NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 8 from 8 )

Measures to reduce energy consumption in buildings outlined in new project leaflet

26 June 2014

To reduce high-energy consumption in buildings, the iNSPiRe project has created easy to install renovation packages that can be applied to residential and office properties. The packages work through replacing old, centralised heating and cooling systems (such as oil boilers) with systems that make use of renewable energy sources. Dubbed "plug and play" packages, in most cases building occupants can remain inside during installation. A new leaflet has been launched outlining the work of the project.

Social housing sites in Ludwigsburg (Germany), Madrid (Spain) and Verona (Italy) have agreed to act as demonstration buildings for the project. To assess the impact of the renovations on the buildings, energy audits will be carried out before and after the iNSPiRe technology is installed.

The four-year long, EU-funded project also aims to lower energy costs for building users and help reduce the harmful emissions older buildings currently produce. The project has set a goal of 50 percent energy consumption reduction in older buildings. Sustainable lighting and the use of information and communication technologies to reduce energy consumption is also incorporated during renovation.

For more information, click here.

New procurement guide helps public authorities unlock the benefits of innovation

23 June 2014

To reduce the existing knowledge gap on public procurement of innovation (PPI), the EU-funded Public Procurement of Innovation Platform project has launched a comprehensive guide. The guide, which is available online and in print, offers explanations of procedures, definitions and answers to common questions, a selection of case studies, and useful resources for further reading. Particular emphasis is placed on the latest EU procurement directives, as well as ways in which procurement procedures can facilitate greater innovation.

“In a time of decreasing public budgets, innovation can facilitate the delivery of vital infrastructure and services. It is of the utmost importance, therefore, that public procurers can effectively engage in PPI. This guide will empower procurers to create a more efficient, sustainable and modern Europe.” said Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission. The total value of public procurement in the EU is estimated at €2 trillion per year – or about 19 percent of European GDP.

The document will be of interest to procurers, policy makers, consultants, private companies and others who have a stake in successful PPI. "Europe has an enormous and overlooked opportunity to spur innovation using procurement. Moreover, public procurement of innovative products and services are vital for improving the quality and efficiency of public services at a time of budget constraints. Through this guide, public procurers will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to effectively engage in PPI.” said Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI Europe, and coordinator of the PPI Platform project.

To view the guide, click here.

German governments invited to avail of support for greening tenders

20 June 2014

The "Umweltfreundliche Beschaffung in der Praxis" (green procurement in practice) project is offering federal, state and local governments in Germany free support on integrating environmental aspects into tenders over the next two years. Interested parties are already encouraged to apply.

To take part, public procurement agencies must be planning to make one or more calls in the next months. Funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, and the Federal Environment Agency, the project will provide in-depth knowledgede to participating bodies, developing expertise and showing that green procurement is both feasible and beneficial.

To support the exchange of knowledge, three networking meetings are planned between purchasers in locations across Germany. Interested parties should make contact by email or telephone, and should be prepared to provide details of their proposed procurement activity.

For more information, click here [in German].

European Directive introduces uniform electronic invoicing in public procurement

17 June 2014

Electronic invoicing provides clear benefits in the speed and efficiency of transactions. It is increasingly popular and has become the de facto method of organising payments for many companies and government bodies across Europe. It suffers, however, from a lack of standardisation.

In April, the European Commission published Directive 2014/55/EU to introduce more consistent e-invoicing practices. The Directive aims to overcome the disparity of e-invoicing practices in different EU member states which makes it difficult for businesses to operate across borders, effectively acting as a barrier to trade within the economic area. It also obliges public authorities within the EU to accept e-invoices which comply with a standard form.

Compatible invoicing systems will allow companies to participate more easily in tenders, as they will no longer have to adapt their systems for different organisations. Contracting authorities will benefit as well, with savings of up to €2.3 billion predicted by the Commission. The Directive forms part of a wider trend towards end-to-end e-procurement across the EU. This is part of the continuing effort to make public procurement across the EU more efficient.

For more information, click here.

Guidelines for achieving greater transparency in procurement released

12 June 2014

A new set of procurement guidelines launched by the Sunlight Foundation aims to help local councils achieve better oversight of contracting procedures. The Foundation has chosen to focus on data release, believing that more open data in procurement will pave the way for more efficient and fair practices in government contracting.

The seventeen guidelines provide suggestions of how best to allow for distributed oversight, fair competition, and an accessible market in government procurement. Increased transparency can reduce corruption, make procurement more efficient and effective, and allow for greater accountability.

The guidelines cover what documents and information from the procurement process should be published, who the key stakeholders are and how this information should be released. They are designed to be used by all levels of government - local, national and international. By allowing potential contractors and others to have access to more information, the oversight burden can be more broadly distributed and some of the pressure taken off public authorities.

For more information, click here.

Standards Map helps companies find a better route to sustainable procurement

11 June 2014

With supply chains growing more complex and an explosion of voluntary standards available to help verify sustainability and ethical practices, procurers can find themselves overwhelmed by the task of ensuring sustainable practices along the supply chain. The Standards Map, an online platform to explore and compare sustainability standards, aims to simplify this process.

The tool was recently updated to include the latest standards and criteria. It provides clear, comprehensive and verified information on over 130 voluntary standards and codes of conduct across a range of product groups. It enables users to review and compare sustainability requirements against their own business practices, with the ultimate goal of helping producers, exporters, policymakers and buyers participate in more sustainable production and trade.

As well as detailed information on the actions required to meet a chosen standard, the database provides timeframes, thresholds and urgency ratings to help suppliers create a roadmap towards sustainable trade. Collaboration between suppliers, purchasers and policy makers is encouraged by the sustainability marketplace, which encourages businesses to share their personalised sustainability roadmap with actors along the value chain.

For more information, click here.

French database allows purchasers to compare vehicle emissions

5 June 2014

Vehicles are responsible for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in France, making it crucial to encourage the use of public transport and "clean" vehicles. To aid with this, public procurers in French-speaking countries will now be able to find the greenest vehicles on the market with the help of a new online database.

Similar in design to the Clean Vehicle Portal, Ademe’s Comparateur des véhicules neufs compares fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and other air pollutant levels for more than 6,000 vehicles. As well as providing lists of the year’s top performers in each category, a comprehensive search function allows users to compare vehicles according to detailed criteria including model, make and range.

The database was developed in line with EC Directive 1999/94/CE, which requires consumers to be given an informed choice on the efficiency and pollution levels of new cars. Ademe also publishes an annual reference guide to emissions levels and fuel efficiency, which is distributed to all car dealerships for customers to use when purchasing or renting a car.

For more information, click here [in French].

Procurement key to stemming spread of HIV and Aids in Nigeria

3 June 2014

Efficient and cost-effective procurement processes have the capacity to save millions of lives in Nigeria through better providing supplies to treat HIV and Aids. Around eight million people or five percent of the population currently suffer from the virus in the African nation, one of the highest rates in the world. Supplies such as condoms, testing kits and anti-retroviral drugs are vital to combating the disease, but their impact can only be fully realised if effectively purchased and distributed.

Efficient procurement can ensure supplies get to those who need them most, and assure that the greatest value for money is achieved from grant allocations. It can also provide much-needed quality control regarding transport and the products themselves, and boost the local economy - most aid projects operating in the region favour local businesses as trading partners, providing they meet rigorous quality assurance requirements.

Increasingly, aid projects have made establishing better procurement processes a priority, aware of the potential positive results. To lower total shipping weights, the Enhancing Nigeria's Response to HIV/Aids (ENR) project significantly streamlined condom packaging. The result has been an average increase of 600 percent in the number of condoms shipped per carton for the same shipping cost.

For more information, click here.