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.

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.

Localized procurement of produce helps prevent food waste

30 August 2018

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that annually 1.3 billion tonnes of food go to waste. Based on these numbers, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has now published an article estimating 2.1 billions tonnes of food waste and loss by 2030 if business as usual continues. In the face of these numbers the EU aims to halve food waste and loss by 2030.

Food waste and loss occurs along the entire supply chain, which is why interventions need to take place at every step of the way. One way to significantly decrease food was, as suggested by BCG, is to localize food supply chains which can help to reduce spoilage during transport and helps to keep produce fresh.

Public procurement can be geared toward localized sourcing of food for public institutions. During the SPP (Sustainable Public procurement) Regions project, the French region Vendée has awarded five framework contracts localizing the food supply for their school canteens. In the same projects, the City of Bath has developed a tender to ensure local food supply for its public schools. Both tender models can be accessed on the SPP regions project website.

For more information on the EU strategy on food waste click here. More information about the SPP Regions project can be found here.

EU Commission helps EU regions maximise impact of procurement

28 August 2018

As part of the European Union’s Public Procurement Action Plan, the Commission, in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will support five European regions in using more innovative public procurement procedures. Hereby the EU wants to “… maximise the impact of public procurement in terms of social objectives, innovation and sustainability.”

Making use of the EU recommendations on the professionalisation of public procurement the Commission will support the City of Athens (Greece) with the procurement of more environmentally-friendly public transport vehicles and Puglia Region (Italy) which is planning to purchase new technologies and innovative administrative services in water management. In addition, the Commission also supports the Coordination and Development Commission in Portugal’s Centro Region, the Greek regions of Central Greece and Eastern Macedonia, and Thrace.

The targeted procurement procedures all relate to projects that are co-financed by the EU. To learn more about the innovation procurement support, click here. For information about the EU Action Plan on Public Procurement, click here.

EcoProcura 2018 to collaborate with Green Electronics Council

21 August 2018

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

The GEC is a mission driven non-profit that seeks to achieve a world in which only sustainable IT products are designed, manufactured, and purchased. GEC is also the manager of EPEAT, the leading global type 1 ecolabel for IT products used by public and private sector purchasers in over 43 countries.

During the conference, the Green Electronics Council will host two separate Market Lounge sessions – the first session, which will take place on Thursday 4 October, 11:10-12:50, will explain the GEC initiative, share what sustainability data procurement teams should elicit from Cloud-Service providers, and how to use that data for accounting for sustainability gains for their organisation.

The second session, which will take place on Friday 5 October, 10:50-12:20, will explain new characteristics of the EPEAT eco-label product categories, outline specific SDGs, targets, and indicators that EPEAT products support, and the ways in which impacts can be codified and quantified.

For more information about EcoProcura and to register, click here.

Global Slavery Index 2018 published highlighting role of procurement

16 August 2018

To this date people all over the world remain victims of modern slavery. The  Modern Slavery Index 2018, published by the Walk Free Foundation, sheds light on the extent to which different forms of slavery prevail across the globe. The Index highlights that public authorities are often indirectly linked to these practices, not least due to non-transparent supply chains and a lack of regulation enforcement.

The Index presents the first ever global estimates on the issue – revealing that all countries including developed ones are affected:

An estimated 40.3 million men, women, and children were victims of modern slavery on any given day in 2016. Of these, 24.9 million people were in forced labour and 15.4 million people were living in a forced marriage.

“Striking” do the authors describe the fact that in 2018 there has been an increase in government engagement fighting modern slavery through procurement. In 2018, 36 countries (as opposed to four in 2016) have taken steps to investigate forced labour along supply chains and have introduced procurement guidelines to enforce ethical working conditions.

The role of public procurement in the extractive industries, where forced labour is particularly prevalent, is also a key topic at the Make ICT Fair live market engagement alongside this year’s EcoProcura conference (3-5 October, Nijmegen, the Netherlands).

For more information about the Global Slavery Index click here.