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22 December 2015

Dutch procurers join the Procurement Forum

The Netherland’s online discussion platform for procurers has been transferred to the Procurement Forum, allowing Dutch members to join the Europe-wide discussion. The transfer was initiated and overseen by PIANOo, the Dutch Procurement Expertise Centre, the body responsible for working with procurers in The Netherlands.

As a result of the move, the Procurement Forum is now available in the Dutch language in addition to English. As well as reaching a more diverse audience, Dutch members can avail of the Procurement Forum’s new discussion space, which has been designed to cater to the needs of procurers.

This integration of national procurement discussions into a wider, more international context has significant benefits for all Procurement Forum members, and will no doubt lead to valuable exchange. The PPI Platform hopes to include further national discussion forums within the Procurement Forum in the future. With the members of PIANOo included, the Procurement Forum now has over 4100 members.

For more information, visit the PIANOo Forum group.


17 December 2015

Final PPI training session held in Barcelona

The PPI Platform held its final training session in Barcelona (Spain) on 10 November 2015, providing 13 participants from six countries with expert advice related to the challenges they face in procuring innovation. The training programme was developed to provide participants, ranging from beginners to experts, with both a theoretical framework and more practical advice on implementing Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI).

After an introduction to PPI by ICLEI’s Marlene Grauer, Stefan Wurm of the PPPI Service Point in Austria gave a first-hand account of how innovation procurement can be implemented and integrated into an organisation’s usual procurement routine. Floris den Boer from PIANOo provided an overview of the tools available for PPI, while Gaynor Whyles from Jera Consulting detailed some best practice cases in the field.

The training was generously supported by Barcelona City Council. If you would like to attend a future PPI Training session, contact


16 December 2015

At COP21 we set ambitious targets: now let’s act on them

By Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI Europe and Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre.

It’s hard to describe the unique combination of hope and doubt that hangs around the UNFCCC negotiations. The stakes are big, the details and discussions complex, and the external pressure from all sides is intense. I spent nearly a week at the COP21 in Paris this December and found my initial cynicism giving way to a tentative optimism as the 195 countries present signed up to a deal that signals a real desire to act.

What made this conference stand apart from previous summits was the attitude of those present. Earlier meetings have ended in disappointment as negotiators dug in their heels, producing last-minute agreements which lacked ambition and pleased nobody. Paris was different. Everybody arrived ready to negotiate, with a genuine recognition on all sides that something had to be done and urgently. The failure of previous COPs fed a desire to succeed here: nothing short of a global agreement could achieve the level of change needed.

The wording of the agreed text is important on three key points. Firstly, countries bound themselves to ensure any global temperature increase remains "well below" 2.0C. The fact that a further promise to "endeavour to limit" this increase even more, to 1.5C, remained in the text is a testimony to the determination of the so-called “high ambition coalition”. It was great to see cities and local communities recognised as well. They are specifically referenced in the text, showing the importance of their role in finding and implementing low-carbon alternatives. Sustainable patterns of consumption and production were also mentioned, described in the annex to the Agreement as playing “an important role in addressing climate change”.

Of course, a good deal of work remains to be done. The Paris Agreement itself recognises this, with national targets expected to be revised every 5 years. Nonetheless, I believe that this could be a turning point which will enable us to meet head-on the challenges society faces and achieve a resource efficient, low-carbon society if national governments take implementing the agreement seriously. The text has sent a signal to the public and private sector that we need to start implementing the low-carbon solutions we already have and develop new, sustainable technologies.

The task of achieving the goals laid out by national governments will also fall to cities and towns around the world. The goods and services we procure, from renewable electricity to electric municipal waste trucks, will be vital in ensuring a sustainable future. The Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement, which was launched in ICLEI’s TAP Pavilion as the negotiations began in the Blue Zone nearby, is a clear sign that cities are prepared to step up to this challenge. By the end of 2016, the Network’s ten participant cities will have made clear and concrete commitments to use sustainable public procurement to make their societies resource efficient, low carbon and socially responsible. This will send the message that cities are prepared to do their bit in ensuring that the Paris Agreement lives up to its promise.


14 December 2015

Eafip webinar to explore innovation procurement of ICT solutions

The EU-funded eafip project will hold a webinar titled EU Innovation Procurement on 14 December 2015 from 11.00 – 12.30 CET. The web meeting is a follow up to the eafip first major event that took place in Paris (France) from 27 - 28 October 2015. The Paris conference gathered a variety of stakeholders to raise awareness about major pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) initiatives across Europe.

The webinar will look at topics such as transnational collaboration for PCP and PPI, instruments for the promotion of PCP and PPI, and funding opportunities. The agenda includes a questions & answers session based on feedback received at the Paris event.

Speakers include Lieve Bos, Policy officer, Innovation Unit, DG CNECT, European Commission and Stephan Corvers, Director of Corvers Procurement Services, The Netherlands. The eafip project supports public authorities to carry out better innovation procurement of ICT-based solutions across the EU. As well as promoting the benefits of procurement of innovation, the initiative also provides training to public procurers.

For more information and to register, visit the eafip website.


10 December 2015

Webinar to outline Horizon 2020 funding opportunities

Funding opportunities for public procurers in the field of intelligent transport systems (ITS) will be presented during a webinar organised by the EU-funded iMobility Support project on 14 December. The webinar, which takes place from 14.00 – 15.00 CET, will see a European Commission representative present opportunities for procurers available under Horizon 2020, including an overview of the instruments in Horizon 2020 and upcoming Calls for 2016 and 2017. Registration is free of charge and can be completed online.

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s Research and Innovation programme, which will provide almost €80 billion in funding over seven years (2014 to 2020). The webinar will focus on calls related to pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI).

The P4ITS project, which brings together contracting authorities to improve the market roll-out of innovative transport systems and services through PPI, will also be presented. The webinar will outline the European-level support activities provided by iMobility Support and P4ITS, and will answer questions from participants. The iMobility Support project fosters the deployment of intelligent mobility in Europe by organising stakeholder networking opportunities and by carrying out awareness raising activities.

For more information, download the programme [PDF].


9 December 2015

Reducing emissions through sustainable public procurement at COP21

UNEP, ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Korean Environmental Institute for Technology and Innovation (KEITI) hosted a session on Saturday 5 December at the Cities and Regions Pavilion to raise awareness about the potential of sustainable public procurement (SPP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The discussion focused on how to measure the GHG emissions stemming from public procurement. Three members of the 10 year framework programme on sustainable public procurement (10YFP on SPP) presented case studies from Europe, Asia and North America that illustrate the role SPP can play in reducing emissions.

The goal of the 10 YFP on SPP is to build the case for SPP on a global scale and support the implementation of SPP on the ground. The session saw UNEP, ICLEI, KEITI, and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) showcase practical ways to reduce GHG emissions through SPP, as well as outline methods to effectively monitor impacts. Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre, emphasised the importance of monitoring as a powerful communication tool for encouraging sustainable procurement.

Farid Yaker, SPP Programme Officer, UNEP, announced a declaration drafted in November 2015 at a meeting on green procurement arranged by KEITI and UNEP in Seoul (South Korea). The declaration was endorsed by several partners of the 10YFP on SPP and Seoul meeting participants. The goals of the Declaration include highlighting sustainable public procurement as a public policy tool for achieving national climate commitments, and emphasising that if the actions of the public and private sectors on sustainable procurement are aligned, it will accelerate the achievement of ambitious climate goals.

For more information, visit the 10YFP programme website.


8 December 2015

First Summit of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement held at COP21

Participants in the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN on SP) joined together on Saturday 5 December at COP21 to celebrate the first annual Summit, held in the Cities & Regions Pavilion. Auckland (New Zealand), Cape Town (South Africa), Denver (USA), Ghent (Belgium), Helsinki (Finland), Oslo (Norway), Quezon City (Philippines), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Seoul (South Korea) and Warsaw (Poland) are all participants in the network, which is a joint initiative of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Government, was elected chair of the GLCN on SP during the session. “Today is the starting point for more cities to make similar pledges. Let us strive to establish and spread green consumption and production systems around the world,” Mayor Park said. On the occasion of their first Summit, the 10 cities presented their sustainable procurement activities and achievements, and shared their knowledge and experience. Through leading by example, participants of the network aim to accelerate the implementation of sustainable purchasing worldwide.

“UNEP is delighted to have the GLCN on SP working on sustainable procurement. We are excited to see the lead action we are all looking for,” said Ligia Noronha, Director, Division of Technology Industry and Economics, UNEP. Before the end of 2016, all 10 cities will share their commitments within the GLCN on SP, to continue championing sustainable public procurement and public procurement of innovation to make their societies resource efficient, low carbon and socially responsible.

For more information, visit the GLCN on SP website.


3 December 2015

Suppliers encouraged to tender for London underground lighting contract

Transport for London (TfL), the body behind most aspects of public transport in the British capital, is inviting lighting manufacturers to tender for the replacement of lighting fixtures along the London underground. Suppliers are requested to submit details of the lighting solutions they can provide from both a technical and commercial perspective. The tender is being carried out in the framework of the PRO-LITE project.

TfL will assess the entries and choose the solution with the best technical performance and most impressive life-cycle costs. Contracts will be awarded that last for up to eight years. Each contract is designed to incentivise innovation, allowing TfL to reward manufacturers that continually improve the quality of their lights, even during the contract.

Technical specifications of the tender for Lamps and Luminaires are available to read on the PRO-LITE website. PRO-LITE is co-funded by the European Commission and focuses on the procurement of innovative lighting technologies and solutions that offer social, environmental and economic benefits. A case study will be produced by the project based on the awarding of the contract.

For more information, visit the PRO-LITE website.


1 December 2015

Study shows that use of innovative materials could reduce road emissions

If conventional materials and construction processes were to be replaced by more innovative, environmentally friendly alternatives, the total emissions released in the laying of new roads in the Netherlands could be cut by around a third, a new study suggests. A selection of road types representative of Dutch transport corridors were used to establish a baseline reading, which took into account emissions from construction, maintenance, and lighting.

Innovative materials that could reduce emissions include: treatments that increase the lifespan of binder materials in asphalt; low-temperature asphalt production processes; and road lighting powered by LEDs or renewable energy. Lighting is responsible for around one fifth of road emissions in the Netherlands, meaning there is considerable scope for improvement through the use of innovative lighting. Dutch road infrastructure currently produces 2200 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalents per year, which new materials could reduce to 1600 kilotonnes annually, the study found.

Through Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch infrastructure body, the Netherlands has introduced a green procurement policy for all road construction projects, which takes into account the life cycle cost of the overall construction. It also encompasses a CO2 emissions certification scheme that calculates the carbon footprint of companies working on the projects. The EU has set a target for the European transport sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2050 compared to the level recorded in 1990.

For more information, download the Science for Environment Policy [PDF].