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Public authorities can now submit their candidacies to the 2019 edition of the Procura+ Awards, a major and prestigious recognition of procurements and related initiatives with remarkable economic, environmental and social impacts, or innovation elements. The Procura+ Awards is an initiative of ICLEI, in co-operation with the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project. The application period is open until 31st March.
The awarded public authorities will receive a trophy and have the right to promote themselves with the award title. The rewarded procurement activities will be widely promoted using a wide variety of ICLEI publications and channels. Furthermore, a case study on it will be produced and disseminated in the SP Platform and the PPI Platform. Winners will be granted a free entry and a presentation slot at the next conference organised by ICLEI.
Participants in previous editions have highlighted that participating in the Procura+ Award helped them to benchmark themselves and to gain visibility. For winners, it was a good way to prove their commitment to sustainability and innovation, as well as to earn internal and external recognition. Watch the video of the 2018 Award Ceremony:
There are three categories of the Procura+ Award: Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year, and Procurement Initiative of the Year. The winners of the last edition were the Government of Flanders (Belgium), for its framework contract for sustainable office supplies; the City of Rotterdam (Netherlands), for making the city accessible for citizens with special mobility needs, and the City of Barcelona, for implementing a city-wide compulsory sustainable procurement.
For more information on the 2019 Awards, and to download an application form, visit the Procura+ website.
“Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone.” This is the main finding of a WHO report released this week at the occasion of the COP24 currently taking place in Katowice (Poland). One of the most dangerous and costly public health threats, air pollution in urban areas is one of the top policy priorities in the EU and worldwide.
Cities themselves can be part of the solution by purchasing low emission vehicles. Only a year ago the fleet for service and police vehicles of the Catalan Association of Towns and Counties consisted of 95% diesel vehicles, which contribute significantly to poor air quality. Thanks to a new framework agreement awarded in 2018, 308 new vehicles were purchased, over 80% of which are low or zero emission vehicles.
The call for tender for the new framework contract was developed as part of the European project SPP regions, which promoted the creation and expansion of European regional networks of municipalities working together on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and procurement of innovation. Collaboration among the public bodies sends a stronger signal of demand for sustainability and innovation to suppliers and help local authorities achieve ambitious sustainability targets.
Read the full case study here.
More inspiring examples of how public procurement can promote health and air quality can be found in our Resource Centre.
This week, all eyes are on Katowice (Poland) and the Climate Change Conference COP24, where countries have to agree on how they will achieve the the goal of minimizing climate change to less than 2°C warming, decided three years earlier at COP21 in Paris. In his opening address Antonio Guterres (UN Secretary-General) highlights which steps need to be taken immediately to get closer to reaching this goal – one of them is the electrification of transport, which accounts for a large share of greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to dangerously poor air quality in cities.
A new report titled “Electric buses arrive on time“ (Transport & Environment), examines the transition towards sustainable, low carbon transport through public procurement. It maps out the shift from diesel powered to electric busses in Europe. “In 2017, the number of electric bus orders more than doubled - from 400 in 2016 to more than 1,000. In 2018, the market share is estimated to be around 9%, marking the transition from niche to mainstream and the beginning of a steep and necessary uptake curve.”
Electric buses already offer a better total cost of ownership (TCO) than diesel buses when external (public health) costs are included. Beyond costs, electric buses offer many additional benefits compared to their fossil fueled counterparts: superior image and comfort, no stranded assets from investing in gas infrastructure, using locally produced (renewable) energy and ensuring energy sovereignty by replacing oil consumption.
The earlier cities transition to a zero emission bus fleet, the better.
However, there are challenges to implementation, for instance coping with the higher capital costs of zero-emissions buses. Lucien Mathieu, author of the report and transport and e-mobility analyst at T&E, has a solution for that, too: “a grant could be made available through the new EU budget from 2020. This should be complemented by a Europe-wide zero emission sales target for new buses.”(Euroactiv)
For inspirational examples of zero emission public procurement, visits the website of ICLEI led European project BuyZET, in which cities use procurement of innovative solutions for zero emission urban delivery of goods and services.
For more case studies on the topic of clean urban transport, head over to our resource centre.