NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 10 from 11 )

Feedback invited on sustainability consumer information guidelines

29 September 2016

Draft guidelines that set out minimal requirements and principles for private and public sector institutions to follow when providing product sustainability information are open for feedback from stakeholders around the world. The Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information is produced by the 10YFP Consumer Information Programme for Sustainable Consumption and Production (CI-SCP).

The document builds on well-established national, regional and sectoral guidance with the aim of creating a global consensus on sustainability information for products. Recent years have seen increasing demand from consumers for clear and reliable product sustainability information to guide them through the maze of sustainability claims - not only to identify sustainable products, but also to use and dispose of products in a more sustainable way.

Participants can either fill out a simple survey covering the main points of the document, or can provide more detailed comments on the guideline's content in an Excel worksheet. The consultation is open until 14 October 2016.

To view the draft document, click here. For more information, contact

Women have unfair role in Ugandan potato and banana supply chain

27 September 2016

If gender issues are not taken into account, efforts to strengthen potato and banana supply chains in Uganda will have the unintended effect of disempowering women, research conducted by the RTB-ENDURE initiative has found. In Uganda, most decisions regarding the production and marketing of potatoes and bananas are carried out by men, while women are primarily involved in retailing.

As women often do not have access to relevant training courses and may lack decision-making power at household level, new technologies are more likely to be adopted by men, particularly if purchasing the new technologies is capital intensive. As a result, women may be precluded from taking advantage of emerging market opportunities.

RTB-ENDURE is now carrying out a programme of gender empowerment and gender sensitive interventions in the region. This includes such measures as providing women with access to financing mechanisms, including women friendly loan products. RTB-ENDURE is a three-year initiative (2014-2016) implemented by the CGIAR Research Programme on Roots, Tubers and Bananas that is funded by the European Union.

For more information, click here.

Belgian procurement legislation opens the door for sustainability

22 September 2016

Belgian legislators transposed the EU Procurement Directives into national law on 17 June 2016, replacing the 2006 legislation with 193 new Articles. The legislation introduces greater flexibility into procurement processes, with open and restricted procedures no longer given priority. Innovation is also emphasised, with the new law promoting the use of innovation partnerships between procurers and suppliers to aid the development of better products and services.

Under the legislation, procurers are obliged to consider quality criteria in addition to price, opening the way for life-cycle costing and the use of sustainability criteria. While the legislation still states that the 'most economically advantageous tender' must be purchased, procurers are free to interpret what this means in terms of achieving the best price to quality ratio.

Products with a high energy efficiency rating are favoured under the law. The use of tender criteria is generalised, but tenders of limited value or in specific circumstances are exempt from standard award criteria.

For more information, visit

GLCN on SP outlines the procurement activities of Cape Town

20 September 2016

The South African city of Cape Town has been profiled as part of its membership of the Global Lead Cities Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN on SP). The profile looks at the sustainable procurement activities of the city.

Cape Town has integrated sustainability into its policies and procedures, and environmental sustainability is now a criterion in procurement decision-making. A set of Green Procurement Guidelines have been published to help staff include the sustainability criteria when compiling specifications and tender documents. The city’s achievements and its challenges for the future are also explored in the profile.

The Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement is a group of 14 cities committed to drive a transition to sustainable consumption and production by implementing sustainable and innovation procurement. All participating cities act as ambassadors of sustainable procurement to create a resource efficient, low carbon and socially responsible society.

To view the profile, click here. [PDF]

ICLEI article on the importance of networks published by UN

16 September 2016

The benefits of joining a network for buyers and suppliers is outlined in an article in the UN publication Future Proofing Procurement. The article is written by ICLEI Europe Procurement Officer Caroline Chandler.

Ms Chandler acknowledges the constraints facing procurers who may wish to undertake sustainable procurement, particularly those who "sit at an awkward junction between long-term policy ambitions and the everyday realities of short-term contracts issued within strict financial constraints." She goes on to say that cooperation with other public procurers is an important tool to help procurers meet their goals: “In the current economic climate, networks are a useful tool to ensure procurement is safeguarded against spending cuts, evolving public sector needs and fluctuating demand and supply.”

The example of Copenhagen (Denmark) is used to illustrate a city that that benefited from extended planning, capacity building and market engagement. The Danish capital achieved its goal of sourcing 90 percent organic food for all publicly funded meals prepared by the city without increasing the overall food budget.

To read the article in full, visit pg. 37 of Future Proofing Procurement.

Budapest’s sustainable procurement activities profiled by GLCN on SP

15 September 2016

The sustainable procurement activities of Global Lead Cities Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN on SP) member city Budapest (Hungary) have been profiled on the GLCN on SP website. The profile explores how green procurement has been used to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions in the Hungarian capital.

The document outlines how the city is promoting sustainable procurement at municipal level, and the procurement actions being taken in fields such as sewage management, building renovation, and transport. The future challenges involved in mainstreaming sustainable and innovation procurement in Budapest are also outlined.

The Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement is a group of 14 cities committed to drive a transition to sustainable consumption and production by implementing sustainable and innovation procurement. All participating cities are acting as ambassadors of sustainable procurement to create a resource efficient, low carbon and socially responsible society.

To view the profile, click here.

Procura+ Awards deadline extension

13 September 2016

There is still time to apply for the European Procura+ Awards, with the deadline extended to 7 October 2016. The Awards highlight sustainable and innovation procurements and tender procedures and give visibility to the most dynamic, forward-looking and innovative public authorities and their initiatives.

Winners will be invited to collect their trophies at an awards ceremony, taking place as part of Sustainable City Development 2016 in Malmö (Sweden). This event, which is bringing cities together to consider their role in ensuring the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, will show the importance of sustainable procurement in achieving the ambition of the Paris Agreement.

As well as international recognition, award winners will receive free entry and a presentation at the next EcoProcura conference; a published case study on the SP Platform and PPI Platform; publicity in a variety of ICLEI publications; and one year’s free participation in the Procura+ Network. To apply for the Awards, interested parties should send a completed application form to by midnight on 7 October 2016.

For more information, visit the Procura+ Awards page.

Geneva event to look at driving voluntary sustainability standards

9 September 2016

The annual Trade for Sustainable Development Forum will be held in Geneva (Switzerland) from 28-30 September 2016, gathering policy makers and business leaders. The event will look at how voluntary sustainability standards can support sustainable value chains. Organised by the International Trade Centre, the event is now in its third year.

Specifically, the event will examine how using data to ensure sustainability in supply chains can help us to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Organisers are expecting a candid exchange of views, robust debates, and insights into policies in the field.

Participants will learn how to make smarter decisions as a business leader, policy maker, or consumer. The agenda will also explore how to bridge the gap between intention and action. Registration for the event is open until 21 September 2016.

For more information, click here.

Eco-varnish makes timber more sustainable

8 September 2016

A newly developed alternative to oil-based varnish is making wood an even more sustainable choice. Varnish is necessary to prevent wood from degrading due to moisture and high temperatures. Up to now, varnish has generally contained chemicals harmful to the environment, but the EU-funded ECOVARN project has developed a new formula using vegetable oil, a water-based solvent, and nano particles.

The project team is pleased with the results, as previously an environmentally friendly varnish that also provides a nice finish was not available.Pushing the process further, the EU-funded NEXT1KOAT project is using seaweed grown off the coast of Scotland and Ireland to create alcohol that can be processed into sustainable paints and varnishes.

These coatings are safer for workers, as they do not need to be used in highly ventilated areas due to the lack of toxic fumes. The new varnish has also been found to enhance the ability of wood to act as an insulator.

For more information, click here.

Sustainable procurement: helping the Paris Agreement fulfill its promise

6 September 2016

Political representatives from the cities in the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN on SP) gathered this Friday for the Network’s Mayoral Second Annual Summit in Seoul (South Korea). Representatives used the occasion to present their key achievements on sustainable public procurement and to announce their targets as GLCN cities. Seoul Metropolitan Government, Chair of the GLCN on SP, chose to include the Second Summit as part of the Mayors Forum on Climate Change to show the importance of sustainable procurement to combat climate change and to showcase the activities of the Network participants in attendance – Seoul, Auckland (New Zealand), Budapest (Hungary), Cape Town (South Africa), Helsinki (Finland), Montréal (Canada), Quezon (Philippines), and Warsaw (Poland). Building on its 20 years of experience on sustainable procurement, ICLEI acts as coordinator of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement.

"The cities need to open a sustainable future and continue to move forward based on the commitments that have been made today. This way the cities can tackle climate change through procurement," Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Government and Chair of the GLCN on SP, said.

The purpose of the Mayors Forum on Climate Change was to outline how cities and local governments can support national and global efforts to raise the level of global ambition, to ensure a rapid entry of the Paris Agreement into force. In that sense, cities in the GLCN on SP are prepared to step up to the challenge of using procurement to address climate change and help ensure that the Paris Agreement lives up to its promise.

For more information, click here.