Public procurement in EU cities - Have your say until July 22

12 July 2018

The Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement Partnership is looking for your feedback. Until 22 July individuals and organisations have the opportunity to provide input on the Partnership’s work so far. 

The Partnership focuses on three thematic areas: procurement strategy and how to manage strategic procurement, building high potential procurer-market relationships, and legal guidance in the field of innovative and sustainable procurement, for which it put forward a Draft Action Plan on tackling bottlenecks and creating opportunities. The consultation, closing on 22 July, is a unique opportunity for the public to contribute to the Draft Action Plan.

The Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement Partnership is one of 12 partnerships within the Urban Agenda for the EU – an initiative to build partnerships between Member States, cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders to stimulate growth, liveability and innovation in the cities of Europe.

For more information on the public consultation click here. More information the Urban agenda for the EU can be found here.

Committee of the Regions Opinion on EU Public Procurement Strategy

10 July 2018

In a plenary session last Thursday, the Committee of the Regions (CoR), representing regional authorities in Europe, adopted an opinion on the EU Public Procurement Strategy.

The committee supports the important role that strategic public procurement can play in addressing major challenges such as climate change, and in promoting digitalization, innovation, and social inclusion. It also noted the challenges linked to implementing the strategy on a local level, including the lack of capacity and resources in public authorities to overcome bureaucratic hurdles while harnessing the benefits of strategic public spending.

To overcome these challenges, the CoR highlighted the role of the Commission in providing further support to local procurement stakeholders and facilitating knowledge exchange on the professionalisation of public procurement practices toward effective strategic procurement.

Strategic procurement is also a focus of this year’s EcoProcura conference, 3 – 5 October in Nijmegen. High-profile presenters and panellists from the European Commission and public authorities will discuss how procurement has evolved as a tool for achieving strategic objectives, and practical sessions will also provide participants with opportunities to build capacity in strategic, sustainable, circular and innovation procurement.

To see the full statement from the CoR, please click here. For more information on EcoProcura, visit the website here.

2018 Transformative Action award deadline 31 July

5 July 2018

With less than one month left before applications close, don’t miss your chance to win €10,000 to help initiate your next sustainable and innovative procurement action with the 2018 Transformative Action Award.

Innovative and sustainable procurement actions working towards socio-economic, socio-cultural or technological transformation are particularly welcomed, especially those which showcase the use of public procurement as an instrument to accelerate the market introduction of innovative and sustainable technologies.

The award, co-organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Country, and the City of Aalborg (Denmark), rewards ongoing or concluded Transformative Actions that use the 15 pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration to bring about the socio-cultural, socio-economic, and technological transformation of societies.

Current or concluded actions in the field of procurement can apply for the award by the closing date of 31 July 2018. Applicants will be shortlisted in September and the award ceremony will be held at the European Committee of the Regions, Brussels (Belgium) in November 2018.

For more information and to apply for the Transformative Action Award, visit the Sustainable Cities Platform.


Products-as-a-service will help transition to a circular ICT sector

3 July 2018

A new report on "The Circular Phone" has been published, highlighting legal, operational and financial solutions - including strategic procurement - which can help unlock the potential of 'product as a service' models in the ICT sector.

'Product as a service' models are a key solution to achieving more circular value chains. They offer users of ICT services the option to pay for the use of their mobile phones while producers retain ownership of the product itself, thereby encouraging the delivery of high-quality, reusable and recyclable products.

The report, published by Circle Economy and the Sustainable Finance Lab, highlights Fairphone as a market leader in circular smart phone production due to its modular and repairable design, and fair and ethical sourcing. By 'closing the loop' and offering products as a service, companies like Fairphone can further decrease their environmental impact while offering improved performance to users.

The report concludes that amongst other solutions, strategic procurement of service contracts for ICT products could help overcome barriers and support innovative new business models. It underlines the importance of purchaser – supplier engagement and collaboration to make this model a success, as well as provides a template circular service contract.

For more information on ICT as a service models read the full report here.

Procura+ participant Ghent wins EU Fair and Ethical Trade City Award

28 June 2018

The first EU Fair and Ethical Trade City Award took place on the 27 June in Brussels to recognise and support local initiatives currently taking place in European cities to encourage fair and ethical trading practices.

The City of Ghent (Belgium)was chosen by the expert jury as the award's first winner due to its clear commitment and long-term strategy for promoting fair and ethical initiatives. As well as supporting communities both local and global through its Sustainable Procurement Policy, Ghent has also hosted a range events promoting fair and ethical trade and procurement, such as the Fair Fashion Fest and EcoProcura.

As winner of the award, Ghent will now have the opportunity to launch a development project of their choice, with €100,000 in financial support from the European Commission and technical support from the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (IUNCTAD).

The EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award is an initiative of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade (DG Trade), launched as a commitment of its "Trade for all" communication on trade and investment policy published in 2015.

More information on Ghent's approach to fair and ethical procurement can be found on the Procura+ Network and the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement.

Global leaders in sustainable procurement meet in Montreal

27 June 2018

The 4th High Level Event of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN) took place at the ICLEI World Congress (19-22 June). The meeting was attended by Tshwane (South Africa), Seoul (South Korea), Denver (USA), Cape Town (South Africa), Budapest (Hungary) and Warsaw (Poland), who gathered to discuss their work, targets and ambitions in sustainable procurement.

A particular highlight of the meeting was the announcement by Solly Msimanga - Mayor of Tshwane - of the city’s new sustainable procurement target to make 10% of Tshwane's purchases sustainable by 2021, further highlighting Tshwane's role as a leader on sustainable procurement in Africa.

An exciting future for the GLCN network was also positively discussed. Bo-Youn Hwang - Vice Mayor of current chair Seoul - stated “I note with pleasure that upon engagement with ICLEI the City of Tshwane has expressed interest in assuming the Chairmanship of the Global Leader’s Network for Sustainable Procurement for the next three years”.

For more information about the GLCN network, please click here.

EcoProcura 2018 breakout sessions - procurement's hottest topics

26 June 2018

The EcoProcura 2018 conference on strategic, sustainable, circular and innovation procurement has confirmed the breakout sessions of its programme from 3-5 October in Nijmegen (The Netherlands).

The breakout sessions will be covering the hottest topics in procurement, such as how to inspire people to procure more innovatively, how to dig deeper into supply chain issues, and how to support communities - both local and global - through socially responsible purchasing. Big categories like construction, energy, food and mobility will also be targeted i.e. those sectors with massive environmental impacts, as well as massive potential for transformation through public procurement.

EcoProcura 2018 marks 20 years of the conference series and will bring together over 400 procurers, policy makers, businesses, researchers and international organisations.

 For more information about the conference, and to register before 31 August in order to avoid the late fee, click here.

Webinar on organising sustainable events

21 June 2018

Events are an important part of many organisation's business year, and  on the 28 June at 14.30-16.00 (CET), a webinar will take place on how these can be made more sustainable.

The webinar will address the main issues impacting sustainability when holding an event, and will provide tips on mitigating these impacts using strategies and criteria in public tendering or direct contracting, and present tools and practical guidance for event organisers.

The webinar is the first of two orgainsied by the European Commission’s Helpdesk on GPP, and will feature three presentations from a range of public sector experts working on the organisation of sustainable events (meetings and small sized events).

You can register to the webinar via WebEx.

Buyers and suppliers to engage on socially responsible ICT

20 June 2018

Public authorities and businesses from across Europe will engage on procurement needs and solutions for social responsibility and transparency in information and communication technology (ICT) supply chains. This live market engagement event is taking place on 3 October in 2018 European Green Capital Nijmegen (the Netherlands), alongside the 2018 EcoProcura conference.

Public authorities will inform suppliers of their socially responsible procurement needs and upcoming procurement plans for ICT, which includes large contracts for smartphones, laptops and PCs, and servers. Opportunity will be provided for suppliers to showcase solutions and initiatives that increase the social, ethical and environmental sustainability of their supply chains. The dialogue will help inform the design of procurements and contracts, and lead to suppliers submitting stronger bids.

The event is taking place as part of the Make ICT Fair project, which aims to improve the lives of workers and communities associated with ICT supply chains, particularly in the Global South.

For more information please consult the invitation letter and draft programme here.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is necessary to ensure a place. In order to register, please fill in the form here.

Circular economy will help meet emission reduction targets

19 June 2018

A new report on reducing carbon emissions through a circular economy has highlighted the importance of reusing materials in order to cut consumption emissions and meet the emissions targets of the Paris Agreement.

By reusing and recycling four materials which are central to our everyday life - steel, plastic, aluminium and cement -it would be possible for the EU to reduce the carbon footprint of its industry by 56% by 2050 (saving around 300 megatonnes of CO2). The report by Material Economics highlights a range of interventions, including procurement, which could support greater material cycling. 

Public procurers are already discovering the benefits in terms of overall impact and total cost of moving to more circular procurement models, and the European Commission has recognised the role of public procurement in promoting the transition to a circular economy, publishing the Public Procurement for a Circular Economy brochure to provide a range of good practice case studies as well as guidance on integrating circular economy principles into procurement.

For more information on the carbon impacts of materials, read "The Circular Economy - a Powerful Force for Climate Mitigation" here.