NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 771 - 780 from 785 )

Calculating carbon footprints for public procurement

10 January 2012

The Finnish government has released a new report entitled, Carbon Footprint Calculators for Public Procurement, as part of an EU Life project, Julia2030. Several municipalities in the Helsinki region together with the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority and a number of expert organisations are involved in the project, which aims to develop calculators for different sectors in municipalities.

The report seeks to help procurers take the climate impacts of products into account and thus increase the procurement of products with relatively low climate impacts. One subproject deals with the procurement of products, and carbon footprint calculators were developed for six product groups: office and tissue paper, laptop computers, office seating solutions, incontinence products and outdoor lighting products.

These calculators are intended for use in tender calls, as attachments that the bidders must deliver together with their bid. The carbon footprint would be used as an award criterion. The tools that will be made available include the report mentioned above, calculators, instructions for each calculator, a guidebook on climatically sound public procurement and a website. There are also plans to integrate the calculators in several public procurement cases and test these tools in calls for tender in the Julia2030 partner municipalities.

For more information, click here.

Public procurement saves millions in districts in the UK

5 January 2012

Warwick District Council together with seven other local authorities in the UK has been recognised for saving £4.5million of public money in a national award for outstanding procurement performance. Councils from Bromsgrove, Malvern, North Warwickshire, Redditch, Warwick District, Worcester, Wychavon, and Wyre Forest took second place at the 2011 Society of Purchasing Officers’ award for Outstanding Achievement in Procurement.

Melanie Gillman Warwick District Council’s Procurement Manager said, “The benefits of the collaboration and the extensive expertise of the members of the group have allowed all councils to achieve more benefits in a much shorter time.” Examples of the group’s collaborative procurements include an award-winning £1.7m saving on insurance services and almost £500,000 saved on trade waste collection services. Local taxpayers in the collaborating areas have saved at least £4.5m since 2006.

The group was recognised for breaking down barriers between traditionally separate local authorities to collaborate, with regular meetings held at rotating venues seeing decades of professional expertise and experience held by the councils shared in an open and transparent forum. The group is able to better support small to medium enterprises, particularly local and start up businesses, to secure business from the public sector.

For more information, click here.

Commission explores methodology for calculating environmental footprint of products

19 December 2011

Product environmental footprint is a way of measuring the environmental performance of a good or service over its life-cycle. It aims to give an account of the most relevant impacts of that product, based on scientific information.

The European Commission’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) has developed a draft methodology for the calculation of product footprints.The methodology builds on the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook, as well as other methodological standards and guidance documents.

Pilot tests are underway in a number of sectors, including agriculture, retail, construction, chemicals, ICT, food, manufacturing (footwear, televisions, paper). Final guidance will be published in 2012. The Commission, in collaboration with Confederation of European Paper Industries, is also testing the process aimed at developing Product Footprint Category Rules for paper.

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RPN’s Green Building Initiative helps green existing buildings

14 December 2011

The Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN), with support from the US Environmental Protection Agency, has launched a new project to help public agencies, green building professionals and facility managers shrink the environmental footprint of their existing buildings, while cutting costs.

RPN is holding both online and in-person workshops designed to demonstrate how to increase energy efficiency, reduce waste and improve indoor air quality by purchasing “green” building maintenance products. These include, ENERGY STAR-qualified LED lighting, HVAC equipment, on-site renewable energy systems and GREENGUARD-certified flooring and adhesives.

Two webinars have already taken place and the outcomes are available online. Different US states are grouped into regions, with some qualifying for free technical assistance to help advance their high-profile green building initiatives. Qualifying projects must be likely to yield measurable environmental results in reducing energy, water, or pollutants.

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Building SPP taps into green procurement potential

6 December 2011

The threat posed by climate change demands the development of innovative, low carbon solutions for lighting, vehicles, and heating and cooling systems. Since European public authorities purchase large volumes of these products and services amounting to two billion euro per year, there is enormous, largely untapped potential for progress in the area of public procurement.

The Building SPP project, funded by the LIFE+ Programme, aims to promote sustainable procurement practices in Portugal and Greece. Sustainable procurement can play an important role in organizations at national and local level. The project’s main objective is to build capacity in sustainable procurement by assisting public authorities in setting up a procurement strategy.

It further seeks to encourage communication at various stages of the procurement process, promoting cooperation among public authority procurers and greater market engagement between public authorities and suppliers. Sustainable procurement can help organisations to meet commitments related to social, environmental and economic policies, and its benefits include money and energy savings.

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Lithuania joins the drive towards lifecycle costing and assessment

30 November 2011

Green public procurement has gained an influential supporter. The Central Project Management Agency (CPMA) is the central purchasing body in Lithuania and currently manages framework contracts for over 600 public authorities. As an avid promoter of environmentally friendly public procurement, the CPMA has decided to go green and train its staff in the use of lifecycle costing, CO2 assessments and lifecycle assessments.

In November 2011, the CPMA teamed up with ICLEI and SYKE to hold a three-day training course discussing and testing current approaches, guidance and tools. The event was an outstanding success, providing those present with practical information as well as inspiration. “The topics are very interesting and of very real scope, especially for future approaches in public procurement” said one participant.

Some of the tools explored at the workshop include the SMART SPP LCC-CO2 tool and the JUHILAS carbon footprint calculator, invaluable in the move towards green public procurement. The tools will be available at ICLEI’s online SMART SPP resource centre which launches next week. The CPMA aims to use lifecycle costing in upcoming frameworks and intends to modify its operational manuals to include information gained from the training.

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New GPP action plan for Malta

30 November 2011

The new Maltese national GPP action plan sets out the target of achieving 50% of public procurement compliant with EU GPP criteria by 2015. The plan, published by the government in August 2011, also contains specific targets for 18 product and service groups (such as paper, gardening products, textiles and IT equipment) for which common criteria have been agreed at EU level. Training seminars will be provided to public procurers.

When announcing the plan Finance, the Economy and Investment Minister Tonio Fenech explained “Like any other economic activity, public procurement, which represents an important proportion of Malta’s GDP, has an impact on the environment. The negative aspects of this impact, such as those associated with materials, the use of resources and the resulting waste should be reduced, while the positive aspects must be promoted. At the same time, we don’t expect sharp differences in prices, and we want to ensure that there is competition.”

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Carbon literacy e-learning course launched

28 November 2011

The Defra-led National Sustainable Public Procurement Programme (NSPPP) has launched a free carbon literacy e-learning course for public sector organisations.

The free resource can be used to develop awareness and understanding of the terminology and the principles associated with the greenhouse effect and climate change. The course takes about four hours in total, but the system records the participants’ progress, so it is easy to complete in shorter sessions.

The course was developed in partnership by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the Department of Health, National Health Service bodies and the EU-funded Clear About Carbon project. The NSPPP is now working with supplier organisations to develop a private sector version, which it hopes to launch in December 2011. All the materials will be free of charge.

The new carbon literacy e-learning course is available at:

Germany creates landmarks in Green Public Procurement

13 September 2011

Public authorities are major consumers in Europe and the European Commission is encouraging the use of ecological criteria in the public market-place. Germany, one of the ‘Green 7’ EU countries who currently manage a large amount of Green Public Procurement, is playing an active role in promoting the policy.

ICLEI’s Creating Landmarks (Landmarken Setzen) project aims to anchor GPP principles in training and offers a series of user-oriented train-the-trainer seminars. The opening event kicks off in Wiesbaden (Germany), on 5 October 2011. It offers representatives from training academies, public authorities and decision-makers, based or working in Germany, the opportunity to learn about the services offered in the project and to discuss relevant issues.

During the event, participants will be invited to ask their specific questions and make the connection to existing units in their curricula. Comprehensive training material will also be provided to ensure the knowledge is passed on to their target group - public sector employees. The project is generously funded by the German Environmental Agency and German Environmental Ministry.

For more information, click here.

UK public procurement most expensive in EU

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A new report conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has revealed the UK’s public procurement process to be the most expensive in the European Union, with the average cost of a competitive procurement process £45,200; £21,300 higher than the EU average. The research took into account both costs to public sector bodies aiming to attract bids, and private suppliers aiming to win contracts.

The UK comes only fourth in terms of the most expensive countries in Europe for public bodies putting contracts out to market however, coming behind Denmark, Norway and Italy with an average cost of £1,260 per bid received (the EU average stands at £800). The UK is above the EU average in terms of competitiveness, with an average of 6.4 bids per competition.

In terms of length, the UK procurement process was calculated to be 53 days longer than the EU average. The study put the blame for the expense and length on the complexity of the bidding process. Complexity also reduces the number of potential suppliers that will bid for a contract, and discriminates against smaller firms that may not have the resources to engage in the process. The research was commissioned by e-procurement provider Gatewit.

For more information, click here.