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Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre

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30 March 2015

European cities to address climate issues through sustainable procurement

Mayors from 26 European cities adopted a joint declaration for climate action in Paris (France) last week. The commitment came during a high-level meeting, which was chaired by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (pictured) and Mayor Ignazio Marino of Rome (Italy). Leaders from other major cities including Athens (Greece), Brussels (Belgium), Bucharest (Romania), Geneva (Switzerland), Lisbon (Portugal), Madrid (Spain), Sofia (Bulgaria), Stockholm (Sweden), Warsaw (Poland), Vienna (Austria), Lyon (France) and Bordeaux (France) were all present.

In her opening comments, Mayor Hidalgo highlighted ICLEI’s expertise in the area of sustainable public procurement. ICLEI Europe’s Managing Director Wolfgang Teubner and Mark Hidson, the Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Capacity Centre, both attended the Paris meeting to offer their support.

The Paris Initiative forms part of the run-up to the next round of UNFCCC negotiations, which are due to be held in the French capital in December 2015. The gathering aimed to encourage cities to join forces and share expertise that will lead to a lasting energy and environmental transition. By making a public commitment to use their joint purchasing power in favour of green and low-carbon solutions, the cities are unifying around a strong vision for a sustainable future. The Declaration commits signatories to “a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030”. Three areas were chosen for initial interventions, based on an assessment of the cities’ purchasing volume and the carbon impact of the product group. These cover collective purchases of renewable electricity, waste collection and urban cleaning vehicles powered by natural gas (12 – 16 ton models), and hybrid and electric light vehicles and small commercial vehicles for local authorities.

For more information, contact mark.hidson@iclei.org.
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27 March 2015

One tender saves 66,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide

An electricity and gas tender published as part of the GPP 2020 project by the Catalonian Department of Economy and Knowledge has made total savings of over 66,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent, totalling more than the average annual consumption of 10,000 European households. The tender, which is worth an annual €132.4 million, was awarded in the form of a framework agreement that allowed other public bodies to participate.

Technical specifications included a guaranteed minimum of 30 percent of the electricity to be supplied from renewable or high efficiency cogeneration sources. These had to be accompanied by guarantee of origin certificates. Financial penalties were included in the contract in the case of failure to comply with these conditions.

This tender represents an impressive achievement, with CO2 savings of 22 percent compared to the previous contract, as well as a 300 percent increase in guaranteed production from renewable high efficiency cogeneration sources.

For more information, visit the GPP 2020 website.
 

25 March 2015

SPRC Resources Section update offers better experience for users

The Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre (SPRC) has undergone a revamp of its user interface, making it easier to access relevant procurement resources than ever before. The SPRC contains hundreds of resources in a range of languages, providing detailed support for procurers and other stakeholders that wish to engage in more efficient and effective sustainable public procurement.

In addition to changes to the search criteria, selected resources are now highlighted, ensuring that visitors don’t miss out on the most up-to-date guidance. The highlighted resources are selected by procurement experts within ICLEI, the organisation that hosts the SPRC. The revised site also makes it easier to add resources to the SPRC’s database.

A “quick search” option, separated by procurement category, makes finding the right guidance more efficient, whilst a detailed search option ensures that specific resources can be located. Users have the possibility to search by the country that the resource concerns, language, the type of resource, the sustainability theme, the sector the resource focuses on, and whether the resource is aimed at the local, national or international level.

For more information, visit the SPRC Resources Section.
 

19 March 2015

OBSAR guide updated to reflect concrete examples

The Observatoire des Achats Responsables (OBSAR) guide on sustainable procurement has undergone a revision to ensure that a greater number of practical experiences and best practice examples are included. The guide, which is relevant to both public and private purchasers, looks at procurement as a means to bolster employment for vulnerable persons.

The authors sees sustainable procurement as a means to create jobs, and argue that given Europe’s current unemployment levels it is necessary to fully embrace the possibilities presented by better procurement. The guide consists of five parts: definition and primary actors, jurisprudential and legal developments for public procurement, obstacles to overcome, positive developments, and taking a valuation approach.

A number of partners were involved in the development of the guide, including l’Avise, la Fédération des entreprises d’insertion and Alliance Villes Emploi. The French organisation OBSAR aims to facilitate exchange of best practices, and bring together stakeholders to successfully engage in sustainable procurement.

For more information, visit socialement-responsable.org [in French].
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17 March 2015

Madrid to replace 225,000 street lights to enhance energy-efficiency

In an effort to enhance sustainability and lower energy costs, the City of Madrid (Spain) is replacing its street lights with more energy-efficient models. With a total of 225,000 lights to be changed, the project is the world's largest ever street lighting renewal.

“This will be the biggest technological renewal ever seen in Madrid City. The change will reduce the city’s energy consumption thanks to energy efficient bulbs, extending the lifespan of the city lighting and controlling light pollution by enabling the regulation of the intensity of light when and where it’s needed. The new lighting installation allows us to make significant progress towards becoming a smart city, which is more sustainable and, in conclusion, a more liveable city,” said Mayor of Madrid Ana Botella.

The city hopes to achieve energy sayings of around 44 percent per year with the new bulbs. Dutch electronics company Philips will finance the project at no cost to citizens. Discarded lamps and lampposts will be recycled by the non-profit association Ambilamp.

For more information, visit the European Green Capital website.
 

12 March 2015

New guidance documents focus on risk & intellectual property rights when procuring innovation

To address specific aspects of procuring innovation, two new guidance documents have been published by the Procurement of Innovation Platform: the first looks at risk management, while the second focuses on handling intellectual property rights (IPR). In addition to the recently published manual Guidance for Public Authorities on Public Procurement of Innovation, these detailed documents aim to make it easier for procurers to successfully manage the purchase of innovative products and services.

The Risk Management Guide helps procurers to overcome the uncertainties that can act as a barrier to procuring innovation. It offers insight into the specific risks of procurement of innovation and the possible methods to manage these risks, and is primarily aimed at strategists and public procurement officers familiar with regular procedures. The guide also includes a practical tool that proposes a specific framework to setup risk management in a controlled and systematic way.

The IPR guide looks at the various ownership possibilities for intellectual property rights, showing procurers how to protect themselves whilst ensuring a sufficient incentive for companies to innovate. Using real-life examples, the guide explains the kind of problems that careful consideration and management of intellectual property rights can prevent.

To view the documents, visit the PPI Platform.
 

10 March 2015

Helsinki to achieve 100% SPP by 2020

The City of Helsinki (Finland), striving to lower waste and reduce carbon emissions, is on track to achieve 100 percent sustainable public procurement (SPP) by 2020. To attain this goal, Helsinki has a number of policies in place to support the complete transition to SPP, including medium-term and long-term environment policies, with implementation periods up to 2020 and to 2050 respectively.

The environmental policies’ aim is to have sustainability taken into account within all procurements carried out by the city. They state that both the material and ecological efficiency of the city’s departments will be significantly improved, and that these sustainability factors will be considered in all investments, procurements and notable projects by 2050. All city departments and subsidiaries will be trained in carrying out sustainable procurement by 2020.These policies are supported by a general strategy running the length of the 2013 – 2016 council term, which focuses on using procurement to improve environmental protection.

“The end goal has to be ambitious and therefore we have set the bar high,” said Jorma Lamminmäki, Procurement Director of the City of Helsinki’s Procurement Centre. The city’s concrete objectives include reducing the volume of communal waste by 10 percent compared to 2013 levels, and increasing the amount of materials reused from communal waste by 10 percent. To date, both small and large scale projects have been implemented, from the €50 million tender for SPP IT equipment, which was carried out with the help of the GPP 2020 office ICT calculator.

For more information, view the March GPP News Alert.
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6 March 2015

EU GPP Criteria for Food and Catering Services open for consultation

On behalf of the DG Environment of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS) is currently revising the EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for Food and Catering Services. Stakeholder involvement is crucial for the success of the study's development. Those who are interested in registering as stakeholders and taking part in the consultation processes can do so by sending an email with their contact data to JRC-CATERING-SERVICES@ec.europa.eu.

The final criteria will work to ensure that environmental principles are taken into account at each stage of the procurement process. JRC-IPTS is looking for feedback on the revision for the criteria proposals related to food and catering services.

Through the project, the following tasks will be performed: definition and scope for the product group, market analysis; technical analysis and improvement potential. This will form the basis of the elaboration of draft criteria and technical reports.

For more information, visit the JRC website.
 

4 March 2015

UN human rights reporting guidance for companies released

A new, comprehensive guide entitled United Nations Guiding Principles Reporting Framework has been launched, detailing how companies should report their human rights performance. Issued in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), it is the first guidance on the subject of human rights reporting for companies and the first to align with the global standard on business and human rights.

The Reporting Framework sets out a series of ‘smart’ questions that helps companies to begin reporting on their human rights performance. The framework is designed to work for companies of all sizes, regardless of how far they have progressed in implementing their responsibility to respect human rights. Companies from five different industry sectors are already early adopters of the UNGP, including Unilever, Ericsson, H&M, Nestlé and Newmont.

The framework was developed over two years in a global, multi-stakeholder process led by Shift, an organisation that assists governments, businesses and their stakeholders put the UNGPs into practice, and international accountancy firm Mazars. Caroline Rees, President of Shift said: “The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework is a ground-breaking and vital tool for companies to know and show that they are managing risks to human rights effectively throughout their operations and value chain, with the potential for positive impact on millions of peoples’ lives”. In October 2014, the European Union adopted a directive requiring 6,000 companies to disclose non-financial information, including their human rights performance, by 2017.

For more information, visit the UNGP Reporting website.
 

27 February 2015

Germany invites comment on how best to bring EU Public Procurement Directives into force

Germany is reforming its procurement laws to better reflect the regulations in the new EU Directives on Public Procurement. To ensure a smooth transition into national law, a draft document has been produced detailing how this will be carried out, with stakeholders invited to review the document and comment on the proposed measures. The new rules aim to simplify public procurement, making it more efficient and more flexible in the awarding of contracts to small and medium-sized enterprises. The revised rules also ensure that governments can use procurement as a tool to meet strategic objectives, such as enhancing innovation and furthering sustainability.

The requirements for a company to prove its qualifications in relation to the tender have been significantly simplified, reducing the level of bureaucracy within the procurement process. Additionally, the new rules are designed to provide municipalities with greater legal certainty when procuring innovative products and services.

Grounds by which businesses can be excluded from participating in the procurement procedure have been expanded under the new rules to include participation in a criminal organisation, corruption, fraud and money laundering, as well as the abuse of labour rights and unfair working conditions. The EU Public Procurement Directives will be enacted into German law by 18 April 2016.

For more information, download the PDF [in German].
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