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Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre

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1 July 2015

EcoProcura China 2015 sees announcement of GPP partnership initiative

Around 80 participants attended the ICLEI-organised sub-forum EcoProcura China 2015: International Dialogue on Green Public Procurement, held on 28 June 2015 during the Eco-Forum Global Annual Conference in Guiyang (China). The event saw the announcement of the ICLEI-supported Initiative on Green Public Procurement (GPP) China Partnership, which invites the participation of any Chinese local government, company or organisation interested in the implementation of GPP at the local level.

“We believe this partnership will provide a platform for facilitating international exchange on GPP solutions between Chinese local governments and relevant stakeholders, as well as promoting the implementation of GPP at the local level,” said Shu Zhu, Regional Director of ICLEI East Asia Secretariat. Attendees at the event included government officials in charge of public procurement, experts, and business representatives from China, Korea, Japan, Germany and Finland. Through a series of lectures and workshops, participants explored and discussed current GPP challenges and solutions.

A pioneer in promoting GPP among local governments, ICLEI started the Europe-wide conference series EcoProcura in 1998 to provide a forum for knowledge and experience exchange. Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre outlined ICLEI’s expertise in this area, including its resources, activities and projects. Mr. Hidson also expressed his wish to further cooperate with Chinese local governments in the future.

For more information, visit ICLEI East Asia.
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30 June 2015

Sustainable procurement leads to cheaper and greener cleaning services in Portugal

LIPOR, the body responsible for managing the waste produced by eight municipalities in the Porto Metropolitan Area (Portugal), reduced costs and increased efficiency through carrying out a procurement procedure for sustainable cleaning services in 2014. Sustainability criteria were included in all stages of the process, with the contract performance clauses specifically focusing on social responsibility.

Market engagement played a major role in the procurement, which resulted in a two year contract with the service provider that met all environmental and social demands for the lowest price. The dialogue with suppliers enabled LIPOR to find out more about the current solutions available on the market, and the extent to which suppliers were willing to engage in a complex and demanding tender.

The experience is one which LIPOR aims to replicate for future contracts. The take away lessons from the procedure include the importance of setting up a goal focused team to pursue the contract and to define sustainability criteria; monitoring contract implementation every six months to ensure that the service has been carried out to plan; and involving and establishing a dialogue with suppliers right from the start.

For more information, read the GPP News Alert.
 

25 June 2015

GreenXpo produces online library of eco-innovation case studies

Over 190 short and 12 detailed case studies relating to eco-innovation have been produced as part of the EU-funded GreenXpo project, which is coming to an end after two years. The case studies, all of which are available to browse on the InnovationSeeds website, focus on the areas of financing, support policies, and networks relevant to eco-innovation. The final GreenXpo project conference was held in Jyväskylä (Finland) in April 2015.

Three of the more detailed case studies relate directly to sustainable procurement, describing how the City of Venlo in The Netherlands is following the cradle to cradle model to create a circular economy, and how as part of its ‘Eco-Challenge 2016 Programme’ the City of Stockholm (Sweden) has been using green pre-commercial procurement to successfully procure innovative, green products and services for the city.

The remaining case study describes how the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, Rijkswaterstaat, is working towards the establishment of a circular economy, and how tools and policies have been used to achieve its 2015 target of 100 percent sustainable procurement.

For more information, visit the InnovationSeeds website.
 

23 June 2015

Nominees selected for Procurement of Innovation Award

The Procurement of Innovation Platform consortium today announced the nominations for the 2015 edition of the Public Procurement of Innovation Award. The prestigious award recognises the very best innovation procurement in Europe. Now in its second year, the accolade highlights successful public procurement practices that have been used to purchase innovative, effective and efficient products, services or works. The nominees come from across Europe, with Austrian, Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Spanish, and Italian contracting authorities represented.

The nominees are:

- Federal Procurement Agency Austria
- CAK healthcare and elderly care agency, The Netherlands
- Stockholm County Council, Sweden
- Kuyavian-Pomeranian Province, Poland
- Galician Public Health Service, Spain
- Consip, Italian Central Purchasing Body
- Rijkswaterstaat, The Netherlands
- Municipality Achtkarspelen, together with Municipality Tytsjerksteradiel, The Netherlands

The judging panel is made up by Wouter Stolwijk, Director of PIANOo, Dutch Public Procurement Expertise Centre; Mark Nicklas, Deputy Head of Unit: Innovation Policy for Growth, DG GROW, European Commission; Aren Mijs, Direct General Director, IMS Medical, Supplier (winner of the 2014 PPI Award); and Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI and Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Capacity Centre.

In September the jury will announce the finalists. The winner will be revealed at an award ceremony to be held in November of this year. The winning entry will receive a trophy for innovation procurement excellence, together with the title “European Innovation Procurement of the Year”. A case study will also be published on the Procurement of Innovation Platform.

For more information, visit the award page.
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18 June 2015

GPP 2020 seminar presentations outline good practice in low-carbon procurement

Presentations from the GPP 2020 workshop held in Riga (Latvia) on 21 May 2015 are now available online. The workshop looked at practical implementation of low-carbon procurement processes and how environmental targets can be used to boost economic growth, as well as results from the EU-funded PRIMES and GPP 2020 projects.

Ways in which public procurement can be used as a tool to lower carbon emissions, currently available energy and emissions calculation tools, and support structures for procurers were all touched on by presenters. Maris Klismets of the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development presented an overview of GPP regulations in Latvia, while Francesc Vidal of the Catalan Institute for Energy looked at driving energy performance contracting through procurement schemes.

Best practices from Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands and France were also presented. The event was organised by the Latvian Environmental Investment Fund and the GPP 2020 and PRIMES projects, and was moderated by ICLEI's Philipp Tepper.

To view the presentations, visit the GPP2020 website.
 

16 June 2015

Water PiPP offers assistance with procuring innovative water solutions

A call for interest has been issued by the Water PiPP project, offering assistance to public authorities, water utilities and procurement agencies interested in procuring innovative solutions in the field of water services or technologies. The call is targeted at public procurers who intend to prepare or launch a respective innovation procurement initiative between September 2015 and December 2016.

Water PiPP (Public Innovation Procurement Policies) is a collaborative project funded by the European Commission to explore and test public innovation procurement methodologies in the water sector. It aims to take advantage of public procurement’s power to accelerate innovation. Interested parties are invited to apply by sending their completed application form to: call@waterpipp.eu by 31 August 2015.

Water PiPP will offer selected applicants support with relevant procurement procedures such as: innovation needs identification, prioritisation and description; market scans; open market consultation and early engagement; assessment of procurement concept viability; resource planning and innovation procurement design; and joint procurement initiatives.

For more information, visit the WaterPiPP website.
 

11 June 2015

INNOCAT invites views on school catering report

The procurement of school catering services affects children across Europe and has a significant environmental and social impact. The INNOCAT project has developed a report looking at the difficulties faced by European schools and local authorities as they try to procure healthy, sustainable and low-carbon school meals.

The report is structured around a brief overview of the key areas in which local authorities looking to procure more sustainable catering services face issues. It also draws together inspirational examples of local authorities using innovative approaches and engaging with suppliers to embed sustainability into the heart of school catering. From carbon monitoring schemes at city level to waste sorting tables in school canteens, the range of eco-innovative solutions already being implemented is both impressive and thought-provoking.

A complete first draft of the report is now ready and the project is inviting feedback. Five questions are included at the end of the report to help guide responses. Feedback can be provided by emailing innocat@iclei.org before Friday 3 July.

For more information, read the INNOCAT school catering report.
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9 June 2015

Malaysian government announces impressive green public procurement target

The national government of Malaysia has set ambitious sustainable development targets, including committing to 20 percent of all government procurement being green by 2020. Unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Raza, the proposed reforms are outlined in the document the 11th Malaysia Plan, which covers the period 2016 – 2020.

Through embracing green procurement, the government hopes to encourage greater sustainability within the private sector and stimulate production of green products and services. "Government Green Procurement (GGP) will be made mandatory for all government ministries and agencies. The GGP will create the demand for green products and services, encouraging industries to raise the standard and quality of their products to meet green requirements," states the document.

The document also sets a target of 40 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 2005 levels and mandates that a comprehensive national disaster risk management policy be formulated. The plan additionally states that the government will upgrade the country's flood forecasting and warning system.

For more information, visit the Sun Daily website.
 

5 June 2015

Feedback sought on EU directive mandating purchase of clean vehicles in public sector

The Clean Fleets project has developed a series of policy recommendations which will form the basis of the project’s input into the review of the Clean Vehicles Directive. To help shape its recommendations further, the project is looking for stakeholder feedback. All input will be collected by the project and shared with the European Commission.

The Clean Fleets recommendations outline ways to help increase the uptake of vehicles powered by clean energy within Europe’s publicly owned or controlled vehicle fleets. They are focused mainly on the procurement of clean vehicles, but also touch on broader issues such as financial incentives and the quality of emissions data.

The deadline for providing feedback on the policy recommendations is Friday 26 June. The Clean Vehicles project assists public authorities and fleet operators with the implementation of the Clean Vehicles Directive and the procurement of clean and energy-efficient vehicles.

To provide feedback, email info@clean-fleets.eu.
 

2 June 2015

Improvement in working conditions attributed to use of social criteria

The inclusion of social criteria within tenders has led to significant improvements in the treatment of factory workers producing surgical instruments in Sialkot (Pakistan), an investigation into labour conditions by Swedwatch, a non-profit organisation reporting on Swedish business relations in developing countries, and the British Medical Association has revealed. Thousands of surgical instruments used in Europe, such as scissors, tweezers and forceps, are procured from Sialkot.

Swedwatch commissioned a report in 2007 into manufacturing conditions in companies in India and Pakistan that supplied the Swedish healthcare sector. The report showed serious instances of labour abuse, including unsafe working conditions, violations of national labour legislation (including unfair working hours), and the widespread use of child labour. Much of these problems were centred in Sialkot. The recent follow up report found that although challenges remain, the situation is significantly better.

The report authors visited factories in the area and found that the prohibition of child labour is now strictly enforced, the minimum wage is upheld, and employees are no longer forced to work overtime. The report concludes that the benefits achieved through the inclusion of social criteria provide a strong argument for their inclusion in the procurement of other product categories.

For more information, visit Swedwatch.org.
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