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Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre

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17 April 2014

ENIGMA project launches market consultation on smart public lighting

Suppliers specialising in ICT, lighting architecture and engineering are asked to contribute to a pre-commercial procurement (PCP) market consultation process investigating options for smart public lighting in European cities. Details of the consultation were published in a prior information notice (PIN) released by the ENIGMA project in late March. The PIN precedes a formal procurement process on the part of ENGIMA’s five partner cities Eindhoven (Netherlands), Malmö (Sweden), Stavanger (Norway), Espoo (Finland) and Bassana del Grappa (Italy).

The partner cities want to upgrade their public lighting infrastructure using ICT solutions to encourage more integrated, smarter cities which work for the benefit of individual citizens and broader society. Through the PCP, they are looking for smart lighting systems that can be easily integrated into different architectures and systems, now and in the future.

All interested parties active in the sectors of lighting, ICT, architecture and engineering are invited to participate in this market consultation to help gauge what is currently available on the market. Suppliers are asked to email a completed Response Form to by 1 May 2014. A series of market workshops across Europe in late April will facilitate further exchange of information between the ENIGMA partner cities and the supply chain, and enable the development of a procurement strategy and specifications.

For more information, click here.
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15 April 2014

Welsh National Procurement Service combines expenditure savings and job creation

The Welsh government is hoping for annual savings of around £25 million (approximately €30 million) following the introduction of a National Procurement Service (NPS) to coordinate contracts for spend across the public sector in Wales. As well as saving money, the new service is expected provide a boost to local jobs by directing public expenditure to Welsh companies and developing more sustainable local supply chains.

The NPS is formed of more than 70 organisations with a combined annual public procurement expenditure of £4.3 billion. Just under a third of this is on common and recurring purchases of goods and services such as stationery, office furniture, IT and transport fleets. By working together, local authorities, health boards, universities, colleges, fire and rescue and police authorities can leverage their joint spending power to eliminate duplication, reduce expenditure and encourage a more sustainable and efficient procurement model.

Finance Minister Jane Hunt said "The creation of the NPS […] demonstrates that in Wales we can develop innovative approaches through a public sector that is prepared to work collaboratively across organisational boundaries for the greater good. [...] The NPS will follow the best practice set out in the Wales Procurement Policy statement published last year which will not only make it easier for suppliers to engage but will also provide crucial opportunities to develop local supply chains with local Welsh businesses."

For more information, click here.

10 April 2014

Most efficient appliances showcased at Euro-Topten product awards

Vincent Berrutto, head of energy efficiency in buildings, industry, equipment and transport for the European Commission, announced the winners of the Euro-Topten Product Competition at the international trade fair “expoEnergy Wels 2014” in Austria. Set up to reward the most sustainable products, the company V-Zug took home the prize in the tumble drier category, while Panasonic and Onlux won in the television and LED lamps categories respectively.

V-Zug's Adora TSL WP tumble dryer impressed judges with its energy consumption of only 152 kWh per year, making it eligible for the exclusive A+++ energy efficiency class. Panasonic's television managed to greatly reduce energy usage though an optimised LED backlight, achieving an A++ rating. The winning LED lamp, produced by Onlux, was considered to be an excellent equivalent to a 60W incandescent lamp, and achieved an energy efficiency class of A++.

The manufacturer's information for each winning product was verified by VDE (Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies), an independent and accredited testing laboratory. is a consumer-oriented online search tool, which presents the best appliances in various product categories. The key criteria are energy efficiency, impact on the environment, health and quality.

For more information, click here.

8 April 2014

INNOCAT to set new standard for eco-innovative vending machines

The INNOCAT Procurement of Eco-Innovative Catering Project aims to bring together public and private buyers to publish a series of tenders for eco-innovative catering products, services and solutions. Through doing so, the project hopes to provide a sizeable launch market for new solutions, encouraging eco-innovation in the catering sector. At least four tenders will be launched over the course of the project.

The first of these tenders was recently launched with the publication of a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for the procurement of Vending Machines. The procurement is being lead by the University of Sheffield (England) who together with INNOCAT partner Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells have brought on board a number of other universities and organisations who are interested in increasing energy efficiency and reducing the carbon emissions that arise from vending operations. This Buyers Group intend to set a new standard for Low Carbon Vending. As the tender will be a public contract, the contracted solution will be accessible for all organisations participating in the Buyers Group.

A market sounding exercise will be carried out over the coming months, to find out what new solutions are available on the market and to demonstrate that there is a growing demand for energy efficient, low carbon vending machines.

For more information, click here.
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3 April 2014

ICLEI, UNEP and KEITI combine to direct public spending towards greening global markets

A new global programme will harness the power of the trillions of Euros that governments spend on public procurement each year to push towards a more resource-efficient world. The Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) Programme – the first action to get underway as part of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) – will assist governments to redirect public spending into goods and services that bring significant environmental and social benefits.

“The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development nations spent an average of 13 percent of Gross Domestic Product on public procurement in 2011, while in some developing nations this can hit 20 percent. This adds up to trillions of dollars globally, demonstrating the scale of the opportunity ahead,” said Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director. “Governments can use this potential to lead markets onto a sustainable path by demanding goods and services that conserve natural resources, create decent green jobs, and improve livelihoods around the globe.” The SPP Programme—co-led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI)—will enable this shift by improving knowledge of sustainable procurement’s benefits and supporting implementation through access to experts and tools.

Existing initiatives from around the globe prove that sustainable procurement transforms markets, boosts ecoindustries, saves money, conserves natural resources and fosters job creation. “If public money is spent on products and services that reduce environmental impacts, encourage social improvement and achieve financial efficiency, a huge step forward could be made towards sustainable development,” said Gino Van Begin, ICLEI Secretary General. “This is what the 10-Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Public Procurement aims to achieve.”

For more information, click here.

1 April 2014

HAPPI innovation platform brings products that aid the elderly to wider audience

The increase in the average age of the European population brings new challenges for hospitals and elderly care services, many of which are difficult to accurately evaluate. This difficulty also spawns from the high number of actors in the so-called “Silver Economy” – the name given to the emerging market for elderly care. Currently the market can be seen as a non-mature sector with fragmented demand and supply, low standards, no market leaders, and other serious issues.

To tackle these challenges and detect the best innovative solutions available on the European market, the HAPPI project (Healthy Ageing - Public Procurement of Innovation) has chosen to implement a “market-oriented” approach through the development of an online platform, in which suppliers are invited to outline their products and services. Since the launch of the platform, over 140 innovative solutions have been brought to the attention of the consortium’s buyers. Most of these solutions are accessible by the general public through the public area of the platform, “Innovation Showcase”.

The success of the HAPPI innovation platform was helped by the organisation of four information days in major European cities: London (UK), Paris (France), Turin (Italy) and Vienna (Austria). These events gathered over 400 participants, mainly SMEs, and helped buyers to research the market, raise awareness and open the dialogue between demand and supply-side.

For more information, click here.

27 March 2014

Final LANDMARK conference brings together years of experience in socially responsible procurement

To mark the conclusion of the LANDMARK project, the Senator for Finances of the State of Bremen (Germany) will today host the final LANDMARK Conference. The conference will draw on the project’s three years of experience, addressing challenges surrounding verifying social responsibility. Every day, goods arrive in Europe developed under hazardous working conditions. The EU-funded LANDMARK project has contributed to improving such conditions, aiming to ensure that goods procured are from socially responsible manufacturers.

At yesterday’s press conference, LANDMARK project coordinator Philipp Tepper stated: “LANDMARK showed that socially responsible public procurement with a clear focus on the improvement of labour conditions along the production and supply chain is possible and necessary. I am convinced that further cities and regions will follow the good example of Barcelona, Bremen, Kolding, Loures, Oslo and Stockholm and that a consequential dialogue will result in the development of market specific solutions.”

The conference will see experts examine the recently adopted EU Procurement Directives, which strengthen the use of social criteria in public tenders. In addition, a series of socially responsible tenders published by Bremen will be presented. The inaugural European Fair Cotton Procurement Awards, an initiative which recognises and rewards excellence in the sourcing of Fair Trade cotton and responsible purchasing, will also be awarded at the conference. The awards are organised under the auspices of the project “Cotton on to Fairtrade procurement”.

For more information, click here.
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24 March 2014

Reprocessed medical devices lead to reductions in waste and costs

Hospitals are simultaneously decreasing costs and enhancing their sustainability through a process which allows items marked as "single use only" to be reused. Single-use medical device reprocessing involves cleaning, testing, repackaging and sterilising medical devices labelled for one use. Reprocessed devices are cheaper, and cut down on the amount of materials sent to landfill.

A US Government Accountability Office report concluded that properly regulated reprocessed devices are as safe and effective as original equipment. Reprocessing one to two percent of all single-use devices could save the US healthcare industry up to $2 billion in supply chain costs the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors has claimed.

Reprocessed devices generally cost about half as much as newly manufactured supplies, saving hospitals a significant amount. Supplies are generally the largest expense for hospitals, with most ending up as rubbish. In the US and EU, reprocessing plants must implement strict checks and safety standards for all reprocessed devices.

For more information, click here.

20 March 2014

Munich extends engagement with Fair Trade

Following the city's success at the 2013 Fair Trade Capital awards, Munich City Council (Germany) has voted to increase its commitment to procuring Fair Trade products. Specifically, the city will ensure that all sports balls procured carry Fair Trade certification, guaranteeing that the balls are not manufactured using child labour or other exploitative means.

Sports professionals and students carried out a number of tests on the Fair Trade balls, primarily manufactured in Asia, Africa and Latin America, to ensure that they meet the required standards. Following approval, these balls were distributed to schools across the city. Students were informed that the equipment was manufactured in a manner that respected human rights, a priority for the city council.

The proportion of Fair Trade food used in schools, urban canteens and day care centres will also be increased. Over the coming years Munich intends to make its procuring processes even more sustainable, with a particular emphasis on ensuring fair working conditions for manufacturers.

For more information, click here [in German].

18 March 2014

Support for GPP leads Korea to reduce emissions and create jobs

The Republic of Korea has seen a marked increase in the instances of Green Public Procurement thanks to the enactment of legislation to promote the purchase of eco-friendly products. In 2004, prior to the act, GPP accounted for 255 billion KRW. Today, the total stands at 1,727 billion KRW, a 6.8 fold increase.

GPP accounts for five to six and a half percent of total purchases carried out by public organisations, and the number of manufacturers and certified products to choose from has risen greatly. In 2003, there were 753 green manufacturers; by 2012 the number had increased to 9,140. Similarly, the number of green certified products jumped from 306 in 2003 to 2,841 in 2012.

The act has seen entire industries shift to greener methods of manufacturing. Over the last eight years, the increase in GPP has resulted in a reduction of 3.71 million tons of CO2, and the creation of 14,335 new jobs. In 2012 alone, 491,000 tonnes of CO2 were saved. The economic benefit to South Korea in 2012 was valued at 7.4 billion KRW.

For more information, click here.
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