NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 6 from 6 )

GPP to the rescue - tackling water scarcity and pollution

29 August 2019

Cities globally are facing issues of water scarcity and pollution. Day 0 is a reality that cities such as Cape Town or Sao Paulo must find solutions to. And dealing with marine litter such as microplastics is a challenge that not only affects marine ecosystems but the human food supply.

This year's World Water Week highlights not only the significance of these complex challenges but also discusses an array of actions towards managing our water resources in a regenerative and sustainable manner. For example on water governance or capacity building for public authorities to tackle water stress head-on.

This is where procurement comes in - leveraging green public procurement to improve for example a city's water supply-chain through regenerative imports, managing urban infrastructure such as the quality of the piping system or establishing circularity for plastic waste to prevent pollution.

ICLEI's procurement work in the field provides recommendations on how to connect innovation procurement with the water sector, how to create a water procurement strategy and how to use tools such as market engagement to support the process.

Learn more about other water projects ICLEI has been working on.

Green cities - the role of public procurement

26 August 2019

Earlier this month, London, UK, was acknowledged as the first National Park City - a commitment to making the city greener, healthier, and wilder. According to the National Park City Foundation, other cities such as Glasgow, Scottland are about to follow this pledge, scaling into a fast-growing movement.


Green places in cities bring a wide array of benefits from reducing air, water pollution, and flooding to absorbing carbon and cooling ever warmer cities. However, implementing green infrastructure over grey infrastructure is a complex challenge that needs buy-in at all different levels of the planning, design, contracting and delivering processes.


What can public procurement do in support?

The approach of Green Public Procurement (GPP) enables public procurers to leverage green criteria or specifications in tenders across sectors. The European Commission facilitates this approach through a set of GPP criteria. For example, on building design and construction, Green Infrastructure Public Procurement (GIPP) means to push for nature-based solutions that could include features such as green roofs and walls, habitats in courtyards and patios, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) as part of landscaping, street trees and urban gardens.



Read more about how to get started with GPP and the business case for it: Buying Green Handbook

Access EC GPP Criteria here.

Learn more about National Park City.

Humanity biting the hand that feeds it says IPCC

15 August 2019

The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) special report, released last week, repeats scientist’s warnings of the effects of accelerating climate change.  Along with climate change related risks such as heatwaves, extreme storms, and sea level rise, the experts also warn of the causes that a changing climate has on our ability to provide food for a growing population.

But farming is simultanously a victim and a culprit of climate change, because the way we use land is large contributer to the problem. Practices under criticism include deforestation, industrial agriculture, and draining of carbon-capturing peatlands. All the while, extreme heat, storms and soil erosion – all consequences of a changing climate – put agricultural land at risk.

A first step to tackle the issue, according to the report, is to reduce meat and animal product consumption. Animal farming, say the scientists, contributes in large part to the issue of degrading soils and increased CO2 emissions. Producing animal feed requires agricultural land, which often leads to deforestation in intensive farming practices; animal manure is used to over fertilize soils with runoffs into rivers and seas where algae bloom, and animals themselves are a source of the highly potent climate gas methane.

Changing diets is as key as it is difficult. But public canteens can opt to offer more balanced diets that reduce the amount of meat, turning it from default to exception. A school in the Belgian city of Ottignies has shown how this can be done in collaboration with parents, eliminating food waste at the same time. The canteen operators studied the way the children consumed their food and developed meal plans that eliminate waste and increase the amount of plant based protein. This way, the canteen was able to reduce food waste from 20% of food offered to 10%.

If you want to learn more about public procurement’s option in reducing overall meat consumption, have a look at our resource centre.

Find the full report here.

Procura+ Awards finalists unveiled

13 August 2019

The jury of the 2019 Procura+ Awards has revealed the eight finalists of this edition. For the category ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’, the Government of Catalonia with its sustainable framework contract for cleaning services will compete with the City of Ghent for its work in partnership with suppliers for responsible workwear.

The Municipality of Frederiksberg and the City of Helsinki will contest for the ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ Award. Frederiksberg needed to reduce the load on its existing drain network and used an innovation partnership to develop customised solutions for cloudburst management, whereas the City of Helsinki presented its sustainable innovation for a retro stadium upgrade.  The ‘Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT’ Award will go to either the City of Helsinki for robotisation and automation of library services or CERN for its open cloud data storage innovation through pre-commercial procurement.

Finally, the City of Zurich and IHOBE are competing for ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’. The Swiss city applied with its initiative to use recycled concrete in buildings. IHOBE grabbed the interest of the jury with its deployment of a green purchasing programme among the Basque public sector.

The Procura+ Awards ceremony will take place on September 24 at the Nordic Edge Expo, when the finalists will find out if they have won in their categories.

The Procura+ Awards is an initiative of ICLEI Europe, with support from the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project.

For more information on the 2019 awards, visit the Procura+ Awards webpage.

Barcelona tenders towards a sustainable bus fleet

8 August 2019

Last year, the City of Barcelona won the 2018 Procura+ Award in the category ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’. The Award recognized the ambitious agenda to implement city-wide compulsory sustainable procurement. This has an effect on more than 50,000 tenders annually, covering a spend of €1.1bn.

Looking at public transport as an example of sustainable procurement, recent purchasing activities of the Procura+ Participant show that the initiative of sustainable procurement bears fruit. Earlier this month the TMB published a tender for 23 e-buses and 6 minibuses, all rigorously zero-emission.

The tender is part of a bigger agenda namely to improve the quality of the environment and achieve healthier cities as set out in the 2019-2021 Bus Fleet Renewal Plan. The programme involves an investment of 115 million euros and the acquisition of 254 new buses of which 116 will be electric buses. Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) aims to renew the vehicles of the current fleet that have arrived at the end of their useful life after more than 15 years of service. The new vehicles will be delivered according to a timeline that should be concluded in 2021.

Rosa Alarcón, President of TMB, has stated that “With this tender, we reaffirm our commitment to make public surface transport a more sustainable transport for the whole city and that it must allow us to adapt to the new mobility needs posed by pollution and global warming.”

Learn more about the Procura+ Network and how to get involved.

Tackling urban heatwaves - when procurement becomes an emergency

6 August 2019

The global climate crisis leads to more frequent and more intense heatwaves in Europe, posing a great threat to health of citizens, supply-chains and infrastructure. In response to the urgent need to adapt to the ‘new-normal’, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recently published 'Heatwaves - Guide for Cities'. The guide aims to help city staff take the first steps to understanding the heat risks they face, develop an early-warning system, work with partners to consolidate heat-action plans, and adapt urban-planning practices.

However, awareness and implementation of solutions need to go beyond planning, risk managing and public health per se. How can procurement help? Can products and services be tendered based on their heat-resilience?

An article from 2018 on CIPS, emphasised the need to change procurement rules to '... not spend public money on infrastructure which is not resilient to heatwaves.' For example, this is critical for highways, other public roads and pavements, which are at risk of melting in the heat. Leveraging procurement as adaptation measure could mean to source heat resilient (e.g. reflective or permeable) material for when roads are being re-surfaced - offering a coping mechanism in high-risk areas. This applies also to energy infrastructure, particularly where it serves critical social services, such as hospitals.

Procurement can help through the purchasing of energy-efficient medical devices, which are not only advantageous in terms of resilience but also a gain for carbon footprint reduction. Passive cooling strategies for buildings, and access to diverse sources of renewable energy, also have a crucial role to play in reducing the risk of energy supply failure during a heatwave – ideally as part of an overall Energy Management System.

Access the full Guide for Cities here.