NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 9 from 9 )

New EU-funded platform to make it easier to buy sustainable furniture

29 December 2015

A new platform will help public procurers to buy more environmentally-friendly furniture, providing comprehensive guidance throughout the tender process. The Green Urban Furniture platform, developed as part of the EU-funded FUTURE project, will make it easier for procurers to develop environmental criteria for suppliers and compare how sustainable different products are.

The project states that local governments can significantly improve their impact on global warming through using the tool to purchase more sustainable furniture. Placing a stronger emphasis on sustainable furniture is also likely to expand the European green furniture market, leading to greater range and competitiveness.

The tool is currently being tested by local authorities in Valencia (Spain) and Koprivnica (Croatia), who will purchase around 200 furniture products in the initial phase. It is expected that 17,500 pieces of sustainable furniture will be purchased using the tool over the next five years.

For more information, visit Public Spend Matters Europe.

Copenhagen adopts energy efficient smart lamps

21 December 2015

Copenhagen’s (Denmark) outdoor street lamps are getting an upgrade, with 20,000 energy-efficient LED lamps to be installed in 2016. Energy savings of around 57 percent are expected, which is enough to power 4,500 homes in the Danish capital. In addition to saving energy, the new lights will be fitted with smart capabilities. Maintenance officials will be able to remotely dim or brighten the lamps, and will be automatically alerted if repairs are required.

The technology installed in the lamps will also enable it to detect approaching cyclists and shine extra light, improving journey safety. Around half of Copenhagen’s outdoor street lights will be replaced, with the local government deciding to sell the old models at auction, giving potential buyers the chance to own a piece of Copenhagen history.

The iconic, bowl-shaped lamps have proven extremely popular, with already 3,000 sold for an average of $100 apiece. The new smart lamps will adhere closely to the historic design, ensuring continuity in Copenhagen’s urban aesthetic. The decision to move to more energy efficient lamps is part of Copenhagen’s drive to be carbon neutral by 2025.

For more information, visit

Free support offered for smart cities of the future

17 December 2015

Twenty European cities are being offered free expert advice and support in their journey towards becoming smarter, more responsive cities through the new GrowSmarter City Interest Group, which was launched on 26 November 2015 at the Urban Futures Conference in Berlin (Germany).

The Group is open to city administrations in Europe with a genuine interest in learning from the experiences of GrowSmarter’s lighthouse and follower cities. Benefits of joining include exclusive invitations to study visits in Stockholm (Sweden), Cologne (Germany) and Barcelona (Spain), and access to thematic capacity building webinars. Support for replication activities will be provided through a dedicated Helpdesk, with direct access to the staff and businesses involved in implementing the 12 GrowSmarter solutions.

Membership is free of charge and applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Members are expected to attend at least one annual GrowSmarter capacity exchange and can choose to develop their own smart city replication assessment. The first three Interest Group members to develop a complete smart city replication assessment will be offered one on-site capacity building workshop to help develop a full smart city replication plan. Those interested in joining the Growsmarter City Interest Group are invited to send a completed application form to, stating their main areas of interest.

For more information, visit the GrowSmarter website.

Feedback invited on new global sustainable procurement standard

15 December 2015

A new standard developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) that provides guidance on integrating sustainability into procurement processes is open for public comments until 12 January 2016. The development of ISO 20400 is part of a two year programme of work that has seen countries across the world provide input. The standard is intended to be a world-wide solution, and was created partly in response to the increased globalisation of supply chains and the greater involvement of multi-national organisations.

The primary purpose of the standard is to define sustainable procurement, provide information on impacts and aspects to be considered across different procurement activities, and to give practical information. It aims to be applicable to both public and private organisations, and can be broken down into four primary components. The first looks at fundamentals, outlining the scope and principles of sustainable procurement and examining the organisational benefits of engaging in this type of procurement.

The second looks at integrating sustainability into policy and strategy concerns, while the third aspect looks at management techniques to improve sustainable procurement, including ensuring that relevant procurement staff are trained to add sustainability considerations into contracts. The final aspect looks at the procurement process from the point of view of those responsible for carrying out procurement within the organisation. The standard is expected to be published towards the end of 2016.

For more information, visit

SPP Regions website provides guidance on sustainable public procurement of innovation

10 December 2015

The newly launched SPP Regions website showcases the creation and strengthening of networks of public authorities focused on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) in seven European regions.

The networks in Barcelona (Xarxa de Ciutats i Pobles cap a la Sostenibilitat), South West England (PIPEN), Bulgaria (Bulgarian SPPI Network), Copenhagen, Torino (APE), Metropolitan Region Rotterdam – The Hague, and West France (RGO) are co-operating on tendering for eco-innovative solutions and building capacity to implement sustainable and innovative purchasing practices.

The seven regional SPP networks will publish a total of 42 eco-innovative tenders focused on energy use in public buildings, vehicles and transport, and food and catering services. The goal is to achieve 54.3 GWh/year of primary energy savings and trigger 45 GWh/year of renewable energy. The SPP Regions website provides updated information about the different networks, as well as access to all the tools developed within this project. SPP Regions is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

For more information, visit the SPP Regions website.

Reducing emissions through sustainable public procurement at COP21

9 December 2015

UNEP, ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Korean Environmental Institute for Technology and Innovation (KEITI) hosted a session on Saturday 5 December at the Cities and Regions Pavilion to raise awareness about the potential of sustainable public procurement (SPP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The discussion focused on how to measure the GHG emissions stemming from public procurement. Three members of the 10 year framework programme on sustainable public procurement (10YFP on SPP) presented case studies from Europe, Asia and North America that illustrate the role SPP can play in reducing emissions.

The goal of the 10 YFP on SPP is to build the case for SPP on a global scale and support the implementation of SPP on the ground. The session saw UNEP, ICLEI, KEITI, and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) showcase practical ways to reduce GHG emissions through SPP, as well as outline methods to effectively monitor impacts. Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre, emphasised the importance of monitoring as a powerful communication tool for encouraging sustainable procurement.

Farid Yaker, SPP Programme Officer, UNEP, announced a declaration drafted in November 2015 at a meeting on green procurement arranged by KEITI and UNEP in Seoul (South Korea). The declaration was endorsed by several partners of the 10YFP on SPP and Seoul meeting participants. The goals of the Declaration include highlighting sustainable public procurement as a public policy tool for achieving national climate commitments, and emphasising that if the actions of the public and private sectors on sustainable procurement are aligned, it will accelerate the achievement of ambitious climate goals.

For more information, visit the 10YFP programme website.

First Summit of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement held at COP21

8 December 2015

Participants in the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN on SP) joined together on Saturday 5 December at COP21 to celebrate the first annual Summit, held in the Cities & Regions Pavilion. Auckland (New Zealand), Cape Town (South Africa), Denver (USA), Ghent (Belgium), Helsinki (Finland), Oslo (Norway), Quezon City (Philippines), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Seoul (South Korea) and Warsaw (Poland) are all participants in the network, which is a joint initiative of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Government, was elected chair of the GLCN on SP during the session. “Today is the starting point for more cities to make similar pledges. Let us strive to establish and spread green consumption and production systems around the world,” Mayor Park said. On the occasion of their first Summit, the 10 cities presented their sustainable procurement activities and achievements, and shared their knowledge and experience. Through leading by example, participants of the network aim to accelerate the implementation of sustainable purchasing worldwide.

“UNEP is delighted to have the GLCN on SP working on sustainable procurement. We are excited to see the lead action we are all looking for,” said Ligia Noronha, Director, Division of Technology Industry and Economics, UNEP. Before the end of 2016, all 10 cities will share their commitments within the GLCN on SP, to continue championing sustainable public procurement and public procurement of innovation to make their societies resource efficient, low carbon and socially responsible.

For more information, visit the GLCN on SP website.

Market consultation launched to find innovative office catering solutions

3 December 2015

Following a prior information notice (PIN) published in October 2015, Environment Park (Envipark), a partner in the EU-funded INNOCAT project, is inviting suppliers and catering service providers to take part in a market consultation on eco-innovative office catering by filling out an online questionnaire. Around 100 Envipark employees eat in the staff canteen and the organisation is interested in using eco-innovative processes to reduce the associated costs and impacts.

Following an audit carried out with lead buyer Arpa Piemonte in early 2015, Envipark identified two focus areas for its upcoming tender on eco-innovative office catering services: reducing power consumption and improving the management of biodegradable waste (including reducing packaging). Based on the audit, Arpa is now launching a market consultation process to ensure the interest and capacity of catering service providers to meet its requirements.

To provide a clear overview of the eco-innovative aspects required in the future tender, a Market Sounding Prospectus has been published and is available in English and Italian. The next stage of the process is a market consultation. Both catering service providers and manufacturers are invited to take part in a market consultation survey (in Italian) by 15 December 2015 to share details of their solutions and confirm their interest in being involved in further market engagement activities related to this process.

For more information and to view the survey, visit the Office Catering page.

EU bans wasteful lamps in favour of efficient alternatives

1 December 2015

The EU is helping to move the European market towards more energy efficient light bulbs by upholding a ban against a certain class of halogen lamps. Mains-voltage directional halogen lamps will be phased out of the European market from September 2016 onwards due to their high-level of inefficiency.

The move has been controversial among the business community with many coming out both in favour of and against the ban. LightingEurope, the trade association representing actors in the lighting industry, has criticised the ruling, stating that the move restricts consumer choice and is likely to "cause confusion".

Fred Bass, managing director of Neonlite International, takes a different view. “This ruling brings us one step closer to the eventual removal of all high-energy consuming halogens and can only be a positive move for both consumers and the environment alike,” said Mr. Bass, speaking to Lux magazine. Before implementing the sales ban, the European Commission considered whether the European market could provide an affordable and efficient alternative. As the market was deemed ready, the ban was upheld.

For more information, visit