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Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre

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29 October 2014

Dutch tender increases energy savings and cuts costs in sewage treatment

Water Board Limburg (WBL) is responsible for the transport and treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater and the treatment of sludge in Limburg province (The Netherlands). In 2011, WBL tendered for a new sludge hydrolysis plant at their waste water treatment plant (WWTP) in Venlo. The goals of the plant included increasing biogas production, reducing sludge generation and speeding up the process – resulting in both energy savings and cost reductions.

The board published a tender for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a new sludge hydrolysis plant. Following a pre-qualification, a competitive dialogue was used to improve the tender specifications and provide space for innovative proposals to be developed. The use of functional specifications also gave bidders more freedom to design novel solutions.

The winning bidder developed a technology to significantly improve the efficiency of sludge treatment. Not only does the new plant match all the goals WBL set out, it also reduces the anaerobic digestion time. Through the procurement process, an affordable thermal hydrolysis sludge treatment technology that lowers the costs and the CO2 emissions of sludge treatment was achieved. The new technology is cheap enough to be used in smaller waste treatment plants. This process saw WBL nominated for the Procurement of Innovation Award 2014.

For more information, visit the European Commission case study.
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27 October 2014

Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan for the Mediterranean calls for contributions

A consultation platform that aims to make consumption and production in the Mediterranean region more sustainable is seeking ideas and suggestions. All input will feed into the newly developed Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Action Plan, which charts a path to a “prosperous Mediterranean region” by 2030 with “socially inclusive economies based on sustainable consumption and production patterns”. Developed with the support of the SWITCH-Med project, the plan will also contribute to cleaner and healthier ecosystems.

A wide-range of stakeholders are encouraged to provide input, including business intermediaries, organisations supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, civil society organisations, research institutions, educational bodies, local governments, and development agencies.

Food and agriculture, tourism, goods manufacturing, and housing and construction have been identified as key economic sectors for the sustainable development of the Mediterranean and will form the four main axis of the SCP action plan. A suggested first list of measures for each sector has been compiled and is available in the action plan background document. Contributors are asked to read the outline before participating in the online consultation process.The platform is open until 29 October and can be accessed via the SWITCH-Med Consultation Phase website.

For more information, contact policy.switchmed@scprac.org.
 

23 October 2014

Survey commissioned to answer EC questions on GPP networking

The European Commission’s directorate general (DG) for Environment has commissioned a study to examine the feasibility of supporting a European green public procurement (GPP) network to exchange good practice. The study will identify and evaluate existing GPP networking activities and propose ideas for how these can be built upon at European level.

The development of such a network is one of the actions called for under the European Resource Efficiency Platform, a high-level group set up to guide European policymakers in transitioning to a resource-efficient economy. The initial step of the study, which is being carried out by Public Procurement Analysis, is a short survey.

The survey has been designed to take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes, and comprises ten questions. It will be followed up with targeted interviews and a webinar to present and discuss findings. Responses are requested by Monday 3 November 2014.

To take part in the survey, click here.
 

21 October 2014

Eight new case studies published by GPP2020 project

GPP 2020 aims to mainstream low-carbon procurement across Europe in support of the EU’s goal to achieve a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20 percent increase in the share of renewable energy, and a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency by 2020.

A core aim within the GPP 2020 project is to tender and contract low carbon products, works and services. Through these tenders CO2 emissions are reduced and a more energy efficient economy is encouraged. To achieve long term sustainability, the tenders need to be replicable for other local authorities interested in making their procurement greener.

In line with this, each tender issued by one of the GPP 2020 partners is documented as a ‘tender model’, using a case study format. These tender models are easily accessible through the project’s searchable tender database. Eight new tenders have been published, with more to come.

To view the tenders, read the first article in the GPP2020 newsletter.
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17 October 2014

Guidance document on supplying timber to the public sector now available in Spanish

The now-ended Sustainable Timber Action (STA) project’s guide Supplying timber to the public sector has been made available in Spanish, providing Hispanophone timber companies with useful advice on meeting public procurers’ demand for responsibly purchased forest products. The guide was originally published in English.

The document is aimed at small and medium-sized or large enterprises, wholesalers, and retailers who supply timber products (such as furniture, office paper, etc.) to public procurers, or who supply construction companies which carry out work for the public sector. The guide outlines the various ways in which timber companies can demonstrate compliance with legal and sustainability requirements that could potentially be included in tenders published by European public authorities.

The STA project assisted European public authorities in ensuring that the timber products they buy are produced and traded in a sustainable and fair way. In addition to the guide, the project produced the STA Toolkit which includes a guide for public authorities on how to procure sustainable timber products. Its efforts to increase the share of sustainable timber on the European market are continued through the European Sustainable Timber Coalition.

To view the document, click here.
 

15 October 2014

‘Healthy ageing’ solutions sought in tender published by European health care providers

Six health care purchasing bodies from five European countries have published a competitive tender, inviting companies to propose products and services that will aid the elderly. The solutions sought include a fall detection and alert system; a treadmill for rehabilitation and analysis of walking disorders; a walking course for preventing falls and maintaining independence; a bed thermoregulation system; and a chair enabling users to maintain independence, reducing effort for aides.

Notice of the competitive tender was published in the European Union Official Journal on 30 September 2014 by the organisation RESAH, coordinator of the HAPPI project (Healthy Ageing - Public Procurement of Innovation). The specifications are available in three languages: English, Italian and French. Bids can be addressed in any of these three languages, however the application documents must be provided in French only.

A Helpdesk in English and Italian has been created to support bidders with the application process, especially small and medium enterprises. The helpdesk provides information on how to create an account and download the HAPPI tender documents, how to ask a question on the FAQ page, as well as information on how to upload an offer to the platform.

For more information on the call for tender, visit the HAPPI website.
 

10 October 2014

Experts invited to provide input to new Procura+ Manual

Experts and practitioners in the field of sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) are invited to comment on the latest edition of the Procura+ Manual. The authors are particularly looking for input regarding the document's interpretation of the current legal framework in Europe. Additionally, feedback on specific sector reviews, such as construction, ICT, catering, etc., is also welcome. The deadline for commenting is 24 October 2014.

Aimed at public authorities, the manual provides clear guidance on how to implement sustainable procurement in practice, regardless of size or experience. It contains general information on management, cost and legal factors as well as key criteria product groups with high sustainability impact. The revised edition aims to provide a practical interpretation of new procurement rules, in this way supporting procurers to undertake and advance SPP and PPI.

Those who provide comments will be included in the Acknowledgements section of the publication. It should be noted that the current draft suffers from formatting issues – those who wish to comment are directed to ignore these problems, as the finalised version will undergo a design quality check. All comments should be provided to mark.hidson@iclei.org.

For more information, visit the Procura+ website.
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6 October 2014

Clean Fleets project invites comments on new tools

The Clean Fleets project is inviting interested parties to comment on the draft 'Guide to procuring clean, energy efficient vehicles’ and the new Life-Cycle Costing (LCC) Tool ahead of finalisation. The guide is designed to assist public authorities and public transport operators in purchasing clean and energy efficient vehicles in full compliance with European legislation, in particular the Clean Vehicles Directive (CVD). The LCC Tool has been developed to calculate the life-cycle cost of vehicle fleets.

The European Commission funded guide is primarily targeted at procurers and fleet managers, but is also of relevance to policy makers and others involved in the transport sector. It presents how environmental criteria can be introduced into the different stages of procurement procedures, together with information on relevant topics. The LCC tool has been developed to be of use to public procurers specifically.

To shape the comments, those interested are asked to respond to four short questions on each of the two project outputs, relating to issues such as how useful the tool is and whether any pertinent information is missing. Respondents can do so by contacting info@clean-fleets.eu by 3 November 2014. Both products will be provided free-of-charge.

To view the questions, visit the Clean Fleets website.
 

2 October 2014

Cost and environmental savings highlighted by WRAP project case studies

Ten new case studies highlighting potential cost and environmental savings made by Facilities Management (FM) clients (those tasked with the management of services that relate to the functioning of a building such as security, maintenance and cleaning) through greater procurement efficiencies have been published by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) project.

About 70 individual procurements were supported by WRAP with an estimated lifetime contract value of £5.3 billion. The savings over the lifetime of the contracts will be in the region of £39 million, preventing 125 kilo tonnes of waste, and saving 13.5 million kWh of energy and 15,000 m3 of water.

The case studies feature organisations from the public and private sectors, including Oxfam International, Sunderland City Council (UK), Senator International Ltd, and more. The case studies cover a range of areas, such as furniture, catering, uniforms and laundry, ICT services, waste management and textiles.

For more information, visit the WRAP case studies page.
 

30 September 2014

EcoProcura highlights strategic potential of sustainable and innovation procurement

After three days of exciting exchange, delegates at the EcoProcura conference in Ghent (Belgium) concluded that for Europe to gain maximum benefit from procurement practices, sustainable and innovation procurement must be placed at the heart of strategic decision making. The European Commission’s revised Public Procurement Directives will play a significant role in harnessing the capacity of the public sector to foster sustainable and innovative solutions, and move procurement from being seen as an administrative to a strategic concern.

The conference, organised by ICLEI and the City of Ghent, demonstrated the consensus that the pressing issues facing Europe today require public authorities to work with the market to develop sustainable and innovative solutions, rather than viewing the market as unchangeable. These outcomes will inform policy processes, and will be fed into the Procura+ Campaign, a movement of public authorities at the forefront of sustainable and innovation procurement in Europe. At the close of the event, the City of Ghent demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by signing a strategy on sustainable procurement and a Charter that obliges the city to spend 10 percent of its ICT budget on innovative solutions.

“Sustainability and innovation are moving from secondary considerations to central elements of procurement as highlighted by the recently revised European Union Public Procurement Directives. ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Campaign, Procura+, is playing a crucial role in this movement. This year it celebrates its 10th anniversary of supporting public authorities in implementing sustainable procurement. I urge all public authorities to rethink the importance of procurement in making the shift towards sustainable patterns of production and consumption to the benefit of our society, the environment and future generations.” said Pekka Sauri, Deputy Mayor of the City of Helsinki (Finland) and Procura+ Chair.

For more information, read the full EcoProcura outcomes article.
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