The European Commission has opened a public consultation to collect views on the main policy options for developing an ambitious new approach to the Circular Economy. Stakeholders' input will help feed the preparation of the new action plan, to be presented by the end of 2015. Moving towards a more circular economy can promote competitiveness and innovation by stimulating new business models and technologies as well as facilitating social innovation. The consultation is open until 20 August 2015.
First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans said: "Europe's future economic development must be part of a sustainable long-term agenda. We need to use our resources more intelligently, design our products with a view to their re-use and recycling, and set ambitious targets for waste reduction and recycling. Today we are asking people across Europe for their input on how to design our policies in a way that stimulates a competitive green economy in Europe and protects the environment for future generations."
The policy options will include actions on intelligent product design, reuse and repair of products, recycling, sustainable consumption, waste policy, recycling levels, smart use of raw materials, stronger markets for secondary raw materials and specific sectorial measures. Citizens, public authorities, businesses and all other interested governmental and non-governmental parties are invited to take part in the consultation.
For more information, visit the consultation webpage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leendert van Geldermalsen of Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch body in charge of infrastructure) gave a presentation on the "the Rijkswaterstaat approach", which includes using public procurement of innovation to reduce emissions and improve products and services. 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 GPP 2020 website.
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: email@example.com 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday 3 July.
For more information, read the INNOCAT school catering report.
To address the issue of digital file formats becoming obsolete, which can lead to the loss of vast quantities of data, the PREFORMA project aims to develop standardised file formats that will ensure the long term preservation and accessibility of digital files. The EC-funded project is using a pre-commercial procurement (PCP) approach to find suppliers capable of developing an open-source toolset for the conformance checking of digital files.
Following a research contract tender issued in June 2014, three suppliers have been selected and the prototyping phase is now underway. The veraPDF Consortium will focus on PDF document compliance; Easy Innova will look at the TIFF standard for still images; while Media Area will develop a compliance checker for file types that capture moving images.
Börje Justrell, coordinator of the PREFORMA project, said: “For archives and libraries it is imperative that they understand what’s in the digital objects they are preserving for generations. The open-source PREFORMA toolset, which brings together the three solutions from the awardees, helps cover the currently existing knowledge gap. The openness of the solution will allow for other file formats to be incorporated, should new requirements emerge.”
For more information, visit Digital Culture.
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 email@example.com.
Birmingham (UK), Budapest (Hungary), Castellón & Valencia (Spain) and Wrocław (Poland) are joining efforts to look for more sustainable energy solutions through a pro-innovation procurement approach. Under the umbrella of the EU-funded CEPPI project, these five cities will demonstrate that by selectively intervening in scheduled public tenders, energy consumption can be reduced and, consequently, GHG emissions decreased. The goal of this 3-year project is to save at least 33GWh/year and to develop the capacity of public authorities to implement innovation procurement solutions for energy-related projects.
To achieve the objectives, several actions will be taken: procurement officers will be trained, public tenders with energy efficiency specifications will be launched, and suppliers will be invited to engage in dialogue with public authorities to analyse which innovative solutions can be applied.
The CEPPI Cities aspire to adopt a leadership role in their regions, as well as to create a framework that can be replicated by other cities. Workshops and networking events will be held to further this aim. By shifting from lowest price tenders to eco-innovative tenders that take life cycle costs into consideration, the participating cities will move to a win-win-win scenario that will benefit governments, suppliers and society. All lessons learned throughout the project will be compiled in a publication titled ‘PPI Guide for Low Energy Cities’.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.