PUBLIC PROCUREMENT NEWS

  

NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 9 from 9 )

An action agenda for the circular city

27 September 2018

A new report published by Circl Economy, TNO and the City of Amsterdam, presents ‘a vision and action agenda for the circular city’ taking the city of Amsterdam as example.

The report zooms in on two key areas in which the city has direct impact on circularity: The construction value chain and organic waste. It presents a set of action points for both of these areas that help to establish a circular production and consumption model on the city level.

The report highlights the importance of innovation in the soil, road, and construction sector – a sector that thus far has not achieved much attention in terms of circular development but which bears great potential due to large volumes as well the direct influence that many local governments can exert in this regard – through regulation as well as circular procurement. Innovation procurement processes challenging the market to for example redesign existing buildings or develop new products from used materials are a key tool for public authorities in this regard. 

Further information on circular procurement can also be found in this guide, published by the European Commission and authored by ICLEI. For more information about Circular Amsterdam click here.

Sustainable procurement for climate neutrality

25 September 2018

The Paris Agreement which was adopted by the United Nations (UN) member states in 2015 aims for global climate neutrality in the second half of this century – and it is widely recognized that national governments alone cannot achieve this objective. This past June, at the ICLEI World Congress in Montréal, ICLEI issued a call to action targeting local and regional governments. The ICLEI Montréal Commitment calls on local and regional governments to aim for 100 percent renewable energy and divest from fossil fuels to achieve climate neutral government operations and infrastructure. The commitment stresses local and regional governments' leadership role in deploying ambitious policies, concepts, actions and technologies to achieve neutrality.

To assist local authorities in achieving this goal, ICLEI developed a simple 4 step path toward climate neutrality. Starting with government operations and infrasturcture, public bodies can procure 100% renewable energy as well as sustainable goods and services. As a second step, public funds can be divested from fossil intensive industries and other unsustainable practices and as a third step reinvested in ambitious mitigation and adaptation activities which include innovative and strategic procurement. And finally, emissions that cannot be reduced with these measures can be offset using UN recognized carbon offsetting mechanisms.

Ways in which local governments can achieve climate neutrality were also an important result of the SPP regions project, supporting public authorities in using sustainable procurement (SPP) strategically to achieve climate targets. More resources on SPP stretgies that reduce CO2 emissions can be found in the resource centre and the SPP regions website.

Transformative Action Award recognises sustainable procurement

20 September 2018

The City of Ghent (Belgium) was recently announced as a shortlisted candidate for the 2018 Transformative Action Award.

The award, which is co-organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, The Basque Country and the City of Aalborg (Denmark), rewards current or concluded Transformative Actions that address the pathways of the Basque Declaration related to three categories: socio-cultural, socio-economic and, technological transformation.

From a strong field of 40 applications, Ghent was shortlisted for seeking to transform the city’s local food system. Through participative governance models, including a food policy council, Ghent’s food policy has moved from launching small-scale initiatives to bringing structural change to the food system. It is decreasing food waste, making food procurement more sustainable, scaling up short food supply chains and improving access to food.

For more information about the shortlisted candidates, click here.  To learn more about Ghent's Sustainable Procurement work and goals, click here.

Tshwane announced as new chair of GLCN on Sustainable Procurement

14 September 2018

Executive Mayor of Tshwane, South Africa, Solly Msimanga has been announced as the new chair of ICLEI’s  Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN) at the Global Climate Action Summit.

As an early leader in sustainable procurement in Africa, the City of Tshwane was an obvious choice to lead in the next phase of the GLCN. Tshwane’s long term strategic vision commits itself to a path of sustainable economic growth decoupled from environmental impacts, and Tshwane has recently set targets to make 40% of the city bus fleet green by 2030, 10% of overall purchases sustainable by 2021, and reach 20% renewable energy at community-scale by 2030.

The GLCN is a group of 14 cities from around the globe committed to the implementation of sustainable and innovation procurement. Their goal is to support the transition to a low carbon, resource-efficient and socially responsible society.

For more information on the GLCN, please click here.

EcoProcura 2018 to collaborate with TCO Certified

14 September 2018

EcoProcura 2018 is proud to announce that it will collaborate with TCO Certified on its 2018 conference on sustainable, circular and innovation procurement, which is taking place 3-5 October in Nijmegen (The Netherlands).

TCO Certified is a global sustainability certification for IT products, founded over 25 years ago. It sets criteria on such things as socially responsible manufacturing, environment, user health, safety and ergonomic design.

During the conference, TCO Certified will host the Breakout Session, High risk category procurement — increase supply chain sustainability through purchasing. This session will look at current environmental and social supply chain responsibility challenges and how these can be addressed through sustainable procurement. Attendees will gain unique insights into all stages of the product life and supply chain journey, and receive guidance and tools for driving a more circular, responsible approach when purchasing products.

EcoProcura participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about and speak directly to TCO Certified staff at their market lounge table and stand in the EcoProcura exhibition area.

For more information about EcoProcura and to register before the late fee comes into effect on September 21, click here.

Procura+ Awards finalists announced

11 September 2018

The countdown to the 2018 Procura+ Awards ceremony has started, with six public authorities through to the final. Winners will be unveiled at the EcoProcura conference in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The six finalists have emerged from a strong field of 23 entries across three contest categories: Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year, and Procurement Initiative of the Year.

The City of Aalborg and Government of Flanders will contest for Sustainable Procurement of the Year. These municipalities have impressed with procurement of circular school furniture for a healthy learning environment and a supply chain influencing procurement of sustainable office supplies, respectively.

For Innovation Procurement of the Year, the cities of Cork and Rotterdam will be in competition with each other. Procurement of sustainable and affordable housing through Competitive Dialogue in Cork and innovative transport solutions for special mobility needs in Rotterdam have taken the two cities to the final.

Finally, the Procurement Initiative of the Year will be chosen from Barcelona City Council and Transport for London. Barcelona introduced city-wide compulsory sustainable procurement, whilst Transport for London successfully implemented a supplier skills programme.

This year’s jury, chaired by Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Procurement Centre, was further comprised of high-level representatives with vast experience in procurement practice and policy making.

For more information on the 2018 awards, visit the Procura+ website.

Circulus Berkel Interview with Michiel Westerhoff

6 September 2018

The textile industry is known for its devastating environmental and human rights impacts. According to recent estimates, the total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, are at 1.2 billion tonnes annually which are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Textile production is steadily increasing – and with it the adverse effects it has on humans and nature.

So in the face of these facts - what needs to happen to make circular textiles chains a reality and what can public waste management companies do to contribute to a more circular textile industry?

One year ago, we talked to Michiel Westerhoff of Circulus-Berkel, the public waste management company that serves eight municipalities with around 440,000 inhabitants in the Dutch Province Gelderland, about their plans for a new textiles sorting centre. In July 2018 the centre starting operating and we are meeting Michiel once more to hear about how they got to where they are today. Read on to learn about the procurement process and how the centre tackles some of the major issues of the textile chain in a sustainable way.

 

Interview

You just opened a new textile sorting centre, which is operated by ReShare, tell us what is special about this centre.

We wanted to create an approach to used textile disposal that really challenged the business as usual – textile still lags behind in the whole recycling world. There is very little regulation about how to dispose of textiles and the whole situation is not very transparent. About 38% of waste textiles are currently collected in the Netherlands, which means first of all that 62% are going straight to incineration together with the regular household waste.

Although it is commonly assumed that used textiles are used for a charitable purpose, more often than not they are simply sold for the highest price to buyers around the globe [1]. And what happens once they are shipped is often unclear. They are sold on local markets or burnt or landfilled. And this is where we need to start – with the textile sorting centre we are taking a huge step towards more transparency. All reusable clothes that we sort are traceable. And with the idea in mind to keep them in the loop as locally as possible, they are either sold in Dutch second hand shops or within Europe.

Textiles that cannot be reused as clothing are recycled on the fibre level, where we separate the different fibres going into the product and sell them to manufacturers of recycled clothing or other materials that require fibre. About 25% of the collected textiles are still non-recyclable and will be incinerated. We are looking into the possibilities of new recycling techniques like chemical recycling to see how this number can be reduced.

But we aimed for more: we also created 25 full time equivalent jobs for people with difficulties integrating in the work force. This way we don’t only contribute to sustainability globally but also support our community here.

These are indeed some ambitious goals you achieved – tell us how you set up the tendering process to get to this point.

We were looking for a solution to textile sorting that did not exist before. Which is why we opted for an innovation procurement procedure. Our award criteria were based on four important pillars, on each of which we gave points.

Firstly, we asked bidders to show us how they plan to ensure full transparency along the recycling or reselling textile chain. Secondly, we required a strong vision on how recycling of non-reusable clothes was going to be organized. And thirdly, we asked for a risk analysis, since the quality and quantity of textile collection can always vary – something which the contractor needs to be fully aware of. And of course we judged the business case bidders were presenting.

Our contractors buy the textiles we collect in our eight municipalities and usually, contracts were awarded to those who offered the highest price for textiles. Unfortunately, this practices incentivizes unsustainable behaviour!

With this tender we wanted to send the right signal. We set a cap on how much we would ask the contractor to pay us for the textiles – just enough to cover our costs of collection. This price was clear from the start and therefore bidders did not compete on price. Any revenues the operation now has on top of a defined revenue is shared between our contractor and us. In this way we are both incentivized to create economic value within the framework of transparency, sustainability and social employment.

And how did you ensure that bidders came up with robust solutions that fulfilled these criteria?

Key to our success was definitely the intensive market engagement process that characterized the whole tender. Prior to publishing the call for tender, we consulted the market. We invited eight potential market parties and asked them about topics such as the necessary scale for a sorting operation, their sorting process, desired form of organization, possibilities for jobs for people with difficulties joining the workforce, location requirements, transparency and traceability, possible reaction on price and volume fluctuations and treatment of non-reusable textiles.

Based on this consultation we updated the business plan – asking ourselves, what can realistically be achieved? This resulted in a number of pre-conditions for the tender that required the support of our municipalities. On this basis we developed and published the tender. After a selection phase we then entered an intensive market dialogue phase with the selected parties. It was during this phase that we really fleshed out how to achieve everything we had set out to do.

What was the most important advantage of such an intensive process?

The goals we had set after the market consultation for transparency, recycling and creating job opportunities for socially disadvantaged citizens were quite challenging for the bidders. The intensive exchange helped them and us to come up with a good solution. We also involved the social institutions that were our contact for employing people with difficulties finding jobs. 

Which impact did your tender have on the market?

We got a lot of surprising and positive feedback. For one, as I said before, the textile sorting and recycling model is far more ambitious than the business as usual because it achieves higher and traceable rates of recycling and higher rates of reuse of clothes. On top of that, we managed to create jobs for socially disadvantaged groups. Our tender pushed the market in that direction. But even the losing parties thanked us in hindsight, because they learned a lot throughout the market dialogue. This really surprised us but also shows how much need there is to work together if we want to move toward more sustainable solutions in waste management.  

If you had to do it all over again – what are the most important lessons learned?

The most important aspect of this process was its cooperative nature – as purchasers we weren’t sitting across the table from our market parties and testing them. We wanted to create an atmosphere of collaboration, a shared mission that we work towards together. If you challenge the market in a fair way – innovative solutions will come up!

As you said, the textile sector is lagging behind in recycling. Which challenges do you still see ahead?

Most importantly, the recycling of textile materials that cannot be used as clothing anymore is still in its infancy. There are some small brands that use recycled fibre, but most of our fibre is currently down cycled rather than kept in the fibre loop. For example, fibres are used for insulation material instead of new clothes. Here we really need designers and producers of clothes to think with us and produce for recycling, which means using high quality fibres, and non-mixed materials. This allows us to produce high quality fibre which can be used for textile production. The market and the entire supply chain need to develop and adapt in this regard.  

What drives you to change the game in textile recycling?

We are a public service company. Our goals are set by our elected officials and luckily, politics in our region are quite ambitious. The region has the goal to become completely waste-free by 2030. Without this political commitment and broad societal support for our mission we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Thank you so much for speaking with us and good luck for your future ambitions!

In addition to intensifying the high quality recycling of textile and textile fibres, Circulus Berkel is currently also working on a plan to improve the recycling of diapers, which make up 8% of residual waste, improved plastic packaging recycling, extraction of protein from food waste and creating more jobs in the field of recycling, including repair, reuse, and remanufacturing of e-waste



[1] 71% of the collected textiles are exported.

New sorting centre tackles pressing issues in textile recycling

6 September 2018

The textile industry is constantly growing and with it a range of adverse environmental and human rights impacts. According to recent estimates, the total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, are at 1.2 billion tonnes annually which are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

Circulus Berkel, the public waste management company that serves eight municipalities with around 440,000 inhabitants in the Dutch Province Gelderland has recently launched a new textile sorting centre that aims to tackle these issues. The centre’s operation is set up to ensure transparency in the textile chain and high rates of recycling, and creates job opportunities for socially disadvantaged citizens.

In an interview with ICLEI Europe, Michiel Westerhoff, manager of Circulus Berkel, underlined that an intensive market engagement process during the tendering procedure as well as broad political support for sustainability focused procurement was the key in achieving this.

You can find the full interview on Sector Watch. For more information about Circulus Berkel, click here.

London public services collaborate for social procurement

4 September 2018

Public services across London (United Kingdom) are collaborating to improve responsible procurement because of a mayoral initiative to increase the social benefits from the city’s procurement spend. For this initiative, Transport for London (TfL) has put together a team that supports responsible procurement across the city’s public bodies, including the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service among others. This team, the Greater London Authority (GLA) Group Responsible Procurement Policy, is located within TfL with team members in all involved bodies.

TfL's head of the Strategy, Performance and Governance team David Wylie names a range of benefits that this approach has brought to all organisations involved. Among others, it has established a coherent social procurement strategy and has allowed procurers to share best practices across organisations. Wylie points out that especially smaller organisations now have the opportunity to tap into the experience of their peers and this way manage to achieve social objectives through their procurement.

These objectives range from general ethics in the supply chain including combating modern slavery to creating job opportunities and apprenticeships. The GLA Group Responsible Procurement Policy’s head Tim Rudin will also introduce London’s procurement strategy at this year’s EcoProcura conference (3 – 5 October, Nijmegen, the Netherlands) during the breakout session on supporting local economies and communities through social procurement. For more information about this session go here.

ICLEI Europe has also published a case study on TfL, which can be found here.