NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 10 from 10 )

New UNECE Recommendation - emphasis on sustainable purchasing

31 May 2019

Procurement commitments under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Public Procurement (GPA) have been estimated at around EUR 1.3 trillion.

This is enormous purchasing power that can drive investment and innovation towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns, to address for instance, challenges linked to air, soil and water pollution, or occupational health and safety.

To help public authorities and companies embrace more responsible practices, while avoiding additional administrative burdens for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) trading across borders, UN/CEFACT has developed UNECE Policy Recommendation on Sustainable Procurement. The Recommendation provides a minimum set of common criteria to select sustainable suppliers, and meet increasing government and consumer demand for products and services that achieve value for money, while complying with fundamental environmental, social and health standards.

According to the Recommendation, a sustainable vendor rating model should contain a minimal set of commonly accepted social and environmental performance indicators that measure the suppliers’ sustainability performances. Defining a set of minimal sustainability criteria is a crucial goal for simplifying the compliance procedures at a global level, where global supply chains operate, and market forces maximize their synergies by simultaneously engaging Multi-National Corporations and MSMEs.

Read more here.

Access the full recommendation here.

Oslo conference showcases procurement as tool for cities to initiate change

29 May 2019

Sometimes procurement is described as the ‘sleeping giant’ of the sustainable development world. However, if used correctly and with sufficient leverage procurement can be a powerful tool to achieve social and environmental objectives. This was the key message shared at the recently held Urban Global Future Conference, which took place in GLCN city Oslo (Norway).

"Results can be surprising when leveraging procurement as a tool, it may not be the obvious approach, however, a powerful one that can do good for both environmental and social sustainability"  said Mark Hidson, Global Director, ICLEI Sustainable Procurement Centre: Deputy Regional Director, ICLEI Europe.

In helping to ‘wake the giant’, ICLEI Europe hosted a session, during the conference, on how to get started on green public procurement. During the session, where GLCN cities Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Oslo as well as Procura+ Participant Aalborg (Denmark) had the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences, it became clear that for green procurement to be successful, it needs to start from a solid foundation.

That is to say, it is important to gain an understanding of the European policy context as well as to leverage local political support and to harness existing guidance documents, which include lessons learned from other cities. The City Oslo is a prime example for this process of introducing sustainable procurement to now being a lighthouse for instance on developing zero-emission construction sites. The agenda also receives support by the wider cutting-edge sustainability approach i.e. having a carbon budget for the whole city. With the European Green Capital 2019 award, the city of Oslo may be the place to witness sustainability put into local action, actively shaping how urban future could look like.

For more information and to learn more how your local authority can harness the power of public procurement to achieve social and environmental goals, take a look at ICLEI’s Guidance Material: P+ Manual & Buying Green.

The next Urban Future Conference will take place in Lisbon 2020 and then in Rotterdam 2021.

New toolkit on better waste prevention and management released

23 May 2019

The UrbanWINS team has now released its final toolkit A guide on urban metabolism and participatory processes for more efficient urban waste policies, that can inspire urban waste agents – from decision makers to waste companies – to improve the sustainability of cities by interpreting waste issues and policies in an innovative way. The toolkit addresses a wide range of stakeholders.

The document includes a corpus of 70 best practices - covering different waste streams – that can be relevant for cities; a chapter on urban metabolism and its implementation tools – i.e. UMAn and LCA applications -, and a detailed section on stakeholder engagement processes. The goal of the toolkit is to encourage other towns and cities in Europe and beyond to replicate the UrbanWINS approach and to build upon it.

UrbanWINS is a three-year project funded by the Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 20202 that has studied how cities consume resources, materials and products, and how they get rid of the waste produced in order to develop and test innovative plans and solutions aimed at improving waste prevention and management.

The UrbanWINS toolkit is free and can be downloaded here.

Procurement experts gather, as circularity becomes the new normal

21 May 2019

To advance the circular economy domestically, Recycling Council of Ontario hosts featured experts from around the world that recognize the strength and value of purchasing power to change markets, along with Canadian representatives from all levels of governments and their agencies, as well as suppliers and vendors, to share knowledge and resources, showcase best practices, and network.

Circular procurement is a practice that will advance the circular economy, which focuses on the full value of goods, services, public works, and infrastructure investments. It also has the potential to fulfil economic (cost savings), environmental (low-carbon; waste reduction), and socio-economic (social enterprise; unique public and private partnership) interests simultaneously.

The Circular Procurement Summit, June 11-13th, Toronto, provides the opportunity to enhance awareness of circular economy, verify the importance of procurement to advance Canada’s circular economy, exchange on best practice in circular procurement from around the globe, access resources and tools that support concepts into practice and measure results, educate vendors and service providers that engage with the public and private sector buyers.

Alongside other procurement experts, Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre will be speaking at the Circular Procurement Summit. From Mark’s perspective, circular public procurement has the potential to catalyse innovation and sustainability as well as to provide access to markets for SMEs and to gain the trust of citizens in public authorities. It is a key mechanism to address greenhouse gas emissions, local air and water quality, the use of hazardous substances and raw material usage.

Learn more about the Circular Procurement Summit and how to register here.

New Innovation Procurement Platform launched!

20 May 2019

A new Innovation Procurement Platform has been launched, providing public procurers and policy-makers with a go-to spot for all the latest news and resources on innovation procurement.

Public procurement accounts for about 14% of the European Union's (EU) gross domestic product - meaning it has enormous potential to guide new developments in a range of sectors to address key societal challenges. It also benefits public sector customers directly through improved services at optimised costs.

Getting started with innovation procurement isn’t always easy – but the Innovation Procurement Platform is here to help! As well as listing opportunities for funding and support, the newly branded website’s Resource Centre offers over a 100 innovation procurement related resources, including case studies, guidance documents and reports.

The Innovation Procurement Platform replaces the PPI Platform, first established in 2012. It is managed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and its relaunch is supported by the Procure2Innovate project - a European network of competence centres for innovation procurement.

Visit the Innovation Procurement Platform today!

Procurement by nature - on the urgent need for holistic buying

16 May 2019

Nature is essential for human existence and a good quality of life. Yet, over the past 50 years, nature across most of the globe has been significantly altered by multiple human drivers, like the clearing of forests for farmland, the expansion of roads and cities, logging, hunting, overfishing, water pollution and the transport of invasive species.

"Nature can be conserved, restored and used sustainably while simultaneously meeting other global societal goals through urgent and concerted efforts fostering transformative change" - says recent Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

The report outlines possible actions and pathways to achieve transformative change. It identifies the need for public procurement policies to promote sustainable production and consumption. Governments, NGOs and Science and Educational Organisations are called for, to implement sustainable sourcing, resource efficiency and reduced production impacts, circular and other economic models, corporate social responsibility and life-cycle assessments.

“It’s no longer enough to focus just on environmental policy,” said Sandra M. Díaz, a lead author of the study, “We need to build biodiversity considerations into trade and infrastructure decisions, the way that health or human rights are built into every aspect of social and economic decision-making.”

Linking public procurement to nature-based solutions is an entry point to realise the called-for transformative change by for example using green procurement policies to reduce the adverse impact of construction by leveraging zero emission construction vehicles or sustainable earthwork and remediation. However, linking procurement to nature-based solutions has its' challenges such as the difficulty to compare cost and benefits of nature-based solution vs grey infrastructure.
Current work at ICLEI involves the Clever Cities project - which aims to use nature-based solutions to address urban challenges and promote social inclusion in cities across Europe, South America and China.

Read the full report by IPBES here.

Procuring zero emission delivery of goods and services - new handbook

15 May 2019

For many European cities today, addressing traffic congestion and reducing transport-related CO2 emissions, noise and harmful local pollutants, is a key priority.

The Handbook “Procuring zero emission delivery of goods and services”, produced by the EU-funded BuyZET project, will help local authorities to reduce the carbon footprint of their procurement activities.

The European Commission has established the target of achieving ‘essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030’. The public sector has a key role to play in terms of regulations and legislation in support of this goal. However, its role as a customer has received little focus. A significant proportion of motorised vehicle trips occurring in urban areas are commercial trips,  involving professionals carrying out services or delivering products. The public sector is one of the main customers for these products and services.

This guide is designed to assist city administrations to use their public procurement activities strategically to help reduce traffic in urban areas and promote the use of zero emission vehicles in urban logistics. The document draws on the experience of the BuyZET project, coordinated by ICLEI, in which three leading European cities (Copenhagen, Rotterdam and Oslo) have tested new smart procurement approaches to influence the transportation footprint of purchased services, goods and vehicles.

To access the BuyZET Handbook “Procuring zero emission delivery of goods and services”, click here.


Last chance to give feedback: survey on EU public procurement

10 May 2019

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Council of European Municipalities (CEMR) are conducting a consultation on the 2014 Directives on Public Procurement. The consultation is open until Monday, 13 May 2019.

The 2014 Directives introduced a number of changes in the European legal framework for public procurement. These changes include new procedures to reduce red tape and provide easier access for SMEs, as well as stronger provisions on integrity and transparency, which target corruption and fraud, and a new focus on the role of public procurement in achieving policy goals in innovation, environmental protection and social inclusion.

Considering the key role of subnational governments in local public markets, through their spending on goods and services, construction and public works, the CoR has started to analyse the challenges and opportunities faced by regions and cities in implementing the new legal framework.

This consultation is being conducted by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and the CoR. By responding to this survey, you will help to identify these key challenges and to gather the views of regions and cities on the types of policy needed to overcome them.

The CoR is expected to publish the survey results in May 2019 in a summary paper that will be circulated to all respondents. The results will also be presented at a workshop organised by the CoR, addressing strategic public orcurement at the regional and local level. The workshop is taking place on May 15, in Brussels (Belgium). Find more information here. The results will also feed into the CoR opinion on the implementation of the 2014 Directives on public procurement

Find the consultation here.

Public ICT Procurement Germany: new commitment to comply with labor & social standards

9 May 2019

In a joint initiative, the Procurement Office of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BeschA) and the digital association Bitkom have updated the purchasing conditions for socially sustainable procurement of ICT products and services for the German context.

The updated version extends the obligations of suppliers and resellers of ICT products and services to respect fair working conditions even further than before. In production, the ILO core labor standards, such as the ban on child and slave labor, non-discrimination and the right to collective bargaining, have long been considered. In addition, standards for occupational safety and use of chemicals, minimum wages, weekly working hours and social security apply.

Also, the verification requirements for companies become more stringent. According to the declaration, public procurers in the federal, state and local governments will be able to check whether large-scale contracts up to the third stage of the supply chain are transparent and review whether social labor standards have been complied with in the production of the procurement item.

Advancing social responsibility in the ICT sector showcases how procurement can harness the leverage for postive change e.g. tackling adverse issues such as forced labor. ICLEI works on this challenge as part of the Make ICT Fair project, piloting socially responsible tenders across Europe.

Access the full declaration here.

French cuisine in 2022: 50% of food in canteens must be sustainable

3 May 2019

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food” – this well-known quote by Hippocrates seems to become reality in France. Earlier this year, the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food has announced that 50% of food served in canteens must be organic, sustainable, or of a specific quality by 2022.

Reaching the 50% mark by 2022 on a national level is ambitious. Together with a few other countries such as Italy, France is a frontrunner in Europe with regards to commitments made towards sustainable food.

What does this mean for public procurement? Focusing on nutritional quality of meals the national target implies a shift on how food for canteens is purchased. A challenge will be to translate the national target into local action, e.g. enabling resource-strained schools to seize the opportunity to familiarise the youth with healthy eating habits.

Therefore, learning from existing good practice is key. ICLEI’s work on sustainable public procurement spans across sectors, part of which is sustainable food procurement. With projects such as INNOCAT the wider aim is to encourage the uptake of local, seasonal, organic and nutritious food through support for local public procurers. For guidance on how to realise sustainable food procurement consult the Procura+ Manual as well as the Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre on the topic of food and catering.

Read more about France’s target here.