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Public Procurement transforms food systems

6 February 2024

In the previous edition of the Procura+ Conference, public buyers called for minimum standards to transform food procurement into a critical lever for transitioning towards just, inclusive and sustainable food systems. This year, in Lisbon, the Procura+ Conference ((13-14 March) will showcase the progress that’s been made since. Minimum standards for sustainable public food procurement could soon be a reality!

The BuyBetterFood coalition is one of the reasons for the positive outlook. The coalition calls for public procurement rules that provide healthy food to all European citizens in public places such as schools, hospitals and elderly care homes. In addition, its Sustainable Food Procurement Manifesto calls for a minimum standard for public canteens across the EU as part of implementing the Farm to Fork strategy.

In this context, the parallel session “Transforming food systems through minimum standards" (13 March, 14-15:30) will explore the potential of minimum sustainability standards in public food procurement, and showcase how minimum standards can have a positive effect on climate mitigation, health, inclusivity, and economic support for small farmers.

The Procura+ Conference aims to provide a diversity of perspectives on how green, social, innovation and circular public procurement is implemented throughout Europe. The inspiring sessions and speakers will showcase how public procurement is contributing to a more sustainable, circular and resilient society. To secure your place, register here.

Innovation procurement tackles complex societal challenges

1 February 2024

Public procurers seek to work together with the market to find high quality, sustainable solutions to current challenges. But if the right solution is not yet on the market? Traditional approaches to procurement do not always have sufficient answers to address the complex societal challenges facing our societies. The Procura+ Conference in Lisbon (13-14 March 2024) will highlight how innovation procurement can help public authorities embrace innovative practices and solutions.

The parallel session “Mastering the Art of Innovation Procurement” (13 March, 14-15:30 CET) will delve into the benefits, challenges and opportunities of innovation procurement and explore how the pressing issues facing local governments can be addressed while handling - or better yet, optimising - the rapidly evolving technological landscape.

The session will demonstrate how innovation procurement can address societal challenges, showcase real-world examples of successful innovation procurements and exchange insights on challenges, emerging trends and support for implementation, giving participants an opportunity to explore how SME support and govtech can be effectively harnessed through innovation procurement, learn how to introduce innovation procurement in their organisations and gain more insights into implementing innovation-friendly procurement procedures.

The Procura+ Conference aims to provide a diversity of perspectives on how green, social, innovation and circular public procurement is implemented throughout Europe. The inspiring sessions and speakers will showcase how public procurement is contributing to a more sustainable, circular and resilient society. To secure your place, register here.

Procura+ Conference highlights inspiring circular, sustainable and innovative public procurement practices

31 January 2024

The programme of the 11th Procura+ Conference 2024, taking place from 13-14 March in Lisbon (Portugal) is shaping up to provide a diversity of perspectives on how green, social, innovation and circular public procurement is implemented throughout Europe. The inspiring sessions and speakers will showcase how public buyers can use their purchasing power to contribute to a more sustainable, circular and resilient society.

On 13 March the Conference will be opened by Carlos Moedas, the Mayor of Lisbon and Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, the Mayor of Malmö and Chair of the Procura+ Network. They will highlight how public authorities can use procurement to make step changes that will have a big impact on the transformation of our societies. During this opening session, the Mayors will be joined on stage by Janez Potocnik (EU Commissioner for Environment from 2009 to 2014, and, currently co-chair of the UNEP International Resource Panel), as well as by Abby Semple (Public Procurement Analysis) and Erika Bozzay (Senior Policy Adviser, Infrastructure and Public Procurement Division, OECD)

More in-depth discussions will follow during the five deep dive sessions, respectively on Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP), innovation procurement, circular procurement, food procurement and the procurement of sustainable and innovative outcomes in infrastructure and building projects. The final session of the first day will explore how professional development, upskilling, and change management is crucial for the advancement of strategic and sustainable public procurement. The session will be led by Erika Bozzay and Alexandra Vandevyvere of Circular Flanders. The day will end with the reveal of the 2024 Procura+ Award winners in the categories Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year and Procurement Initiative of the Year, and a celebratory dinner.

Being ambitious and innovative doesn’t automatically lead to success, which is why the second day of the Conference begins with a session led by Paul Louis Iske, Chief Failures Officer at the Institute for Brilliant Failures. The session will allow public buyers to confess their mistakes and show that step changes leading to a big impact are sometimes only possible if the right lessons are learnt from mistakes. The closing session, led by Mayor Moedas, will explore how public procurement can deal with and influence contemporary challenges (such as inflation, geopolitical turmoil, sourcing disruption and changes in national and European policy frameworks) to gain even more strategic importance.

Participants will also have plenty of opportunities for discussing collaboration and networking. On both days there will be a Market Lounge with over 50 roundtables, focusing on topics such as, ethical public procurement, the social value economy, ICT procurement, supplier dialogue, decarbonisation and many more. These sessions have been at the heart of the Proura+ conference series, offering up-close and personal conversation with like-minded, procurement peers. After the closing session on 14 March participants can go to one of the study visits showcasing how Lisbon is implementing sustainable, circular and innovation procurement in practice.

Procura+ Conference highlights how public procurement helps advance the circular transition

30 January 2024

Public procurement is a key tool to turn waste into value. By adopting circular procurement practices, cities can not only minimise waste and environmental impact, but also stimulate innovation, create economic opportunities, and contribute to the development of sustainable, resilient communities. The Procura+ Conference in Lisbon (13-14 March 2024) will highlight how public procurement is crucial in advancing the circular transition.

The session “How to mainstream circular procurement within your organisation” (13 March, 14-15:30 CET) will start the beginning; to procure more circular goods and services, an organisation first needs to know how to do circular procurement. Key to that is building capacity and circular knowledge, as well as aligning circular procurement objectives with the organisational, political and strategic ambitions that can help mainstream the approach.

Participants at the session will learn how they can build circular procurement knowledge within your organisation, how to embed circular procurement in your organisation’s strategy and ambitions, hear from other practitioners in the field that have championed circular procurement within their organisations, and find out how the CityLoops project implemented circular procurement to close the loops in Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) and bio-waste.

The Procura+ Conference aims to provide a diversity of perspectives on how green, social, innovation and circular public procurement is implemented throughout Europe. The inspiring sessions and speakers will showcase how public procurement is contributing to a more sustainable, circular and resilient society. To secure your place, register here

Public procurement contributes to sustainable urban development

26 January 2024

To fulfil sustainable development requirements by 2040, around €86 trillion in infrastructure investment is required. Adopting a "business-as-usual" approach for this investment locks in patterns of development that do not take into account sustainability, the significant source of carbon emissions and the need to adapt to a changing climate. The Procura+ Conference in Lisbon (13-14 March 2024) will explore how public procurement can reduce the carbon emissions in infrastructure and urban development.

The parallel session “Transforming infrastructure and urban development districts through procurement” (13 March, 14-15:30 CET) will present examples of successful sustainable infrastructure and urban development and discuss cutting-edge procurement practices that integrate design, innovation, sustainable materials, and circular economy principles into infrastructure projects. It will feature speakers from the City of Lisbon, IISD, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the city of Høje-Taastrup and SKAO.

The session will explore different procurement strategies (e.g. planning and decision making, market engagement, and criteria and clauses in tenders) cities and organisations have used, provide insights into the transformative impact that procurement decisions can have on infrastructure and buildings that are resilient, circular and sustainable, and highlight the CO2 Performance Ladder.

The Procura+ Conference aims to provide a diversity of perspectives on how green, social, innovation and circular public procurement is implemented throughout Europe. The inspiring sessions and speakers will showcase how public procurement is contributing to a more sustainable, circular and resilient society. To secure your place, register here

Discover how public procurement can enable the just transition

24 January 2024

The Procura+ Conference in Lisbon (13-14 March 2024) will showcase how Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP) can help enable the just transition. By using tenders to promote sustainable, fair and transparent supply chains, decent working conditions, employment opportiunties for people with a distance to the labor market, social inclusion, accessibility, and compliance with social and labor rights, public buyers can contribute to achieving social policy goals.

During the Procura+ Conference, The parallel session “Buy Social – Discovering the enabler for a just transition” (13 March 14.15:30 CET) will explore the enabling factors for SRPP, identify the impacts SRPP has already made, and discuss future aims and objectives. The session will be led by Philipp Tepper, Procura+ Network Manager at ICLEI Europe and feature a keynote speech of Andrea Sundstrand, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law at the Stockholm University.

Further contributions will be made by ICLEI’s Sustainable Energy Team, Rijkswaterstaat, Greater London Authority, AEIDL, and the City of Oslo, highlighting that social criteria can be applied throughout the public procurement process and in a wide variety of sectors. This is also visible in the case study collection Making Socially Responsible Public Procurement Work: 71 Good Practice Cases, written by AEIDL and ICLEI Europe, on behalf of the European Commission.

The Procura+ Conference aims to provide a diversity of perspectives on how green, social, innovation and circular public procurement is implemented throughout Europe. The inspiring sessions and speakers will showcase how public procurement is contributing to a more sustainable, circular and resilient society. To secure your place, register here

Jury reveals 2024 Procura+ Awards finalists

18 January 2024

ICLEI Europe is proud to announce the 2024 Procura+ Awards finalists in three categories: Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year and Procurement Initiative of the Year. The winners will be revealed on 13 March in a live ceremony at the 2024 Procura+ Conference in Lisbon. All finalists will receive a free ticket for the Conference.

In the category Sustainable Procurement of the Year the finalists are the Norwegian Central Procurement Body, Greater London Authority and the Dutch Custodial Institution Agency. The Norwegian Central Procurement Body is nominated for developing a framework agreement on the reuse and recycling of used ICT equipment, that also included social requirements for worklife inclusion. Greater London Authority aimed to foster a more inclusive built environment and used sustainability expertise and social value-led design methodologies to procure a framework for commissioning expertise for a range of built environment projects. The Dutch Custodial Institution Agency made a move towards more just food procurement, giving the detainees a key role in the process, setting their diet satisfaction as a minimum requirement, also taking into account environmental factors.

The finalists in the category Innovation Procurement of the Year are the Belgian Agency for Roads and Traffic, Bodø Municipality (Norway) and the City of Malmö (Sweden). The Belgian Agency for Roads and Traffic carried out a competitive dialogue aiming to design, develop and roll out a combination of public C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems and Services) cloud services, public data sources, and commercial C-ITS applications in the context of the Belgain Mobilidata Programme. The municipality of Bodø launched a call for tenders targeting low-emission solutions, which, once awarded, became the first project in northern Norway to use zero-emission excavators. The City of Malmö aimed to make physical infrastructure, goods and services accessible to people of all ages, sizes and abilities and developed procurement criteria for several tenders based on universal design principles.

Barcelona City Council (Spain), the City of Lisbon (Portugal) and the Lithuanian Public Procurement Office are the finalists in the category Procurement Initiative of the Year. Barcelona City Council developed a responsible public procurement strategy in line with European policies such as the Social Economy Action Plan, in order to facilitate access to public tenders for social economy enterprises. The City of Lisbon developed a Sustainable Procurement Management System, to establish a systematic framework ensuring that all public procurement processes within the Municipality are developed within responsible, transparent, fair, and ecological principles. Lithuania’s aim to reduce its carbon footprint and ensure every public procurement decision considers its environmental impact, led to the creation of the a new sustainability unit in the Lithuanian Public Procurement Office (LPPO) which pushed for the mandatory use of GPP criteria, and supported buyers through training and a helpdesk.

The jury consisting of Jorge Laguna Celis, Director of UNEP's One Planet Network, Jorge Conesa, Managing Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO), Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre, and Erika Bozzay, Senior Policy Adviser at the Infrastructure and Public Procurement Division, OECD, will decide on the winners in the coming weeks. The Awards Ceremony at the Procura+ Conference will begin at on 13 March at 18:30. To attend the Conference, register here.

For more information on this year’s finalists, take a look at the Procura+ website. There you will also find more information about previous editions of the Procura+ Awards. In 2023 there were four categories, resulting in the following winners: City of Malmö, Sweden - Circular Procurement of the Year; Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands - Innovation Procurement of the Year; City of Utrecht, Netherlands - Sustainable Procurement of the Year; City of Ghent and the VEB, Belgium - Procurement Initiative of the Year

Register now for the 2024 Procura+ Conference!

13 December 2023

Registration for the 2024 Procura+ Conference is now open! Secure your place by filling in this form! The Conference, taking place on 13 & 14 March in Lisbon (Portugal), is a great opportunity for cities and public authorities to gain a better understanding of how public procurement can be used to implement step changes that can make a big impact. The conference will be opened with keynote speeches by Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon and Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö, Vice-President ICLEI, Chair of the Procura+ Network. They will highlight the key role of procurement in addressing the major environmental, social and economic challenges faced by cities today.

“I am proud and honored to welcome all participants of the PROCURA + Conference in Lisbon. Our city is one of the most dynamic and innovative capitals of Europe, and offers a unique environment for discussing, experimenting, and reinventing our approach to sustainability and procurement practices. I am sure Lisbon will provide inspiration and the right conditions for a successful event", says Mayor Moedas.

With the opening, organisers ICLEI Europe and the City of Lisbon aim to set the stage for a conference that will emphasise how public procurement can contribute to the transformation of our societies in light of the major challenges of today, as well as to broader policy objectives, such as the just transition, the circular economy, and the transformation of our energy systems.

During the two days, participants will also gain a better understanding of how training and upskilling can contribute to the further implementation of Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP), and how public buyers can learn from their mistakes. Furthermore, on both days there will be market lounges showcasing breakthrough approaches and case studies on how step changes for big impact have been made with strategies, policies and, most importantly, implementing procurement on the ground.

Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor, City of Malmö, Sweden, First Vice President ICLEI and Chair of the Procura+ Network is expecting two inspiring days, noting that “The Procura+ Network and Conferences have been at the forefront of advancing the sustainable, circular and innovation procurement agenda for over 25 years. The 11th Procura+ conference will showcase how cities and public authorities are making step changes in procurement to achieve a transformation to a sustainable, circular and resilient society. I look forward to seeing all participants, contributors and visionaries in Lisbon".

Of course the conference will also offer plenty of opportunities to learn from each other. Networking is highly encouraged during the Agora sessions, the site visits, and the Procura+ Awards ceremony with official dinner in the evening of 13 March.

More information about the programme, registration and overarching aim of the event can be found on the Conference website.

 

New opportunity to join ICLEI’s Sustainable and Innovation Procurement team

8 December 2023

ICLEI Europe is seeking to hire a Senior Expert Sustainable and Innovation Procurement. The successful candidate will work at the forefront of European public procurement policy development and implementation, contributing to international processes that influence urban policies, such as the EU Public Procurement Framework, Green Deal, the EU Missions, the New European Bauhaus, the New Urban Agenda, the UN SDGs, and others.

The position is intended for a candidate with a proven track record in sustainable, strategic and innovation public procurement, and a minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience. That includes working for the procurement department of a local authority, an organisation that supports public authorities with procurement, and/or supporting the procurement of goods, works and services.

The position offers the opportunity to lead on European projects that support cities wanting to develop their sustainable or innovation procurement practices, have a strong role in the strategic and conceptual development of sustainable and innovation procurement. support the policy and advocacy processes of ICLEI that advance sustainable and innovation procurement at the European and international level and pro-actively develop and strengthen strategic partnerships with relevant international institutions and organisations on the topics of sustainable and innovation procurement at a European and international level.

ICLEI has been supporting public authorities to use their public spending to achieve social and environmental objectives since 1996. Through projects and flagship networks, such as the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network and the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement, ICLEI provides professional information, advice, networking opportunities, training and tools to public authorities wanting to implement better, more cost effective sustainable and innovation procurement practices.

More details about the position can be found here.

Tampere develops new circular procurement procedures

28 November 2023

Tampere (Finland) has cooperated with the market to develop new circular procurement procedures, criteria and operation methods for the construction of streets. When these methods were applied in the procurement of Yliopistonkatu, one of the central streets in the city, it was the first time such public procurement criteria were used in Finland.

At the heart of the procurement process is a new principle based on market cooperation: Design and Building. As part of this process, the city sets circular and other sustainability and safety goals for the construction site, but gives companies the ability to influence how these goals are achieved through the design of the project. The contractor is responsible for the recycling and procurement of the material used in the project, under the supervision of the customer.

Karoliina Tuukkanen, project manager in Tampere notes that even though “the use of the Design & Build model and scoring criteria in the construction contract was new for the city, the experience was good. With the new procurement model and criteria we were able to procure the most cost effective and the most ambitious offer in terms of the circular economy.

More information about Tampere’s work and other innovative ways of using circular procurement can be found in “Circular construction in Europe: handbook for local and regional governments”, a key document published by the EU-funded CityLoops project that seeks to contribute to the further implementation of the circular economy across Europe. The handbook, aimed at local and regional governments, provides a comprehensive overview of how the lessons learnt and main insights from the project (and from other pioneering European cities) can be most effectively applied in other contexts. The project has also developed a similar handbook focussing on the circular bioeconomy.

As a signatory of the Circular Cities Declaration and a participant in the Procura+ Network, Tampere can rightfully be called a pioneering city. It has made circular economy a strong part of all its infrastructure building activities. In compliance with its CE strategy, investments are made in innovative solutions and procurements in the planning, development and construction of infrastructure projects.