PUBLIC PROCUREMENT NEWS

  

NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 9 from 9 )

Resource Centre – your go-to online library for all things Procurement

27 December 2018

Want to learn more about green procurement? Eager to find a case study on sustainable food procurement? Curious about how the City of Rotterdam purchased charging stations for electric vehicles applying a joint procurement process? Need guidance on how to navigate procurement criteria on social responsibility?

Find the answers to those questions and more in our Resource Centre. With 850+ resources online it offers a wealth of knowledge in the field of public procurement. Browse through the reports, tools & guidance, case studies or projects. You can use the filter to search for instance for a specific topic or country.

We update the Resource Centre on a regular basis, making sure that you have access to the latest knowledge generated to advance sustainable, circular, strategic and innovation procurement worldwide.

Something missing? We are always looking for relevant resources to add to the Centre, please contact us at procurement@iclei.org if you have any suggestion.

Get started here!

New EU guidance for procuring greener road lighting

20 December 2018

On 10 December, the European Commission released new guidance for greening public procurement of road lighting equipment, covering new installations and retrofits. The guidance also covers traffic signals/lights. The recommendations are an update of the guidance developed a few years ago, and come in the form of practical criteria (EU GPP Criteria) which can be inserted into public calls for tender.

The environmental aspects covered by the new EU GPP criteria for road lighting are split into three areas: energy consumption, light pollution and lifetime. Procurement of traffic signals is considered separately, using criteria that are predominantly centred on life cycle costs. 1.3% of all electricity consumed in 2005 (by the EU25) was by road lighting installations - thus the use phase is the dominant impact category, according to life cycle assessment studies.

Complimenting the new guidance, a number of good practice cases from cities are available online, such as from Rotterdam (The Netherlands, Župa Dubrovačka (Croatia), and Jimena de la Frontera (Spain). More good practice examples are available from the website of the Premium Light Pro project. The new EU GPP Criteria will be available in all official EU languages in the coming months.

More information on the new guidance and other GPP related news can be found in the December edition of the GPP News Alert, a monthly newsletter providing news, good practice and stakeholder insights on GPP in the EU.

All EU GPP guidance can be found here.

Tackling climate change through Green Public Procurement (GPP)

18 December 2018

From electric buses to zero energy kindergartens, from recycled construction materials to organic catering services, city administrations worldwide are increasingly procuring innovative, low carbon solutions to help them deliver public services in the most sustainable way possible.

Globally, public procurement accounts for some 10-15% of GDP (WTO) - although this figure varies substantially according to country and market sector. This represents a huge degree of purchasing power, meaning that the procurement decisions which public administrations make can have a huge impact on the market – and help encourage that market to offer more sustainable goods and services.

A report by IFC (International Finance Corporation) analysed the potential for climate-smart investments across different sectors at city level. This highlights that almost all our purchasing actions have climate change impacts – whether this relates to the energy products consume, or CO2 emissions embedded in global supply chains. The most significant procurement sectors for cities include building and infrastructure construction/renovation, transportation (covering public fleets, public transportation services, as well as embedded transportation in the delivery of goods and services), food, energy, and energy consuming products. In all these sectors cities are helping to drive new technologies and solutions, by providing an invaluable launch market and helping suppliers achieve economies of scale.

Many cities across the globe – from Auckland to Tshwane, from Oslo to Seoul, from Buenos Aires to Montréal – are putting in place green or sustainable procurement strategies and policies aimed designed to harness the power of procurement to achieve a wide range of sustainability goals, such as climate change mitigation. The Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement provides an international platform for cities to highlight their achievements and share their experiences.

Read the full report here.

GPP Project GreenS Finalist for Circular Economy Prize

13 December 2018

The City of Cadiz was nominated a finalist for the Spanish Local Good practices for the Climate Award, for their pilot-procurement "Green Electricity Supply for Cadiz Provincial Government", which was part of the European Project GreenS.

The Award is given by the Spanish Network of Cities for the Climate, and in its 7th edition recognized local good practices in six categories. The public recognition of forward thinking local authorities helps to promote climate action, mitigation and adaptation on a local level and beyond. The GreenS project in the city of Cadiz was a finalist in the Circular Economy category.

As part of the project, a new contract for electricity supply for public bodies in the City of Cadiz was awarded. The new contract meant a real breakthrough in the annual reduction of CO2 emissions, contributing to achieve government goals’ to combat climate change and ensure environmental protection. According to estimates, the project is saving 1.127 tons of CO2 emissions per year with no additional cost for the provincial administration.

The GreenS project was European project designed to focus the attention of public authorities to the Green Public Procurement (GPP), Life Cycle Cost of the products and Life Cycle Procurement analysis as part of their means to achieving the ambitious goals for exceeding the EU 20% CO2 reduction by 2020. The project concluded in the Summer of 2018.

To learn more about GreenS and Cadiz' procurement of green electricity head over to the project website.

 

Circular Procurement in Malmö

12 December 2018

10 million tonnes of furniture are discarded by businesses and consumers in EU Member States each year, the majority of which is destined for either landfill or incineration, finds a report published by the European Environmental Bureau. The report calls on policy makers and officials to focus more efforts on higher-value circular resource flows, such as refurbishment or remanufacturing.

As part of the European project CircularPP, Procura+ Chair city of Malmö is taking action on this issue. The city is looking to award a new framework contract to one or multiple suppliers of used furniture, minimizing the material footprint of its office furniture and contributing to the transition to a circular economy. The CircularPP project is using innovation procurement and capacity building to promote a circular economy.

We spoke to Emma Borjesson, who works at the Environmental Management Department of Malmö City, about the city’s ambitions to become more circular and how this new tender will help with that.

When we found out about the CircularPP project, we decided that we should participate, but we were not sure what kind of procurement we could make circular. It then turned out that the framework contract for our office furniture supplier was about to be re-awarded. The person responsible for this tender process was interested in doing something more environmental and had already started to look into reused furniture as an option.

Therefore, we eventually decided that furniture, and reused furniture specifically is the right way to start because it is quite straight forward but nonetheless a highly necessary product category to address.

When the city officials first started looking into the issue they quickly realized the scale of the problem – not least because they discovered a large container full of dumped furniture just behind their offices. Both production and disposal of office furniture require large amounts of resources and energy – stress on the environment that could be avoided through buying used furniture and keeping it in the loop longer. ´

We already have an internal second hand market, where colleagues can offer used office furniture online and colleagues from other departments can use them in their offices. With the new framework contract, we hope to create more awareness about this internal service as well.

To prepare the tender, city officials have already begun to do some market research and have visited multiple suppliers of second hand furniture.

When we visited these suppliers, we realized just how much second furniture is available, and this fact only strengthened our belief that what we are doing as a city is really important and useful. The suppliers we visited were very happy to speak to us and hear about the city’s ambitions in this regard. From what we know until now, we will not have any issues finding suppliers that meet our requirements.

The requirements included in the tender go beyond providing used furniture. The new contractor is also expected to offer services such as repair or refurbishment in collaboration with the city’s internal works and repairs service, as well as short term rental of furniture if needed. This will ensure that furniture used by the city will stay in the loop longer. When eventually the furniture needs to be disposed of, the city has the ambition to ensure it gets refurbished, or at least recycled. This can be achieved through supplier take or buy back schemes to reuse spare parts or redesign the furniture. Alternatively, furniture user can also hire 3rd parties to take care of recycling.

It is crucial for us to have our colleagues on board. This will be a framework contract, which is why of course we cannot force our different procurers to make use of it. Ideally though we want all procurers of the different departments, when furniture needs to be purchased, to check our internal options like the second hand market first. In case they cannot find what they need, they would turn to the new supplier and purchase used or refurbished furniture. This is why we are planning such an extensive internal marketing campaign around it, to show that there are better ways than make, buy, replace out there!

We are organising a couple of information events on the circular economy, some of which have already taken place. Our colleagues are keen to learn more about this topic and it helps us to raise awareness. And at the end of the day, used furniture is not only more environmentally conscious but also cheaper. This factor will convince the doubtful ones as well.

We have the ambition to work with our interior designers and architects to familiarize them with this idea and to get them on board in terms of designing solutions that suit this new approach.

The call for tender is intentionally designed to be quite open – the city does not want to exclude good submissions, just as long as they fit into the set of requirements. This way the city maintains the option to award a contract to multiple suppliers.

The city views this tender as a pilot and envisions that it will embed circularity in more tenders in the future. A couple of topics that the city would like to address include the procurement of textiles, the construction sector, as well as food and catering.

During this tender process we are already learning a lot on how to cooperate better with our suppliers – something which is key when comes to asking the market to provide solutions that are more outside the box. We are asking quite a lot and are also working with new suppliers that have not been suppliers for cities before.

A challenge the city of Malmö, and many other public bodies looking to purchase used goods, are legacy substances that could potentially be hazardous. Making sure that second hand products are safe to use means additional costs for recyclers who often lack information on chemicals contained in products and on ways on how to deal with them appropriately.

The city of Malmö published the call for tender mid-November. The city is confident it will award a contract by January or February 2019. We will be following the process and report back once the contract is awarded.

 

To City and Urban Leaders: Seize this moment!

11 December 2018

If global CO2 emissions reach zero in thirty years, there is a one-in two chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C. If the world fails to meet the 1,5°C target, human and ecological systems will reach the limits of their adaptive capacity, triggering the disruption of basic economic activity. This was found in the recently published IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5° (SR1.5) highlighting the significance of the 1.5° threshold. Accomplishing the complex task of emission reduction requires tremendous changes in energy production and use, land use and ecosystems, urban and infrastructure, and industry.

The IPCC published a special Summary report for Urban Policy makers, because urban areas are a key player in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The summary calls for engaged officials and stakeholders who can influence urban economies, urban form and infrastructure, the connectivity between urban and rural areas, and behavioural choices in support of the sustainable urban transition. This transition is also enabled by sharing knowledge, adapt and replicate experience of successful implementation through membership in international city networks such as ICLEI, Procura+, and GLCN.

Examples for solution approaches are also listed in the summary and range from:

·         Energy efficiency in buildings through for example design of zero carbon homes;

·         Further uptake of green infrastructure through nature-based solutions;

·         Sustainable urban design such as the compact city model and pedestrianisation of centres;

·         Industrial-urban symbiosis towards material recycling and reuse at the city-regional level;

·         Decentralized energy grid i.e. micro grids.

Projects like the EU project SPP regions have demonstrated that powerful tools such as innovation procurement of sustainable, low carbon solutions can reduce CO2 emissions significantly. It takes forward thinking officials to implement these practices in their cities and reach a zero carbon world.

Read the full Summary report for Urban Policy Makers here.

Catalan Regional Tender Results in Low Emission Vehicle Fleet

6 December 2018

“Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone.” This is the main finding of a WHO report released this week at the occasion of the COP24 currently taking place in Katowice (Poland). One of the most dangerous and costly public health threats, air pollution in urban areas is one of the top policy priorities in the EU and worldwide.

Cities themselves can be part of the solution by purchasing low emission vehicles. Only a year ago the fleet for service and police vehicles of the Catalan Association of Towns and Counties consisted of 95% diesel vehicles, which contribute significantly to poor air quality. Thanks to a new framework agreement awarded in 2018, 308 new vehicles were purchased, over 80% of which are low or zero emission vehicles.

The call for tender for the new framework contract was developed as part of the European project SPP regions, which promoted the creation and expansion of European regional networks of municipalities working together on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and procurement of innovation. Collaboration among the public bodies sends a stronger signal of demand for sustainability and innovation to suppliers and help local authorities achieve ambitious sustainability targets.

Read the full case study here.

More inspiring examples of how public procurement can promote health and air quality can be found in our Resource Centre.

Plastic Waste: Global Solutions to a Global Problem

5 December 2018

The last two editions of Sector Watch have looked into policy developments and practice examples to deal with what some have termed the plastic waste crisis. But oceans do not respect country borders and plastic pollution is a global issue.

While Europeans are amongst the biggest plastic waste generators on the planet, in 2010, Europe and Central Asia combined only contributed 3,6% to global marine plastic litter. This is thanks to comparatively well managed waste disposal.

But 79% of global plastic is still accumulated in landfills or the environment, including the oceans.

And Europe is not exempt from responsibility in tackling the global marine litter problem. It hit the news last year when China refused to accept any more plastic waste exports: After 25 years as the world’s salvage king, China refused to buy any recycled plastic scrap that wasn’t 99.5 percent pure. And Thailand was quick to follow this October. This development sheds light on a key problem in European waste management: Plastic waste is a global issue and the fact that countries can get paid to accept plastic and other forms of waste poses a huge problem which the EU strategies to curb the plastics issue only partially address. Countries willing to take waste for cheap expose themselves to higher risks of pollution, particularly when they lack the capacity to treat plastic waste properly.

"East and West are inextricably connected by their plastic trash, as wealthy nations sell their recycled plastic scrap to Asia for the simple fact it’s easier to ship it around the world than process it at home." (National Geographic)

South-East Asian countries are among the biggest contributors to marine litter. It is also these countries that import the largest share of recyclable waste, including from EU countries. If the EU wants to address marine litter beyond its borders it needs to enforce strict waste treatment practices when exporting waste to countries at high risk of waste mismanagement.

Plastic waste: moving to solutions

Activists and policy makers alike have argued that waste treatment and recovery solutions are just the start of a comprehensive waste management strategy that tackles plastic waste globally. More efforts need to be focused on the source of plastic waste: packaging material and single-use items such as the ones banned by the EU.

Procura+ participant City of Oslo supports this stance: It is one of the first to completely phase out unnecessary single-use plastic. And the Mayor, Raymond Johansen, calls on the EU to take the next step and shift more responsibility to the industry through extended producer responsibility schemes, sharing the cost of cleaning up litter and to raise awareness. Industry stakeholders need to share knowledge about what is required for a product to be recyclable to get the design solutions that allow for high quality recycling, says the Mayor.

There are some inspiring examples out there showing that recycling can be profitable and environmentally sound. The Dutch company CeDo has combined a recycling business with a plastic bottle manufacturing line. The recycling arm of their operations is directly linked to the manufacturing end, closing the loop of the plastics value chain, a process that previously has been thought to be impossible.

The European Parliament seems to be on board: the ENVI committee (Environment, Public Health and Food Safety) of the parliament proposed to direct EU funding to higher waste hierarchy options – waste prevention, reuse and recycling – to help member states advance towards a Circular Economy, while excluding funding for residual waste treatment facilities, e.g. waste incineration and Mechanical Biological Treatment.

While the policy world is slowly but steadily moving toward a plastic litter free world, others are taking on the task of removing the damage done: The Ocean Clean Up, a project seeking to remove plastics from marine environments without harming them, has launched its operations in the Pacific this October. So far, the newly developed technology seems to be highly successful. Hopefully, it will not have to run for too long.

At the cross-roads: take the right turn towards electric buses

4 December 2018

This week, all eyes are on Katowice (Poland) and the Climate Change Conference COP24, where countries have to agree on how they will achieve the the goal of minimizing climate change to less than 2°C warming, decided three years earlier at COP21 in Paris. In his opening address Antonio Guterres (UN Secretary-General) highlights which steps need to be taken immediately to get closer to reaching this goal – one of them is the electrification of transport, which accounts for a large share of greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to dangerously poor air quality in cities.

A new report titled “Electric buses arrive on time“ (Transport & Environment), examines the transition towards sustainable, low carbon transport through public procurement. It maps out the shift from diesel powered to electric busses in Europe. “In 2017, the number of electric bus orders more than doubled - from 400 in 2016 to more than 1,000. In 2018, the market share is estimated to be around 9%, marking the transition from niche to mainstream and the beginning of a steep and necessary uptake curve.”

Electric buses already offer a better total cost of ownership (TCO) than diesel buses when external (public health) costs are included. Beyond costs, electric buses offer many additional benefits compared to their fossil fueled counterparts: superior image and comfort, no stranded assets from investing in gas infrastructure, using locally produced (renewable) energy and ensuring energy sovereignty by replacing oil consumption.

The earlier cities transition to a zero emission bus fleet, the better.

However, there are challenges to implementation, for instance coping with the higher capital costs of zero-emissions buses. Lucien Mathieu, author of the report and transport and e-mobility analyst at T&E, has a solution for that, too: “a grant could be made available through the new EU budget from 2020. This should be complemented by a Europe-wide zero emission sales target for new buses.”(Euroactiv)

For inspirational examples of zero emission public procurement, visits the website of ICLEI led European project BuyZET, in which cities use procurement of innovative solutions for zero emission urban delivery of goods and services.

For more case studies on the topic of clean urban transport, head over to our resource centre.