the ICLEI delegation to UNEA. The City of Oslo highlighted the importance that ICLEI’s work and the GLCN network has had for advancing the City’s sustainable procurement practices and leverage the power of procurement to achieve sustainability outcomes.

Learn more about ICLEI’s call for circular development here.


A Conference that discusses Public Procurement of Tomorrow

19 March 2019

The European Commission – The Directorate General of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs is inviting interested stakeholders to the high level conference “Seizing opportunities in the public procurement of tomorrow”, which will be held in cooperation with Romanian Presidency on 4th April 2019 in Bucharest at the Parliament House.

The conference is an occasion to take stock of the main work strands developed in the field of public procurement over the past five years since the adoption of the 2014 Public Procurement Directives. It will review the achievements in improving public procurement practices, including the progress made on the six priorities of the Public Procurement Package of October 2017, among which “Ensuring wider uptake of innovative, green, and social procurement”.  The conference will be opened by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and Eugen Teodorovici, Romanian Minister of Finance.

Among the high level speakers, the Chair of the Procura+ Network Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of the City of Malmö will represent the network and reflect on its role in delivering on policy objectives such as the EU Public Procurement Package. Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre and Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI Europe Mark Hidson will discuss how procurers across Europe are implementing procurement processes to achieve ambitious goals. In addition, the 2018 Procura+ Award winners will present their winning procurements and reflect on what winning the Award has meant for their procurement practice.

Learn more about the event here.

NGOs as co-drivers for GPP up-take across Europe

13 March 2019

The 2nd Annual Network meeting of the European NGO Network on GPP, coordinated by ICLEI Europe, took place in Lisbon, 13th February 2019, hosted by Quercus – National Association of Nature Conservatory. Seventeen NGOs from across Europe gathered to exchange on the topic of GPP.

The discussions during the meeting were based on the first-hand experiences made through the delivery of GPP activities by all NGOs. These activities took place over the course of 2018 and early 2019, aiming to advance GPP uptake in their local context. The activities ranged from workshops, specific training, and research surveys to roundtable discussions.

Key themes throughout the full-day event were what role NGOs can and should play in the uptake of GPP in public procurement, how to establish wider network ties or more focused ones, the opportunity for NGOs to support the new EC GPP Criteria and the impact created through delivered activities.

The event was facilitated by Peter Defranceschi (ICLEI Europe), Nuno Prata (City of Lisbon), Jean-Pierre Schweizer (EEB) and Abby Semple (Public Procurement Analysis) enriched the meeting through keynote presentations. In addition, the emphasis was placed on GPP in food procurement with three NGOs (ECODES, Legambiente, Mondo) recapping on their activities.

A clear outcome of the meeting was that the NGOs significantly benefited from being part of such a European Network and at the same time contribute through their expertise, diversity and motivation to a broader uptake of GPP across Europe.

Meet the Buyer Event Barcelona: advancing social responsiblity in ICT

13 March 2019

The Make ICT Fair Market Engagement Series continued with a Meet the Buyer event in Barcelona, 27th February at Pati Manning. The half-day event draw in over 30 participants ranging from ICT suppliers and resellers such as Telefonica or Saytel, NGO representatives and public procurers. Back-to-back with the Mobile Social Congress, the event enabled the discussion around social responsibility in the ICT supply-chain starting at the mining stage.

Procura+ Participant, Barcelona City Council kicked-of the event by introducing the audience to the overarching vision and purpose behind leveraging public procurement to increase the engagement with the topic. Namely, to address poor working conditions and human right violations in this global, complex supply-chain.

A presentation by Electronics Watch built on the introduction by providing further context as in show casing successful examples where socially responsible procurement made a lasting impact on the welfare of workers. However, the focus of the event was the exchange between suppliers/resellers and the public authorities. This was facilitated for example by an introductory presentation of HPs social responsibility policies, a panel discussion and open floor Q&A.

I was pleasantly surprised at the interest shown by the suppliers and companies. It shows that it really is a topical issue. It is a good time to move forward.” – Carla Canal, Project manager Policy Coherence for Development, Direction of Global Justice and International Cooperation, Barcelona City Council

Looking ahead, the next Meet the Buyer event, will focus on an upcoming tender on workplace hardware of Gemeente Haarlem – 15th April 2019, register here to secure a place.

GPP Training Programme in Eleven European Countries

13 March 2019

On behalf of the European Commission, ICLEI Europe is coordinating training on Green Public Procurement (GPP) across eleven European countries, including Cyprus, Latvia, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Estonia, and Lithuania.  Training is delivered by national organisations in each of these countries. The objective of this programme is to support a higher uptake of GPP throughout the EU, providing high-quality training material and targeted training schemes.

Topics covered include how to implement GPP, the legal context for GPP, how to assess needs for GPP, engaging with suppliers and an introduction to circular procurement. In addition, the training will cover GPP within ten product and service categories including computers and monitors, food and catering and transport.

The training material will be made available on the European Commission GPP website for your organisation to use. For more information on sustainable and innovation procurement training opportunities, you can get in touch with us at

Malmö meets public authorities to train contract management muscle

12 March 2019

Cities and National Governments that want to use procurement as a tool to achieve social responsibility goals such as inclusion and employment, need the knowledge of how to ensure that these objectives are being met in practice. The European Public Procurement Directives of 2014 see public procurement as a strategic tool that includes social aspects. The key challenge, however, when tendering and awarding a contract is to include criteria that actually result in the desired social outcomes. This is why contract management is a key aspect of successful socially responsible public procurement (SRPP).

Procura+ Network Chair the City of Malmö recently invited public procurement professionals from across Europe to discuss purchasing cleaning and transportation services, market analysis before tendering, criteria for the evaluation of tenders and –in the spot light- successful contract management approaches.

During the event, the City of Malmö presented their approach to contract management for strategic, sustainable public procurement. The city recently awarded a contract for mobility services for mobility impaired citizens. The tender included a contract clause that the awarded bidder develops a plan on how they are planning to achieve the foreseen social objectives, such as integrating workers with difficulties of finding a job. Procurers, sustainability managers, and inclusion commissioners from the City regularly meet with the contracted service provider to give feedback on their plan and ensure social goals are consistently being met.

Procura+ participant the City of Haarlem recently awarded a contract for day cleaning desktop services. It aims to improve the working conditions for cleaning staff. Haarlem regularly discusses with the contractor how to ensure the city’s ‘Social Return on Investment’ policy is fulfilled in the contract, using 5% of the contract value for integrative measures for people with difficulties integrating in the workforce.

All participating authorities agreed that collaboration with suppliers is key to ensure social objectives are implemented. A key need identified is to ensure sufficient professional staff capacity for inspection and follow up during the contract. If suppliers already know that certain requirements of the contract will not be monitored, they will not take them seriously.  

The study visit, attended by local and national authorities from Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic and Slovakia, was organised as part of the European project UrbanWINS and in cooperation with the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network. It is the third of a series of staff exchanges, the CityMatch programme. To learn more about CityMatch and UrbanWINS visit the website.

Resources on successful SRPP can be found in our resource centre.

Win €10,000 to fund your next innovative and sustainable procurement actions

7 March 2019

Innovative and sustainable procurement actions working towards socio-economic, socio-cultural or technological transformation, especially those which showcase the use of public procurement as an instrument to accelerate the market introduction of innovative and sustainable technologies, are invited to apply for the 2019 Transformative Action Award.

The winner of which will receive a prize of €10,000 to help initiate further transformative actions in their city or region.

The award, co-organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Country, and the City of Aalborg (Denmark) and supported by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), rewards ongoing or concluded Transformative Actions that use the 15 pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration to bring about the socio-cultural, socio-economic, and technological transformation of societies.

Last year's winner, Procura+ participant City of Ghent, won for their work to transform the city’s local food system, which included making food procurement more sustainable, scaling up short food supply chains and and other participative governance actions.

Current or concluded actions in the field of procurement can apply for the award by the closing date of 31 July 2019. For more information and to apply for the award, visit the Sustainable Cities Platform.