PUBLIC PROCUREMENT NEWS

  

NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 10 from 16 )

Trash tech: smart city and IoT infiltrate the industry

31 May 2019

New emerging infrastructure and capabilities offered by Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Blockchain technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to play a vital part in the paradigm shift towards reducing waste and extending product lifecycles within the circular Smart Cities of the future. The IoT concept predicts a world in which physical, digital, and virtual objects are interconnected in a network with the ability to share data. If used correctly, the IoT ecosystem could see improvements in safety, turnaround times and customisation. But perhaps most far-reaching impacts will involve large data systems that drive sustainability in logistics and supply chains, via increased transparency of the product lifecycle through data collection and analysis, helping cities manage resources and infrastructure more efficiently.


Fast forward to the future   

IoT has the potential to improve in all three main waste management practices: prevention (e.g. product design, awareness campaigns, legislation), end-of-pipe strategies (e.g. recycling, waste separation, incineration, proper landfill) and environmental restoration. Prevention offers the most effective method with the lowest impact control costs, while environmental restoration is the most expensive practice with the lowest effectiveness. Currently, data are collected everywhere by different organisations, but communication between sources and an integrated and connected (product lifecycle) data cloud that can be shared between them is lacking.


IoT hierarchy

IoT may involve three core layers: (1) collection of product lifecycle data to maximise use (2) new business models based on connected and involved citizens for sharing products and service information to avoid waste generation, and (3) an intelligent sensor-based infrastructure for on-time collection and separation of waste to assure effective waste recovery operations. The first two aim to prevent waste, the third to improve efficiency of collection and recovery.


Barcelona

Working to become the “smartest city on the planet” (Fortune 2014), Barcelona’s mantra is to be an “inclusive, self-sufficient smart city in a hyper-connected zero emissions Metropolitan area”. Their end-to-end Smart City strategy impacts almost every urban service via open data initiatives, smart lighting, e-mobility and energy (heating and cooling networks). For street lighting for example, which uses most of a city’s energy consumption, a highly efficient remotely managed system saves energy, optimises maintenance and provides a safe environment for citizens. A smart water irrigation hydric balance system enables watering and irrigation organisation through sensor and electrovalves. The projects delivered 43 million Euro of benefits between 2011-2014, with an expected cumulative 832 million Euro by 2025, saving 9,700 tonnes of CO2 equivalent and 600,000 liters of water each year in the long term through reduced lighting power consumption, reduced travel and office space while increasing attractiveness and liveability.  


Transportation efficiency

Transportation is one of the greatest contributors to worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, and one of the largest costs of waste management, IoT technology has great potential to improve its efficiency. Sensor-enabled and internet-connected garbage bins can collect information on fill level, temperature, location, or whatever data types the sensors gather and the sanitation department finds useful. With a user interface revealing the locations and fill levels of all bins, waste collectors can get an automated route planned for them that has prioritized areas in urgent need of cleanup and avoided disposal units that still have room. It is possible to track the location of waste containers, monitoring the level of garbage deposited, identify locations with the highest demand, suggest the shortest route for collection optimization of solid waste, or even interface with citizens to encourage disposal at times when the container can receive waste, which promotes citizenship and avoids significant problems resulting from the accumulation of garbage outside garbage collectors.


Focus on: Glasgow’s waste collection using GIS               

As well as optimising fleet logistics operations and reducing fuel consumption, the bins also record the number of times they’re emptied and how fast they fill up. Such data, when combined with statistics from other smart city systems, can facilitate more insightful, multi-pronged actions e.g. planning better distribution of garbage bins, zeroing in on problems like incorrect disposal practices) or reducing waste going to landfill.


Trash tracking

Sensor-based tracking technology has proven crucial for monitor recycling and recovery of e-waste after leaving of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) hands. A project by Greenpeace for example GPS tracked broken television sets, revealing the illegal actions of UK formal recycling sectors in selling second-hand items to developing regions, violating EU regulations. The Basel Action Network (BAN) and MIT Senseable City Lab tracked certain electronics dropped in charities and recycling sites, showing the export of e-waste from the US abroad - mostly to Asia - while others have exposed informal facilities and dump sites.

 

 

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.

Concrete jungle: sustainable procurement in construction

27 May 2019

The latest "Global Resource Outlook 2019. Natural resources for the future we want” presents a potential future circular economy plan that fits within planetary boundaries. The report states that 50% of total emissions is related to material use: mining, transport, production of goods and waste disposal. 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress are caused by resource extraction and processing. From 2000 to 2015, climate change and health impacts from extraction and production of metals doubled. The most used material by far, second to water, concrete has far reaching environmental impacts. In fact, if it were a country the industry would be the third largest carbon emitter after the US and China. Various safety and quality rules in EU and national legislation apply to buildings. Yet the number of EU initiatives that address sustainability issues in this sector are much more limited.


Closed material loops

The built environment consumes 40% of natural resources globally and produces 40% of global waste and 33% of emissions; construction and demolition waste (CDW) making up up to 30% EU waste. But reuse and recycling of material so as to improve circularity can be done in many innovative ways. The efficient use of room space and multi-purpose buildings provide opportunities for new multifunctional furniture and fixtures, and reduces the need for more buildings. New market opportunities related to recycled material-based products also arise in the field of building components. For example, ecological wood stone – a stone made of recycled fibres (Destaclean, 2016), biocomposite products for outdoor construction and cladding (UPM Profi, 2016) or other similar products could also be utilised in public buildings and spaces. Techniques such as recycling materials like ash and soil from nearby construction sites into roads and tarmac in Finland as well as roofing felt waste into asphalt make use of materials while minimising transportation. Currently recycling of doors, windows or frames does not take place at large scale, which could also be explored.


Concrete example: Paris’ recycled public works materials

The City of Paris carries out public works by obtaining local recycled materials. All the finest materials (flagstones, sandstone or granite borders) are recovered from building sites, and once treated, are re-used for refitting or maintenance operations instead of new materials. This demand is formalized in the public procurement contract. Pursuant to Paris public works regulations, penalties are incurred if suppliers fail to deliver natural stone materials to be recycled. In addition to the financial gain, this practice prevents natural quarry mining and the transportation of materials over several kilometers.


Building construction in Berlin

In 2013, the City-State of Berlin launched a pilot project with the aim of encouraging greater reuse of recycled concrete in building construction. A total volume of around 5,400m3 of certified ‘circular economy’ recycled concrete was used in the construction of a slurry wall and building shell of the new life science laboratory building at the Humboldt University. In comparison with concrete made from primary aggregates, the recycled concrete alternative saved 880m2 of virgin gravel, 66% of the energy required for production and transport, and 7% of the associated CO2 emissions. If a product cannot be reused then designing for recycling is the next alternative in making it circular. This means ensuring that the product purchased contains materials that can be easily and effectively recycled into a new product. Alternatively, or in addition to the previous point, the product could be made from recycled content and thus further contribute to resource efficiency.


Zurich: A pioneer is sustainable building material

The City of Zurich is a pioneer in concrete recycling. As part of the European project UrbanWINS, a study trip was organised for practitioners from across Europe  to learn about Zurich’s experiences. The European expert group exchanged about how to handle construction and demolition waste, how to procure public buildings that contain recycled concrete and how to involve architects and builders in the process.  More information about Zurich’s concrete recycling experience and the study trip can be found here.

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.

186 countries take action to fight plastic waste

22 May 2019

We have frequently reported about the environmental, social and health impacts of plastic waste. Now, governments globally have acknowledged this issue and pledged to tackle it together. On 10 May, in a landmark unison decision 186 countries have agreed to put restrictions on the export of plastic waste.

An amendment to the global framework governing the movement of hazardous chemicals was adopted at the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Convention places trade controls on hazardous wastes and regulates its disposal. This decision means that countries seeking to export plastic waste need prior consent from countries they are sending their waste to.

This will stem the flow of plastic waste into poor nations. Currently countries can send lower quality plastic waste across the ocean without obtaining the receiving countries government’s consent.  The export of plastic waste to these countries is a major problem for marine litter, since they lack the facilities to manage the amounts of waste imported. Much of the plastic that is dumped or landfilled eventually ends up in the ocean.

There have been NGO reports of US origin plastic trash spilled across villages in Indonesia, Thailand, and Maylasia. Even though the US is not part of the Covention it will no longer be able to export waste without consent from the countries that are part of it.

Supporters credit this successful development to raising awareness among the general public and political leaders, not least because of the relentless reporting of trash filled animals and nano-plastics found even inside humans.

In UrbanWINS, the city of Cremona took on the issue of plastic waste in agriculture, where it is at risk of remaining in the environment and not being properly discarded and recycled. Read more about this pilot action on the project website.

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.

How can waste management benefit from the use of information and data?

16 May 2019

Information can be used to optimise waste collection, improve analysis and policy-making in the field of waste, and provide feedback to the citizens to steer their behaviour in the desired direction. Already today, cities and regions across Europe are doing this, but they can achieve even more by working together. This is the outcome of the first seminar of the WINPOL project, where European experts exchanged good practices and identified first opportunities for collaboration.

On 14 May 2019 the first of a series of seminars on innovation in the waste field kicked off in the framework of the European-funded project WINPOL. This event was hosted by Snaga, the public waste management company of the City of Maribor (Slovenia), and focused on the collection and use of information to optimise waste management. It gathered project partners and their local stakeholders to exchange relevant good practices existing on their territories. Additional experiences were brought by external experts invited by ACR+, the Advisory Partner of the project.

More than 10 practices, interesting and inspiring to both project partners and external experts, were presented during the seminar, which is part of the “Interregional Learning” phase of the project. This phase is meant for WINPOL partners to exchange, identify good practices and elaborate action plans on the transfer of relevant experiences on their territories. Thus, the meeting also included two site-visits to waste management company Snaga’s installations: the automated sorting plant for communal waste and one of the three collection centres located in the city of Maribor. The seminar already counts with successful outcomes as the project partner City of Antwerp and two of the experts invited by ACR+ – LIPOR, the public waste management of the wider Porto region in Portugal, and the City of Amsterdam in the Netherlands – identified possibilities for collaboration and will continue bilateral exchanges.

In the following months, partners will continue identifying good practices in preparation of the second thematic seminar focusing on innovative models for collection, prevention and recycling, which is set to take place in late Autumn 2019 and hosted by the City of Antwerp. In the meantime, local actors in the partners’ territories can get involved in the WINPOL project through a series of events organised by the partners.

Maribor, circular economy in action

The WINPOL project meeting was not the only event linked to circular economy happening in Maribor this week. On 16 and 17 May 2019, Maribor is hosting the 4th edition of the Circular Change conference. The ambition of this edition is to move towards “less talk, more action”, that is translating the numerous reports, data, guidelines and other documents existing on circular economy into concrete actions, radical collaboration and scalable success stories.