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Barcelona, Rotterdam and Flanders scoop Procura+ Awards

8 October 2018

The biggest successes in public procurement were honoured last week at the EcoProcura conference in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, with a clutch of top class projects in sustainability and innovation winning the 2018 Procura+ Awards.


The cities of Barcelona (Spain) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands), and the Government of Flanders, were winners in their respective categories amid strong competition from other European cities, regions and national authorities.


In a big moment for last night’s ceremony, Barcelona City Council scooped the top prize in Procurement Initiative of the Year, after the city made sustainable public procurement mandatory – efforts which will affect more than 50,000 tenders a year.


Janet Sanz, deputy mayor for ecology, urban planning and mobility at the city of Barcelona said the city had been “evolving its strategy and policy on sustainable procurement for over 15 years”. And a 2018 municipal decree made sustainable procurement mandatory. “This covers EUR 1.1 billion of spending,” confirmed Ms Sanz.


The deputy mayor added: “For our ambition to be recognised at the Procura+ Awards is a real honour and we hope this inspires others to take the same approach as Barcelona.”


This year’s Innovation Procurement of the Year was awarded to the Dutch city of Rotterdam, which is pioneering the procurement of innovative goods and services to make the city more accessible for the elderly or citizens with special needs. Its efforts involve a multitude of local SMEs.


Warmly welcoming the award, the city’s vice mayor Arno Bonte said: “We are honoured to receive the Procura+ Award for Innovation Procurement of the Year! The city of Rotterdam continuously seeks innovative and sustainable solution to our citizens’ needs and I am delighted that the hard work of our procurement team is recognised at a European level.”


Last night also saw the Government of Flanders take Sustainable Procurement of the Year – for setting up a major framework contract for sustainable office supplies. The administration set a target that “at least 50% of products meet sustainability criteria”, with a 2020 goal of 100% sustainable public procurement.


“The Government of Flanders recognises sustainable and innovative procurement as a strategic objective,” said Liesbeth Homans, vice-minister-president of the Government of Flanders, as she welcomed the award.


“We strive to ensure positive green, social and economic outcomes in all tenders, and the award of Sustainable Procurement of the Year encourages us to keep on aiming to do better and ensure that all our procurement is effective.”


Other initiatives honoured at this year’s Procura+ Awards included the three runners-up that pushed the winners close. The city of Aalborg in Denmark ran a close second to Flanders in the sustainable procurement category, with Ireland’s Cork City Council runner-up to Rotterdam for its innovation procurement efforts.


Meanwhile, Transport for London was pipped by Barcelona to the Procurement Initiative of the Year Award, following a successful training and skills programme for disadvantaged Londoners.


Honourable mentions were also given to the city of Copenhagen for greening public transportation through innovation procurement, and to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic. The ministry is particularly active in making sustainable public procurement more mainstream in the Czech economy.


This year’s EcoProcura conference, host to the Procura+ Awards, is being held in Nijmegen in the Netherlands. The conference series started in 1998 as a forum to “promote exchange and dialogue” on the latest strategies and practical solutions on “sustainable, circular and innovation procurement”. This year’s awards were supported by the Procure2Innovate project.

Public authorities engage suppliers on socially responsible ICT

4 July 2018

Public authorities and businesses from across Europe are invited to attend a live market engagement event on procurement needs and solutions for social responsibility and transparency in information and communication technology (ICT) supply chains.


The event is set to take place 3 October 2018 in European Green Capital Nijmegen (The Netherlands), alongside the 2018 EcoProcura conference.


Public authorities will have the opportunity to inform suppliers of their socially responsible procurement needs and upcoming procurement plans for ICT, which includes large contracts for smartphones, laptops and PCs, and servers.


Suppliers will also have the opportunity to showcase solutions and initiatives that increase the social, ethical and environmental sustainability of their supply chains. The dialogue will help inform the design of procurements and contracts, and lead to suppliers submitting stronger bids.


The event is taking place as part of the Make ICT Fair project, which aims to improve the lives of workers and communities associated with ICT supply chains, particularly in the Global South.


To see a copy of the draft programme, click here.


Participation is free of charge, but due to limited availability of seats, registration is mandatory. For more information and to register for the event, click here.

Procura+ participant Ghent wins EU Fair and Ethical Trade City Award

28 June 2018

The first EU Fair and Ethical Trade City Award took place on the 27 June in Brussels to recognise and support local initiatives currently taking place in European cities to encourage fair and ethical trading practices.


The City of Ghent (Belgium)was chosen by the expert jury as the award's first winner due to its clear commitment and long-term strategy for promoting fair and ethical initiatives. As well as supporting communities both local and global through its Sustainable Procurement Policy, Ghent has also hosted a range events promoting fair and ethical trade and procurement, such as the Fair Fashion Fest and EcoProcura.


As winner of the award, Ghent will now have the opportunity to launch a development project of their choice, with €100,000 in financial support from the European Commission and technical support from the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (IUNCTAD).


The EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award is an initiative of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade (DG Trade), launched as a commitment of its "Trade for all" communication on trade and investment policy published in 2015.


More information on Ghent's approach to fair and ethical procurement can be found on the Procura+ Network and the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement.

Procura+ to feature at EcoProcura Conference

22 May 2018

Participants of the Procura+ Network are at the forefront of sustainable, circular and innovation procurement, and the 2018 EcoProcura Conference - which takes place in Nijmegen on 3-5 October - will be showcasing the activities and successes of Participants in several key places.


As well as speaking in plenary and breakout sessions, Procura+ participants - who are eligible for a reduced event fee - will lead market lounges and other interactive activities, as well as using the chance to meet together on specific procurement topics. For example, a meeting of the Procura+ Interest Group on Socially Responsible Public Procurement of ICT will be held, alongside a market engagement event relating to social criteria for procurement of ICT products and services.


The 2018 Procura+ Awards ceremony will also take place at EcoProcura on the evening of 4 October. The winners will be announced and the awards presented to public authorities for Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation procurement of the Year and Procurement Initiative of the Year. The Procura+ 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.


Registration is now open for EcoProcura and can be accessed from the event website. When registering, please select 'Procura+ Participant' in order to receive discount. For more information contact the EcoProcura team at ecoprocura2018@iclei.org.

Jury announced and deadline extended for 2018 Procura+ Awards

18 April 2018

The deadline for applications to the 2018 Procura+ Awards has been extended until 18 May 2018 in all three award categories - Sustainable Procurement, Innovation Procurement and Procurement Initiative of the Year. Hosted by Procura+ network coordinators ICLEI in cooperation with the Procure2Innovate project, the competition rewards sustainable and innovative public procurements leading to significant improvements of public good, services, process and infrastructure.


A high-level jury will include Procura+ Network chair and Mayor of Malmö Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Acting Director in the European Commission's DG GROW Marzena Rogalska, Head of the OECD's Public Sector Integrity Division, Janos Bertok and Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre, Mark Hidson.


Last year's Procura+ Awards saw Hyvinkää Municipality (Finland), Ministry Of Defence Netherlands and Public Health Wales (UK) win awards for Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year and Tender Procedure of the Year, respectively.


For more information and to apply, visit the Procura+ website.

2018 Procura+ Awards - are you a potential winner?

5 March 2018

Is your public authority a trailblazer in the procurement of goods or services? Has it conducted an exemplary procurement in the last two years? If so, it could be in line for a Procura+ Award!

The Procura+ Awards recognise sustainable and innovative public procurements which lead to real improvements in public goods, services, processes and infrastructure. They are co-ordinated by ICLEI, in co-operation with the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project.

The 2018 Procura+ Awards are now accepting applications from public authorities which have procured sustainably and innovatively within the last two years, giving visibility to the most dynamic, forward-looking and innovative public authorities in action.

This year, the application process has been streamlined, and a new winners’ category introduced: Procurement Initiative of the Year. This award recognises effective actions such as strategies, tools or projects which have been harnessed to achieve truly outstanding procurement. The remaining categories are Sustainable Procurement of the Year and Innovation Procurement of the Year.

In last year’s Procura+ Awards, Finland’s Hyvinkää Municipality was awarded with Sustainable Procurement of the Year, while the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Public Health Wales won awards for Innovation Procurement of the Year and Tender Procedure of the Year respectively. This year’s Procura+ Awards is set to recognise equally outstanding procurement achievements and give a platform for even greater success in the field!

For more information on the 2018 Awards, and to download an application form, visit the Procura+ website.

Socially Responsible Procurement Action Plan launched by Rotterdam

29 January 2018

Procura+ Participant Rotterdam has released a Socially Responsible Procurement Action Plan. The plan, approved in December 2017 by the Executive Board, describes the way in which the city puts into action the agreements from the Socially Responsible Procurement Manifesto, a scheme developed by PIANOo, on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The starting point is the effective and efficient use of the purchasing function for social policy objectives, such as employment and a clean environment.


When companies receive an order, Rotterdam sets social conditions, so that jobs, traineeships and apprenticeships become available to people with a disadvantage in the labour market. Environmental aspects also form part of the commitments. Since 2008, contractors have to meet environmental requirements for the use of trucks and construction machinery. Construction materials such as PVC pipes should be fully recycled and all wood comes from sustainably managed forests. Rotterdam is also Fairtrade municipality and most recently has started to recycle coffee waste so the nutrients can be used in plant fertiliser. The new action plan will integrate different types of sustainable procurement goals, including circularity, zero emission logistics and energy performance.


Rotterdam aims to use the action plan to further embed responsible procurement and help bring all tenders to the desired level. The action plan describes how the cooperation between contract owners, buyers and policy advisers can work best and indicates how Rotterdam sets the conditions for successfully embedding socially responsible aspects in purchasing processes. Rotterdam also hopes the action plan will cement its position as a forerunner in the field of social procurement and make the municipality’s ambitions visible to the outside world.

Procura+ Awards 2017 winners announced

18 October 2017

Projects involving recycled textiles, eco-labelled school buildings and remanufactured furniture emerged as Europe's most sustainable and innovative public procurements at the 2017 Procura+ Awards held on 17 October in Tallinn (Estonia) as part of the eafip Conference on Innovation Procurement. The conference is held in the context of Estonia's Presidency of the EU. The winning public procurers were:

Municipality of Hyvinkää, Finland
Sustainable Procurement of the Year was awarded to the first Nordic Swan eco-labelled pre-school in Finland, which was constructed after a market dialogue process and included sustainability measures on energy use, chemical products, building products and health factors.

Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands
Innovation Procurement of the Year was awarded for two contracts supplying towels, cloths and overalls to Dutch military personnel. This produced estimated savings of 233 million litres of water and 69,000 kg of CO2, based on a technical requirement of textiles containing at least 10% recycled post-consumer textile fibres.

Public Health Wales (National Health Service, UK)
Tender Procedure of the Year was awarded for the use of a supplier open day and contracting social enterprises, Public Health Wales was supplied with over 2,500 furniture items of which only 6% were new purchases. This diverted 41 tonnes of waste from landfill with a CO2 saving of 134 tonnes, creating full time jobs for seven disabled and long term unemployed people.

For more information about the finalists and winners, visit the Procura+ website.

UrbanWINS CityMatch Exchange Programme invites applications

21 September 2017

The Urban WINS project is recruiting cities to take part in the City Match Exchange Programme. City Match is aimed at bringing people together to develop competences, share knowledge, ideas and working methods on sustainable and innovation procurement in the waste and resources sector. The idea is that an employee or group of employees interested in the waste and resources sector visit another organisation working on this topic. The visit is meant to provide new experiences and ideas and will normally take between 1-4 days.

Exchange activities can include Study visits (one-to-one or group exchange), job shadowing, or benchmarking studies. Among the topics for exchange, cities can cooperate on waste management, prevention and innovation; circular economy and procurement; piloting emerging solutions and technologies; or market engagement processes.

The programme is intended for all staff from public authorities working in the waste and resources sector, amongst others politicians, policy makers, waste management and prevention professionals, environmental and utilities service providers, procurement officials, and technology providers.

Find out more at the Urban WINS website.

2017 Procura+ Awards finalists announced

12 September 2017

Six finalists for the 2017 Procura+ Awards have been announced, representing outstanding sustainable and innovation procurements carried out in Europe. All six are competing across three award categories: 'Sustainable Procurement of the Year', 'Innovation Procurement of the Year’ and 'Tender Procedure of the Year'.

The finalists are ATC Torino (Home Territory Agency of Central Piedmont) (Italy) for building energy performance solutions; the Netherlands Institute for Safety for sustainable fire service clothing; Hyvinkää Municipality (Finland), for its eco-labelled pre-school building; Public Health Wales (UK) for remanufacture of office furnishings; City of Lahti (Finland) for asphalt from waste roofing materials; and Ministry of Defence Netherlands for procurement of textiles from recycled fibres.

The winners will be announced and the awards presented as part of the Third Major eafip Event on Innovation Procurement in Tallinn, Estonia on 17 October. The finalists were chosen after extensive deliberations of a jury comprised of procurement experts Philippe le Quement (DG Growth), Maria Pagel Fray and Casper Marott (City of Copenhagen), Paula Trindade (LNEG), Floris den Boer (PIANOo), and Philipp Tepper (ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability).

Jury member Philippe le Quement said: “We were incredibly impressed by the quality of applications to this year’s awards and it was a real pleasure to learn more about the impressive strides being taken across Europe in innovative and sustainable procurement”.

The category 'Innovation Procurement of the Year' acknowledges PPI and public authorities as launch customers, while 'Sustainable Procurement of the Year' rewards the outstanding environmental, social and economic impacts of a procurement. 'Tender Procedure of the Year' recognises exceptional approaches to sustainable and innovation procurement.

For more information on the finalists, visit the Procura+ website. Initiated and co-ordinated by ICLEI, Procura+ is a network of European public authorities and regions that connect, exchange and act on sustainable and innovation procurement.