Letter from Procura+ Chair Pekka Sauri

16 March 2017

Cities around the world have a crucial role in the transition to sustainable consumption and production by using sustainable public procurement (SPP) as a key tool. By introducing sustainable criteria in our purchases, local and regional governments are making our societies more sustainable, while at the same time ensuring social justice and fair treatment, and generating economic benefits.

2016 marked 20 years of work on sustainable procurement for ICLEI. Figures speak for themselves: during these two decades over 2,000 people have been trained; 300 cities in more than 50 countries have been supported; and 1 million tonnes of CO2 have been saved through the involvement in 150 projects, 100 conferences, seminars and workshops.

The City of Helsinki, as the Chair of the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network and a founding participant of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement, is championing SPP to accelerate its implementation worldwide. In these networks, we are sharing experiences, learning from others, and engaging with all stakeholders, including suppliers we buy from. Every single purchasing choice we make has an impact on our cities and on our citizens, so we want our decisions to be as smart as possible to foster resource efficient and low-carbon societies.

In Helsinki we have committed to achieve 100% sustainable public procurement in 2020. The goal for this year is 70%. To achieve these goals, all city departments and subsidiaries are being trained to make sustainable procurements.

Sustainable procurement is about considering what is really needed from a holistic perspective – so as to explore possibilities such as reusing products or leasing them – and deciding whether we need to buy or contract certain products or services. Then, it is about introducing sustainable criteria in the tenders.

By promoting SPP, local and regional authorities are also contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal #12: ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. SPP also plays an important part in reducing GHG emissions, boosting green jobs and encouraging suppliers to promote fair employment.

I would like to encourage all colleagues to embrace sustainable procurement practices to achieve social, economic and environmental value for the money cities are spending.

Pekka Sauri

Deputy Mayor, City of Helsinki, Finland, member of ICLEI’s European Regional Executive Committee, and Procura+ Network Chair

This letter originally featured in CityTalk, a blog produced by ICLEI, on 9 March 2017.

Procura+ welcomes PlanMiljø as a Strategic Partner

24 February 2017

PlanMiljø has joined the Procura+ Network as a strategic partner. PlanMiljø, an environmental consultancy formed in Denmark in 1990, has been involved in several partnerships on sustainable consumption and production with governments. Their work includes strengthening of green procurement in public authorities and development of SCP guidelines and tools for businesses.

PlanMiljø is one of the most experienced players in the field of Green Public Procurement (GPP) in Denmark, and has supported many public authorities both on a national, Nordic and international level. PlanMiljø is currently managing ‘The Secretariat for Green Public Procurement’ of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (DEPA). The purpose of the secretariat is to promote and facilitate GPP in Danish public authorities.

PlanMiljø join Ecoinstitut, Ecosistemi, LNEG, and IFZ as a strategic partner to the Procura+ Network. Strategic partners support and promote the activities of the Procura+ Network both on the European scale and at national level within their own countries.

Three new Procura+ participants join the network

6 February 2017

The City of Eindhoven (Netherlands), Government of Flanders (Belgium) and Transport for London (United Kingdom) have joined the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network. The three participants will each bring existing experience and expertise to the network.

The city of Eindhoven is the 5th largest municipality in The Netherlands. As a knowledge based and innovation oriented city, Eindhoven focuses on creating the needed support structures in the domains of innovation, labour market, technology development and business development. The municipality has a political ambition to become a Living Lab for innovative technology solutions, a smart city, dramatically improving the quality of life of its citizens.

The Government of Flanders attaches great importance to sustainable development. It is by means of sustainable public procurement that the Government of Flanders aims at stimulating sustainable consumption and production. The Government of Flanders aims to serve as a role model and inspire and stimulate other actors to follow suit. The Flemish Action Plan for Sustainable Public Procurement has the objective to achieve 100% sustainable public procurement by the year 2020.

Transport for London (TfL) won Innovation Procurement of the Year in the Procura+ Awards 2016 for its procurement of Energy Efficient Luminaries and Lamps. With support from the EU funded Procurement of Lighting Innovation and Technology in Europe (PRO-LITE) project, TfL introduced a procurement approach which calculated a range of external costs as well as unit price, including installation, maintenance, energy use, carbon and cleaning costs. Indicative results suggest a 25% saving on whole life-cycle costs, and significant reductions in energy consumption. The TfL PRO-LITE Case Study can be found here.

All three cities will share further information on SPP and PPI approaches and successes in their participant profile web pages, which are currently in development.

Basque Government adopts its new GPP Programme

19 January 2017

The Basque Government, in its commitment to use public procurement as an instrument to advance its environmental policies’ objectives has now published its “Green Public Procurement Programme of the Basque Country 2020” in English (also available in Spanish and Euskera).

This is the second programme on this subject approved by the Basque Government. It represents a qualitative improvement as it targets the whole public sector in the region (not only the central government as the previous plan) and promotes actions to institutionalise GPP and ensure the appropriate coordination with the market.

The Programme, of voluntary adherence, sets two types of objectives to be achieved by all adhered public administrations:
1. Process objectives, for the integration of GPP in authorities’ procedures and procurement tools, and
2. Results objectives, based on actual greening of public tenders for more than 20 priority groups (ranging from office paper to building and infrastructure works).

In order to achieve those objectives, the Programme is organised in five strategic areas:
1. Tools and resources for GPP implementation.
2. Integration in procurement processes, procedures and tools.
3. Awareness raising and capacity building.
4. Coordination with the market.
5. Communication, dissemination and networking.

To supervise and plan its deployment an inter-agency Steering Committee is being set up with the initial participation of several Government Departments (Finance, Environment, Social Affairs, Internal Affairs, Education and Health) and Public Organisations, with Procura+ Participant Ihobe (Environmental Management Agency) as coordinator.

The promotion among Basque public authorities has already started - a first meeting was held with the three Basque regions and capitals - to foster adherence and define collaborative work strategies to achieve implementation and results in an efficient way.

New Procura+ Manual launched

17 October 2016

The 3rd Edition of the Procura+ Manual was launched at the Procura+ Seminar in Rome on 13 and 14 October 2016. This fully updated and revised edition of the Procura+ Manual aims to position sustainable procurement in the current economic, political and legal framework. As with previous editions, it acts as a central point of reference for public authorities and others wishing to understand and implement sustainable procurement.

The manual includes practical advice on how to integrate sustainability into procurement and a model for systematically implementing sustainable procurement – the Procura+ Management Cycle. The manual also explores the possibilities for sustainable and innovation procurement set out within the 2014 Directives, together with how they can be applied in practice.

Key guidance is provided on sustainable procurement approaches for six high-priority product groups – construction, IT equipment, cleaning products, food, vehicles and electricity. Links and references throughout the text showcase good practice examples from around Europe, including many from participants of the Procura+ Network, more detailed information on the product groups covered and a variety of further implementation tools.

The Procura+ Manual is published by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and produced as part of the SPP Regions project.

For more information, download the Procura+ Manual.

Procura+ Network welcomes three new participants

6 October 2016

The Government of Catalonia (Spain), Birmingham City Council (United Kingdom) and the City of Stavanger (Norway) have joined the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network as participants. The three participants will each bring existing experience and expertise to the network.

The Government of Catalonia has produced GPP guides for products or services that are usually contracted or purchased on a decentralised basis. The Ministry of Territory and Sustainability is the expert body for environmental policy of the Catalan Government and cooperation between Ministries has resulted in the inclusion of environmental criteria in most framework agreements since 2005.

Birmingham City Council established a Green Commission to advise the City Council on achieving its green ambitions of a 60% reduction in total CO2 emissions by 2027 (against 1990 levels). The City identifies innovation and sustainable procurement as key practices to meet this target and is Coordinator of the CEPPI project.

Through the ENIGMA project Stavanger were involved in initiating a joint Pre-Competitive Procurement process, leading to the procurement of innovative solutions and energy efficiency using next generation ICT applications in the context of innovative public lighting systems.

All three cities will be represented at the Procura+ Seminar in Rome on 13-14 October. You can view the Government of Catalonia and Birmingham Participant profiles, with the Stavanger profile to follow soon.

Reykjavik to be carbon neutral by 2040

30 September 2016

Procura+ Participant Reykjavík has put forward a climate policy paper and action plan that would see the city go carbon neutral by 2040. In Reykjavík all electricity is produced with hydroelectric power and houses are geothermally heated. Transport is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions and is the largest challenge for the city.

In the city’s Municipal Plan 2010-2030 the goal is to change travel modes so that the share of public transport will rise from 4 percent to 12 percent and the ratio of pedestrians and cyclists will rise from 19 percent to over 30 percent by 2030. Procurement will play a role, with plans for a process to be implemented that will support carbon-neutral purchasing.

“Cities play a key role in the fight against climate change. They can react quickly and have many possibilities of enacting change,” said Dagur B. Eggertsson, Mayor of Reykjavík. The Mayor added that the Icelandic capital is in a prime position to meet its highly ambitious target thanks to its abundant renewable energy sources.

For more information, click here.

Copenhagen sustainable procurement strategy profiled

26 September 2016

The City of Copenhagen's strategy and approach to sustainable procurement has been profiled in the September edition of the GPP News Alert. Copenhagen has been a Procura+ Participant since 2015 and is the capital and the most populous city in Denmark. It is also one of Denmark’s largest employers, consisting of seven administrations employing over 40,000 people. Copenhagen’s goal is to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital city, and in 2012 it set up a Unit on Green Public Procurement (GPP) to work across administrative and strategic procurement units to actively seek to move the market in a climate friendly direction.

Since 2005, CO2 emissions in Copenhagen have fallen by 38%. This is mainly due to sustainability strategies regarding sustainable building renovation works, energy savings achieved in the private sector and the implementation of anti-waste strategies. Consideration is then given to how the City’s purchasing actions can help to achieve its strategic (thematic) goals, such as requiring that packaging originates from reused materials, procuring alternative fuel or zero emission vehicles (now at 53%), increasing the number of organic public sector meals - which are now at 88% - etc.

Read the full GPP News Alert case study here and view the Copenhagen Procura+ Profile here.

Procura+ Awards deadline extension

9 September 2016

There is still time to apply for the European Procura+ Awards, with the deadline extended to 7 October 2016. The Awards highlight sustainable and innovation procurements and tender procedures and give visibility to the most dynamic, forward-looking and innovative public authorities and their initiatives.

Winners will be invited to collect their trophies at an awards ceremony, taking place as part of Sustainable City Development 2016 in Malmö, Sweden. This event, which is bringing cities together to consider their role in ensuring the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, will show the importance of sustainable procurement in achieving the ambition of the Paris Agreement.

As well as international recognition, award winners will receive free entry and a presentation at the next EcoProcura conference; a published case study on the SP Platform and PPI Platform; publicity in a variety of ICLEI publications; and one year’s free participation in the Procura+ Network. To apply for the Awards, interested parties should send a completed application form to by midnight on 7 October 2016.

For more information, visit the Procura+ Awards page

Procura+ Update delivers the latest procurement news

23 August 2016

The SP Update, a newsletter on sustainable procurement produced by ICLEI Europe and published every four months, has been updated and re-launched as the Procura+ Update. The new-look newsletter will continue to deliver the most important procurement news from across Europe straight to subscribers' inboxes.

The update follows the revamp of the SP Platform and the launch of the updated Procura+ Network website. Both ICLEI Europe-maintained websites are interlinked: the SP Platform provides news and resources to help public procurers more easily embrace sustainable public procurement and green public procurement, while Procura+ gives procurers access to a network of more than 40 European public authorities that connect, exchange and act on sustainable and innovation procurement.

The Procura+ Update demonstrates a holistic approach to ICLEI's sustainable procurement work, with the object to make all of ICLEI Europe's sustainable procurement knowledge and resources available to the public under one heading. Subscription to the newsletter can be completed online.

To view the newsletter, visit the SP Platform.