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ICLEI celebrates 20 years of work on Sustainable Public Procurement

28 April 2016

Last night, ICLEI marked 20 years of work on sustainable procurement at a ceremony in Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum. The event formed part of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns and also provided the opportunity to showcase the new-look SP Platform and the revamped Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network. Over the last 20 years, through its activities on sustainable and innovation procurement, ICLEI has been involved in 150 projects; organised 100 conferences, seminars and workshops; trained over 2,000 people; supported 300 cities in more than 50 countries, and saved 1 million tonnes of CO2.

Over the last two decades, many ICLEI Members have been including sustainability criteria in their procurement policies and procedures to achieve resource efficient, low-carbon and socially responsible societies. ICLEI has also worked with sustainable procurement experts from cities across Europe on numerous projects and initiatives related to SPP. These include specific initiatives such as installing 20,000 energy efficient light bulbs in Copenhagen (Denmark), broad policy aims such as Rotterdam’s (The Netherlands) commitment to 100 percent green procurement from 2015 onwards and European-wide initiatives such as the GPP 2020 project, which has brought together central purchasing bodies across Europe to achieve savings of over 700,000 tonnes CO2e to date.

“In 20 years a lot has been achieved in the field of sustainable procurement. We have had the pleasure of working with committed and creative experts from cities large and small to develop and implement sustainable procurement strategies which have helped to create low-carbon, socially responsible societies.The work done so far provides a good basis for continuing to strengthen our relationships and contribute positively to the sustainable and innovation procurement community over the next 20 years,” said Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre. Organisations or public authorities involved in sustainable procurement are invited to share their achievements and thoughts on SPP using the hashtag #SPPecialists.

For more information, visit SP Platform.

Rome mainstreams low carbon procurement practices

25 April 2016

The Metropolitan Area of Rome has been busy! It has published a pricing list for sustainable construction materials, based on analysis of availability, and introduced a new GPP monitoring system, the first of its kind in Italy.

Price list for green public works
In Italy public works are estimated on the basis of regional price lists. The Metropolitan City of Rome, in response to the challenges of lack of information on local market readiness and costs when introducing environmental criteria into public works tenders, carried out a detailed analysis on the availability of low environmental impact construction materials at national and regional level.

The Metropolitan City approved a new price list based on the results of this analysis to be adopted as reference for public works. The price list was published online, on the institutional web site, and disseminated trough workshops both at internal and local level.
For information, please visit the Metropolitan Area of Rome website.

A new GPP monitoring system
The GPP Action Plan of the Province of Rome was approved in 2009. After the first period of implementation, the Action Plan was updated in 2014 and extended to new product categories. GPP progress and results were monitored every two years (2009/2010, 2011/2012, 2013/2014). In 2016, the Metropolitan City of Rome has introduced a new GPP monitoring system that will allow for a punctual assessment on the achievement of GPP objectives and for the collection of basic info for monitoring CO2 savings also in the future, after the project end.

The Metropolitan City of Rome is the first public authority in Italy to introduce this innovative monitoring system which is linked to the public procurement electronic information system. It will allow to elaborate and publish data according to different criteria such as date, product categories, purchasing departments and volume of the contracts.

Procura+ Network Participants feature in Buying Green! Handbook

25 April 2016

Procura+ Network Participants feature in the new edition of the Buying Green! Handbook, the European Commission’s leading publication for assisting public sector entities to purchase goods and services that have a lower impact on the environment. Showcasing examples of GPP in action, the City of Barcelona, Ghent, Helsinki, Kolding, Ihobe, and Mälmö are all included as case studies.

The Handbook, now in its third edition, has been fully revised to detail the possibilities of how contracting bodies can put green public procurement (GPP) policies into practice under the 2014 Procurement Directives. Given the importance of public sector spending in Europe, GPP is an important tool to help achieve environmental policy goals relating to climate change, resource use and sustainable consumption and production.

Guidance is provided on how environmental considerations can be included at each stage of the procurement process within the revised EU legal framework, practical examples drawn from contracting authorities across EU Member States are presented, and sector specific GPP approaches for buildings, food and catering services, road transport vehicles and energy-using products are outlined.

The document has been written to also be of use to policy makers and companies responding to green tenders. The third edition of the Handbook has been compiled under contract between the European Commission and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, supported by Public Procurement Analysis (PPA).

For more information, visit the European Commission website.

Procura+ Network: Exciting times and the changes ahead

25 April 2016

Since announcing the new concept for the Procura+ Campaign in November 2015, ICLEI has been working to make the ideas a reality. After starting with the change of name to the ‘Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network’, much effort has been put into launching new networking and support activities for Procura+ Participants.

New activities include Interest Groups, where participants with a common interest in addressing and building capacity in specific SPP topic areas come together. The first Interest Group will look at the circular economy and procurement. Another new activity, Procura+ Twinning, helps Procura+ Network participants seek an ‘SPP Twin’ for direct exchange on for example: benchmarking SPP activities, setting up an SPP policy, or sharing experience with specific tenders.

The Procura+ Awards, an annual European procurement awards series, will be launched. There will be three categories of award: sustainable procurement of the year, innovation procurement of the year and tender procedure of the year. As well as the Procura+ Seminar series continuing, a regular webinar series will be launched. The first webinar on 11 May focuses on monitoring of SPP.

Better profiling and communication channels will help to share successes and experiences in SPP. A new website has been developed, and includes a more visible and structured space for Procura+ Participants to profile achievements. An improved Newsletter has also been designed, with ICLEI’s current SP Update newsletter changed to the Procura+ Update. The Procura+ Update will focus much more on the activities of the Procura+ Network. The first edition of the new newsletter will come out before summer.

To find out more and get involved in Procura+, check out the brand new website or contact the Procura+ team by email.

Murcia and Malmö revealed as mobility award winners

21 April 2016

Murcia (Spain) and Malmö (Sweden) have been announced as the winners of the 2016 editions of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan awards respectively.

The winning cities received the awards from Director-General for DG MOVE Henrik Hololei, and Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment. The award ceremony was held in the Théâtre du Vaudeville in Brussels (Belgium).

Murcia was congratulated for taking steps to promote active modes of travel such as walking and cycling. Taking the stand, Mr Vella praised all who take part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK pointing out that it is the citizens who are the real winners. He also stressed the need for more collaboration to achieve sustainable mobility objectives, saying: “we need to act together and on many fronts. We need to increase active transport, car-sharing and green public transport". Murcia’s fellow finalists for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award, Lisbon (Portugal) and Palma de Mallorca (Spain) were also commended for their efforts in encouraging multimodality in their 2015 campaigns.

Malmö received particular praise for their commitment to creating a multimodal transport network, making it easier to complete journeys sustainably. The other finalists for the SUMP Award, Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Vienna (Austria) were complimented for their own work in integrating different transport modes. Mr Hololei noted that sustainable urban mobility can play a significant role in decarbonising our cities and affirmed that “Europe can and should be a world leader in sustainable mobility solutions”.

To view photos from the ceremony, visit the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Flickr account.