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New EU energy label to boost innovation and energy efficiency

24 September 2019

The EU energy label for electronic devices is a driver of innovation and market development for energy efficient products. It stimulates innovation on the producers’ side and demand for energy efficient products. Energy efficiency labels are also useful tools for procurers to use in tenders as award criteria to push for more energy efficient products. Providing reliable and comparable information, it enables public authorities to make more sustainable choices.

However, the current label concept involving A+++ to D efficiency classes is less effective in a world where most new products achieve at least A+.  The European Commission therefore has decided to reinvent the original A-G class concept by allowing a rescaling of classes. The rescaling process allows for new products to achieve higher energy standards than the old scale could depict. This will encourage further innovation on the supplier side. To make it a success, the transition process requires guidance and support of stakeholders, for all involved parties to fully understand and correctly apply the new energy label.

As partner in a new project, ICLEI Europe is supporting this transition, by informing public buyers about the rescaling and its implication for (sustainable) procurement. This way, all market parties will be able to make the best use of the new energy label, stimulating innovation and energy savings in the future.

Buying power can move the needle towards circularity

10 September 2019

Nowadays, 7.6 billion people live on earth, according to forecasts, this is expected to grow to 10 billion people by 2050. If we don’t change our approach to natural resources use, and don’t reduce the level of our consumption, we will need the equivalent of 2.5 to 3.5 globes worth of natural resources by 2050! It is clear that cities need to take action to avoid such exploitation of natural resources, and one solution may be the use of circular procurement.

Circular procurement is known as a different way of acquiring goods and services that promotes consideration of the whole lifecycle of products throughout their supply chain. A focus on the use and services provided by a product instead of the ownership catalyses the development of new business models, which are expected to be necessary to promote a circular economy.

Circular Public Procurement (Circular PP) is a 3 year project supported by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme with the main goal to develop an adequate framework for circular procurement in the countries belonging to the Baltic Sea Region. Learn more about the project's activities and outcomes such as infographics about circular procurement.

Call for Innovative Financing Solutions for Sustainable Cities in Europe

5 September 2019

The City Finance Lab (CFL) 2nd call for proposals is finally open. The EU-supported City Finance Lab created this new opportunity to fund innovative financing solutions for sustainable cities.

The CFL is calling on interested cities, city and financial networks, utilities, financial institutions, and any other municipal finance practitioner to

Now more than ever before, cities must be prepared to deal with the risks and impacts of climate change by moving to more sustainable, zero-carbon and resilient pathways. Through the City Finance Lab, we enable the deployment of city finance solutions in such a way that is joined up, scaled up, and adds up to actions and initiatives that keep us well within the 2 ˚C global warming threshold," says Teodora Virban, Project Manager, City Finance Lab, EIT Climate-KIC.


The  call for proposals runs until 31st October 2019 and finalists will be announced by mid-December 2019. Proponents of selected ideas will receive up to EUR 75,000 in-kind support to develop their proposals through technical advisory from city finance experts. Selected proponents will also have the opportunity to showcase their plans to potential partners and investors to promote investments in critical urban climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience projects in European cities. 


More information available here.

Procura+ participant Zurich wins Swiss ethical procurement award

4 September 2019

Solidar Suisse, a Swiss development NGO, honoured Procura+ participant Zurich for its fair and ethical procurement practice. The NGO rated 87 Swiss local governments and highlighted Zurich’s procurement as exemplary.

This is the third time in a row that the city is acknowledged for its efforts to support developing countries through its procurement by Solidar Suisse. Solidar Suisse pointed out that through its work Zurich takes a leading role among German-speaking Swiss communities.

For many years, the City of Zurich is striving to include social and environmental criteria in its tenders. Most recently, the city awarded a contract to supply uniforms for the public transport provider and a contract for the supply of t-shirts for several city departments.

Both tenders accounted for the fact that cotton production is associated with high water consumption, often in places that suffer from water scarcity. They required suppliers to provide only products made from organic cotton, which uses up to 90% less water than standard cotton.

In addition, the City included several requirements that commit suppliers to fair and ethical working conditions along the entire supply chain. Suppliers need to prove that they adhere to global working standards for fair labour and wages, such as ILO standards. In addition, they need to show that they have insight into their entire supply chain. Supply chain transparency is key in assuring working conditions actually comply with labour standards.

The Procura+ interest group on socially responsible procurement is working on this and other topics connected to assuring fair and ethical working conditions along global supply chains. Find more information on the Procura+ website.

More information about Zurich’s awarded procurement practice can be found here (in German).