The Dutch Ministry of Defence's innovative approach to the procurement of over 160,000 textile items for its personnel using recycled content took home the 2017 Procura+ Award for Innovation Procurement of the Year. The ceremony took place as part of the Conference on Innovation Procurement which was held in the context of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union in Tallinn on 17 October.
The procurement process followed a circular policy and explored recycled content in the new textiles. The products contained at least 10% recycled post-consumer textile fibres, with two contracts awarded: one for supply of 100,000 towels and 10,000 cloths, and one for 53,000 overalls. MODNL consulted the market and challenged suppliers to source post-consumer textile fibres, with the winning bid creating estimated savings of 233,000,000 litres of water, 69,000 kg CO2 and 23 MJ of energy.
The City of Lahti (Finland) took the Runner-up prize in the Innovation category for its use of waste roof materials for road construction.
For more information on the Procura+ Awards, visit the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network website.
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:
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.
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.
The European Commission has released a communication to the EU Institutions aimed at carrying out public procurement more efficiently and sustainably at a meeting in Strasbourg on 3 October. The Commission is encouraging member states to focus on six priority areas of improvement. It also announced a helpdesk and support mechanism for procurers working on large infrastructure projects, and a targeted consultation on stimulating innovation procurement.
The six priority areas identified for member states are: greater uptake of innovative, green and social criteria in awarding public contracts; professionalisation of public buyers; improving access by SMEs to procurement markets in the EU and by EU companies in third countries; increasing transparency, integrity and quality of procurement data; digitisation of procurement processes; and more cooperation among public buyers across the EU.
Public procurement represents 14% of the EU's GDP, approximately €2 trillion. The Commission recommends that steps should be taken to improve the skills, knowledge and procedural understanding of public procurers, in addition to making better use of digital technology to professionalise the procurement process.
For more information, visit the European Commission website.
The European Commission has launched a call for an Innovation Procurement Broker to develop and implement a sustainable method to facilitate public procurement of innovation (PPI), with a special focus on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency within the European Single Market. The brokers are intended to address a gap in the relationship between those public buyers interested in buying innovative solutions and innovative SMEs, especially startups.
The deadline for proposals is 21 November 2017 and the call is open to consortia coordinated by a public body and involving a public authority. "Innovation brokers" is one of the initiatives suggested in the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative by DG GROW and financed through the COSME programme.
Full details of the call for proposals and guidance for applicants are available online. The successful Innovation Procurement Broker will promote and manage two networks of stakeholders in the European innovation eco-system, advise public buyers on the definition of their actual procurement needs, define innovative products or services which meet these needs, and propose recommendations, provide advice and strengthen knowledge sharing.
For more information, visit the European Commission's Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) website.