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EU Ethical Trade Award open to social and innovative procurements

12 April 2018

The European Commission's DG Trade has extended the deadline for the EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award until 20 April, and entrants with sustainable and social procurement success stories are invited to apply. The award is open to EU Cities of more than 20,000 inhabitants promoting or implementing initiatives (e.g. on fair trade or working rights, economic viability, environmental protection) which can improve living and working conditions in EU and non-EU supply chains.

The new award aims to recognise and celebrate cities’ achievements and positive impact in the area of social, economic and environmental sustainability in international trade. A particular emphasis is given to fair and ethical trade schemes as well as other non-governmental sustainability schemes that may bring more sustainable opportunities to small producers in third countries.

A video featuring the EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström sets out the award concept and benefits for cities considering applying. The awards ceremony will be held on 27 June in Brussels.

For more information on the award and to submit an application, visit the Trade City Award website.

SPP Regions project meets energy and emissions targets

29 March 2018

The SPP Regions project concludes this month having generated over 1000 GWh of renewable energy and achieving its carbon and energy savings targets through eco-innovative tenders carried out in the project's 7 regional sustainable procurement networks.

Starting in 2015 and coordinated by ICLEI, the project has promoted the creation and expansion of European regional networks of municipalities working together on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI). As it approaches its conclusion, it has saved 395,000 tCO2/year and primary energy totalling 1,425 GWh/year, as well as procuring 1,015 GWh of renewable energy across 39 tenders in 7 countries, involving 31 contracting authorities. Additionally, the project recruited new partner networks in 8 other European regions and worked closely with the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network.

The full list of tender models is available to download on the project website, where a savings calculation methodology used in the GPP2020 project demonstrates how the targets and achievements are quantified. The project has also produced a package of in-depth guidance and a series of 'how-to' videos on the implementation of various sustainable procurement practices such as market engagement and circular procurement, as well as the 3rd edition of the Procura+ Manual.

For more information on the SPP Regions project and its eco-innovative tenders, visit the project website.

Call for contributions to EcoProcura 2018 conference opened

15 March 2018

The EcoProcura 2018 conference on sustainable, circular and innovation procurement has opened a call for contributions for four elements of its programme from 3-5 October in Nijmegen (The Netherlands).

Procurement practitioners, public authorities, policy makers, suppliers and legal experts are invited to submit ideas for the Market Lounge, Speed Presentation, Disruptors and Game Changers, and Supplier Engagement conference sessions by 30 April 2018.

The 10th edition of the EcoProcura conference will bring together over 400 procurers, policy makers, businesses, researchers and international organisations. The interactive programme will focus on European policy and international initiatives, and explore topics such as the potential and implementation of circular procurement, life-cycle costing, monitoring and e-Procurement.

Proposals can be submitted online via the recently launched EcoProcura 2018 website, where a programme outline is now available. Updates and details of sessions, speakers and topics will be posted on the website over the coming months, and online registration will open in April.

For more information on the call for contributions and the latest programme updates, visit the EcoProcura 2018 website.

TA Awards open to innovative and sustainable procurement actions

8 March 2018

Innovative and sustainable procurement actions working towards socio-economic, socio-cultural or technological transformation are invited to apply to the 2018 edition of the Transformative Action Awards. The awards, which recognise sustainability initiatives which follow the pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration, has been opened in Vienna (Austria) by jury member and ICLEI Europe Regional Director Wolfgang Teubner.

The Basque Declaration, formally endorsed at the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns held in the Basque Country from 27-29 April 2016, outlines new pathways for European cities and towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities for a liveable and inclusive Europe. The document aims to support and accelerate socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation.

The use of public procurement as an instrument to accelerate the market introduction of innovative and sustainable technologies is specifically outlined in the Declaration. Eligible current or concluded actions in the field of procurement can apply for the award by the closing date of 30 June 2018. Applicants will be shortlisted in September and the awards ceremony will be held in November 2018.

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

Oslo's climate budget and procurement strategy tackle GHGs

28 February 2018

Procura+ network participant Oslo's 2018 'climate budget' has identified procurement as a key focus area in a wide-ranging environmental strategy aimed at significantly reducing the cities GHG emissions by 2020. The budget, which foregrounds green mobility and active transport over car use, is complemented by a comprehensive procurement strategy. Both plans are now available to download in English.

Oslo's procurement strategy, launched in October 2017 forms a cross-cutting part of its overall environmental policy, addresses goods, services, buildings and construction in the city, which is Norway's second biggest procurer. The governing mayor of Oslo Johansen has presented the strategy at COP23 as a member of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement as a powerful tool to achieve emissions targets.

The strategy identifies the need to build expertise within the city on resource planning, needs analysis, purchasing and engendering a culture of coordination among the city's departments. The procurement strategy is to be followed by an overall implementation plan, to ensure anchoring and active implementation of the procurement strategy in municipal departments and other agencies.

Both the climate budget and procurement strategy are available to download on the SP Platform's resource centre.

Final opportunity for input into revised EU GPP criteria on transport

26 February 2018

The European Union's Joint Research Centre is seeking final stakeholder input on its revision of Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria on transport. A draft technical report including criteria proposals are now available online. The new criteria will update the last set published in 2012, principally expanding the overall scope to include two new service categories: 'mobility services' and 'post, courier and moving services'. Input from stakeholders can be submitted via the BATIS platform until 25 March 2018.

The 2012 criteria covering cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs), buses and bus services, waste collection vehicles and waste collection services, will also be updated to align with Directives and to reflect better their intended areas of application. The new transport criteria will include core and comprehensive criteria so that they can be applied in both public authorities with advanced implementation of GPP and those who are seeking to implement more fundamental sustainability criteria into their purchasing policy.

GPP criteria on twenty other goods and services categories have been developed by the European Commission for voluntary application by public authorities. Good practice examples addressing these categories have also been compiled on the DG Environment website in all official EU languages.

For more information on the criteria revision process and to register as a stakeholder, visit the European Commission's Joint Research Centre website.

GPP and innovation procurement identified in EU's Plastics Strategy

14 February 2018

The European Commission's Plastics Strategy released in January 2018 identifies Green Public Procurement (GPP) as a tool for reducing plastic waste, and highlights the role GPP criteria can play in improving the recyclability of plastics. The strategy also recommends that national, regional and local authorities should make greater use of public procurement to support plastic waste prevention and recycling of plastics.

The strategy, which has been proposed to the other European Institutions in an official Communication, aims to play a major role in the transition towards a circular economy. The multi-pronged approach includes additional investment in innovation and guidance as to what public authorities can do - including the strategic use of public procurement - to produce innovative solutions dealing with hazardous substances and contaminants from recycled plastics.

Seen as a follow-on from the 2015 Circular Economy package, the Plastics Strategy is expected to form a central part of the EU's contributions to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement objectives on climate change.

For more information, visit the European Commission's website.

Job vacancy: Officer, Sustainable and Innovation Procurement - ICLEI

7 February 2018

ICLEI is recruiting a Sustainable and Innovation Procurement Officer on an 80-100% FTE basis at its European Secretariat in Freiburg (Germany). The position will be based within the Sustainable Economy and Procurement team, and the working language is English. Working on procurement since 1996, ICLEI facilitates networking, knowledge sharing, collaboration and best practice exchange on sustainable, strategic, circular and innovation procurement through EU-funded projects in collaboration with ICLEI partner cities and members of its European and global procurement networks.

The main focus of this position will address the topics of innovation and sustainable procurement through EU-funded projects. The deadline for applications is 4 March, although applications will be reviewed when they are received as the proposed start date is 1 April 2018.

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is an association of 1,200 local governments in 68 countries that are dedicated to sustainable development.

For more details on the position, visit the ICLEI Europe jobs website.

Targeted consultation on social procurement open until 1 March

1 February 2018

The European Commission's targeted consultation on the scope and structure of a Commission guide on socially responsible public procurement is accepting responses until 1March 2018. The new guide will replace the Buying Social guidance released in 2011, and will be fully updated for the post-2014 Directives legislative environment. The Commission's DG GROW is responding to calls for guidance and best practice, particularly from within the social economy sector, to use public procurement to deliver better conditions for workers, including disabled and otherwise disadvantaged people.

The consultation is targeted at those engaged in the policy and practice of socially responsible public procurement, including central and local government authorities and from civil society. The consultation follows the Commission Communication 'Making public procurement work in and for Europe' in October 2017 which identifies strategic public procurement in pursuit of economic, social and environmental goals.

Responses can be given online, in any of the 23 official EU languages, through the European Commission's consultations platform.

For more information, visit the DG GROW website.

Eight new SPP networks join the SPP Regions project

31 January 2018

Eight new sustainable public procurement networks have joined the SPP Regions project, committing to sustainability, working together at developing regional supply bases, increasing public sector’s influence on market engagement activities and using joint procurement to benefit from economies of scale.

The new networks cover and include the Piedmont region and Salento, a subregion of the region of Apulia (Italy); some Italian metropolitan cities, such as Milan, Bologna, Roma and Catania; Catalonia, Andalusia and the Balearic Islands (Spain); Helsinki Metropolitan Area (Finland) and the London Responsible Procurement Network (UK).

The SPP Regions project, coordinated by ICLEI, promotes the creation and expansion of European regional networks of municipalities working together on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI). The project offers support in setting up networks and welcomes new participant cities, networks, regions and municipalities.

For more information or join the project, visit the project’s website or contact the ICLEI coordination team at procurement@iclei.org.