NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 31 - 40 from 802 )

How can public procurement make ICT fair?

2 October 2019

What can public buyers do to improve working conditions and leverage human rights across the global electronics supply-chain - all the way from mining to manufacturing?

Aiming to find some answers to this complex question, the Procura+ Interest Group on Socially Responsible Public Procurement of ICT, managed by ICLEI Europe, gathered for a two-day workshop in Stockholm, Sweden.

Members of the Interest Group include the host of the meeting - Region Stockholm, APUC Scotland, Electronics Watch, as well as Procura+ Participants Barcelona City Council, City of Haarlem, Stavanger Kommune, City of Malmö and Rijkswaterstaat.

A key element of the workshop was to exchange on the five pilot actions delivered under the Make ICT Fair project: What have we learned? What are the main obstacles using award criteria, technical specifications and verification schemes? Check this page to follow the pilot action as it continues in the coming months. 

Another focus of the workshop was the discussion around fair and circular ICT: What does circular ICT mean? What are the potential synergies and trade-offs? The group also had the opportunity to exchange with resellers, focussing on their unique role in the value chain and their perspective on the future of fair and circular ICT service models.

Reflecting on the fruitful exchange, public procurement holds powerful leverage that can shape the quality of supply-chains not only for the products themselves but for workers involved throughout it. Looking ahead, it will be crucial to continue asking many questions, to exchange knowledge, learn from pilot action and invest in market dialogue.

Learn more about the Interest Group here.

Engage with the work of Make ICT Fair on twitter using #MakeICTFair

Green Street Lighting - learn about the latest

1 October 2019

Next Thursday, 10th October (14.00 - 15.30 CET) the European Commission and ICLEI will host a webinar on the updated EU GPP criteria for Road Lighting and Traffic Signals (published December 2018). The criteria have been designed to help public authorities reduce the key environmental impacts associated with the design, installation and operation of outdoor lighting.

The programme is as follows:

  • Welcome, Enrico Degiorgis, DG Environment, European Commission
  • Introduction to the EU GPP Criteria for Road Transport, Shane Donatello, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission
  • An Energy Performance Framework Contract for Italian public authorities, Cristina Gironi, Consip, Italy
  • EPC for street lighting renovation in small municipalities, Pablo Quero Garcia, Diputacion de Cadiz, Spain

The GPP Helpdesk Webinars provide a forum to inform stakeholders working in the field of public sector procurement about important new developments in the resources available and legislative context for GPP, and provide an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Participation is free of charge. However, prior registration is essential.

Register by visiting:

New EU energy label to boost innovation and energy efficiency

24 September 2019

The EU energy label for electronic devices is a driver of innovation and market development for energy efficient products. It stimulates innovation on the producers’ side and demand for energy efficient products. Energy efficiency labels are also useful tools for procurers to use in tenders as award criteria to push for more energy efficient products. Providing reliable and comparable information, it enables public authorities to make more sustainable choices.

However, the current label concept involving A+++ to D efficiency classes is less effective in a world where most new products achieve at least A+.  The European Commission therefore has decided to reinvent the original A-G class concept by allowing a rescaling of classes. The rescaling process allows for new products to achieve higher energy standards than the old scale could depict. This will encourage further innovation on the supplier side. To make it a success, the transition process requires guidance and support of stakeholders, for all involved parties to fully understand and correctly apply the new energy label.

As partner in a new project, ICLEI Europe is supporting this transition, by informing public buyers about the rescaling and its implication for (sustainable) procurement. This way, all market parties will be able to make the best use of the new energy label, stimulating innovation and energy savings in the future.

Buying power can move the needle towards circularity

10 September 2019

Nowadays, 7.6 billion people live on earth, according to forecasts, this is expected to grow to 10 billion people by 2050. If we don’t change our approach to natural resources use, and don’t reduce the level of our consumption, we will need the equivalent of 2.5 to 3.5 globes worth of natural resources by 2050! It is clear that cities need to take action to avoid such exploitation of natural resources, and one solution may be the use of circular procurement.

Circular procurement is known as a different way of acquiring goods and services that promotes consideration of the whole lifecycle of products throughout their supply chain. A focus on the use and services provided by a product instead of the ownership catalyses the development of new business models, which are expected to be necessary to promote a circular economy.

Circular Public Procurement (Circular PP) is a 3 year project supported by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme with the main goal to develop an adequate framework for circular procurement in the countries belonging to the Baltic Sea Region. Learn more about the project's activities and outcomes such as infographics about circular procurement.

Call for Innovative Financing Solutions for Sustainable Cities in Europe

5 September 2019

The City Finance Lab (CFL) 2nd call for proposals is finally open. The EU-supported City Finance Lab created this new opportunity to fund innovative financing solutions for sustainable cities.

The CFL is calling on interested cities, city and financial networks, utilities, financial institutions, and any other municipal finance practitioner to

Now more than ever before, cities must be prepared to deal with the risks and impacts of climate change by moving to more sustainable, zero-carbon and resilient pathways. Through the City Finance Lab, we enable the deployment of city finance solutions in such a way that is joined up, scaled up, and adds up to actions and initiatives that keep us well within the 2 ˚C global warming threshold," says Teodora Virban, Project Manager, City Finance Lab, EIT Climate-KIC.

The  call for proposals runs until 31st October 2019 and finalists will be announced by mid-December 2019. Proponents of selected ideas will receive up to EUR 75,000 in-kind support to develop their proposals through technical advisory from city finance experts. Selected proponents will also have the opportunity to showcase their plans to potential partners and investors to promote investments in critical urban climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience projects in European cities. 

More information available here.

Procura+ participant Zurich wins Swiss ethical procurement award

4 September 2019

Solidar Suisse, a Swiss development NGO, honoured Procura+ participant Zurich for its fair and ethical procurement practice. The NGO rated 87 Swiss local governments and highlighted Zurich’s procurement as exemplary.

This is the third time in a row that the city is acknowledged for its efforts to support developing countries through its procurement by Solidar Suisse. Solidar Suisse pointed out that through its work Zurich takes a leading role among German-speaking Swiss communities.

For many years, the City of Zurich is striving to include social and environmental criteria in its tenders. Most recently, the city awarded a contract to supply uniforms for the public transport provider and a contract for the supply of t-shirts for several city departments.

Both tenders accounted for the fact that cotton production is associated with high water consumption, often in places that suffer from water scarcity. They required suppliers to provide only products made from organic cotton, which uses up to 90% less water than standard cotton.

In addition, the City included several requirements that commit suppliers to fair and ethical working conditions along the entire supply chain. Suppliers need to prove that they adhere to global working standards for fair labour and wages, such as ILO standards. In addition, they need to show that they have insight into their entire supply chain. Supply chain transparency is key in assuring working conditions actually comply with labour standards.

The Procura+ interest group on socially responsible procurement is working on this and other topics connected to assuring fair and ethical working conditions along global supply chains. Find more information on the Procura+ website.

More information about Zurich’s awarded procurement practice can be found here (in German).

GPP to the rescue - tackling water scarcity and pollution

29 August 2019

Cities globally are facing issues of water scarcity and pollution. Day 0 is a reality that cities such as Cape Town or Sao Paulo must find solutions to. And dealing with marine litter such as microplastics is a challenge that not only affects marine ecosystems but the human food supply.

This year's World Water Week highlights not only the significance of these complex challenges but also discusses an array of actions towards managing our water resources in a regenerative and sustainable manner. For example on water governance or capacity building for public authorities to tackle water stress head-on.

This is where procurement comes in - leveraging green public procurement to improve for example a city's water supply-chain through regenerative imports, managing urban infrastructure such as the quality of the piping system or establishing circularity for plastic waste to prevent pollution.

ICLEI's procurement work in the field provides recommendations on how to connect innovation procurement with the water sector, how to create a water procurement strategy and how to use tools such as market engagement to support the process.

Learn more about other water projects ICLEI has been working on.

Green cities - the role of public procurement

26 August 2019

Earlier this month, London, UK, was acknowledged as the first National Park City - a commitment to making the city greener, healthier, and wilder. According to the National Park City Foundation, other cities such as Glasgow, Scottland are about to follow this pledge, scaling into a fast-growing movement.


Green places in cities bring a wide array of benefits from reducing air, water pollution, and flooding to absorbing carbon and cooling ever warmer cities. However, implementing green infrastructure over grey infrastructure is a complex challenge that needs buy-in at all different levels of the planning, design, contracting and delivering processes.


What can public procurement do in support?

The approach of Green Public Procurement (GPP) enables public procurers to leverage green criteria or specifications in tenders across sectors. The European Commission facilitates this approach through a set of GPP criteria. For example, on building design and construction, Green Infrastructure Public Procurement (GIPP) means to push for nature-based solutions that could include features such as green roofs and walls, habitats in courtyards and patios, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) as part of landscaping, street trees and urban gardens.



Read more about how to get started with GPP and the business case for it: Buying Green Handbook

Access EC GPP Criteria here.

Learn more about National Park City.

Humanity biting the hand that feeds it says IPCC

15 August 2019

The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) special report, released last week, repeats scientist’s warnings of the effects of accelerating climate change.  Along with climate change related risks such as heatwaves, extreme storms, and sea level rise, the experts also warn of the causes that a changing climate has on our ability to provide food for a growing population.

But farming is simultanously a victim and a culprit of climate change, because the way we use land is large contributer to the problem. Practices under criticism include deforestation, industrial agriculture, and draining of carbon-capturing peatlands. All the while, extreme heat, storms and soil erosion – all consequences of a changing climate – put agricultural land at risk.

A first step to tackle the issue, according to the report, is to reduce meat and animal product consumption. Animal farming, say the scientists, contributes in large part to the issue of degrading soils and increased CO2 emissions. Producing animal feed requires agricultural land, which often leads to deforestation in intensive farming practices; animal manure is used to over fertilize soils with runoffs into rivers and seas where algae bloom, and animals themselves are a source of the highly potent climate gas methane.

Changing diets is as key as it is difficult. But public canteens can opt to offer more balanced diets that reduce the amount of meat, turning it from default to exception. A school in the Belgian city of Ottignies has shown how this can be done in collaboration with parents, eliminating food waste at the same time. The canteen operators studied the way the children consumed their food and developed meal plans that eliminate waste and increase the amount of plant based protein. This way, the canteen was able to reduce food waste from 20% of food offered to 10%.

If you want to learn more about public procurement’s option in reducing overall meat consumption, have a look at our resource centre.

Find the full report here.

Procura+ Awards finalists unveiled

13 August 2019

The jury of the 2019 Procura+ Awards has revealed the eight finalists of this edition. For the category ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’, the Government of Catalonia with its sustainable framework contract for cleaning services will compete with the City of Ghent for its work in partnership with suppliers for responsible workwear.

The Municipality of Frederiksberg and the City of Helsinki will contest for the ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ Award. Frederiksberg needed to reduce the load on its existing drain network and used an innovation partnership to develop customised solutions for cloudburst management, whereas the City of Helsinki presented its sustainable innovation for a retro stadium upgrade.  The ‘Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT’ Award will go to either the City of Helsinki for robotisation and automation of library services or CERN for its open cloud data storage innovation through pre-commercial procurement.

Finally, the City of Zurich and IHOBE are competing for ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’. The Swiss city applied with its initiative to use recycled concrete in buildings. IHOBE grabbed the interest of the jury with its deployment of a green purchasing programme among the Basque public sector.

The Procura+ Awards ceremony will take place on September 24 at the Nordic Edge Expo, when the finalists will find out if they have won in their categories.

The Procura+ Awards is an initiative of ICLEI Europe, with support from the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project.

For more information on the 2019 awards, visit the Procura+ Awards webpage.