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Danish, Dutch and Spanish public buyers win 2021 Procura+ Awards

25 November 2021

The winners of the 2021 Procura+ Awards were announced 23 November in a virtual awards ceremony, live streamed on YouTube. The Province of Zeeland in the Netherlands won in the category “Procurement Initiative of the Year", while the cities of Copenhagen and Odense (Denmark) won “Sustainable Procurement of the Year”. The categories “Innovation Procurement of the Year” and “Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT" both saw Spanish winners: Santiago de Compostela City Council and Murcia Health Services, respectively.

The Province of Zeeland won “The Procurement Initiative of the Year” for its commitment to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with each purchase it makes in the period 2021-2024. Based on existing policy goals, ability to monitor progress, and in alignment with local initiatives, this work focuses on seven SDGs. For each of these seven goals, concrete impact targets were embedded in the province's Sustainable Procurement Plan 2021-2024, and monitored results will be shared on their sustainable procurement platform.

“Sustainable Procurement of the Year” winners Copenhagen & Odense also used the SDGs as a guide. Copenhagen applied an SDG tool developed by the City of Odense to help suppliers identify the SDGs they are contributing to during market dialogue exercises, and to provide a framework for tenders. The city used this tool to introduce further social and environmental considerations into its food procurement.

Santiago de Compostela City Council won “Innovation Procurement of the Year” for using innovation procurement to develop innovative solutions to improve services to citizens, while respecting the complex and specific needs encountered as a World Heritage City. Three challenges in particular were identified: municipal solid waste (MSW) management, last mile logistic services, and ornamental lighting solutions which enhance the value of heritage while saving energy.

Finally, in the category “Outstanding Procurement in ICT”, the winner was Murcia Health Service. Murcia was part of the European project InDemand which brought together procurers from three different regions to a new co-creation model (InDemand) to improve communication between doctors and epilepsy patients. Murcia Health Services led one of the 22 innovation projects that have tested this model, leading to a 50% increase in patient satisfaction and a quality of life improvement of 2,5 points.

During the ceremony the finalists in each four categories were also acknowledged. The were the following:

  • “Procurement Initiative of the Year” - the City of Helsinki – ICLEI Member (Towards carbon neutral municipalities and regions using carbon footprint criteria to promote sustainable public procurement),
  • “Sustainable Procurement of the Year” – Dinan Agglomeration (Low environmental impact cleaning services)
  • “Innovation Procurement of the Year” – Supreme Audit Office City of Prague (Building net-zero energy innovation through procurement in construction in the centre of Prague)
  • “Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT” – Barcelona Provincial Council (Procurement of innovation to improve telecare services)

In the category “Sustainable Procurement of the Year”, there was also an honorable mention for the South Moravian Region identifying the need to build a new sanitarium for children with respiratory diseases challenged the market to be as aesthetic, user-friendly, and energy-efficient as possible.

The jury for this years’ Procura+ Award comprised of Katharina Knapton-Vierlich, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission; Erika Bozzay, Senior Policy Advisor, OECD; Johanna Enberg, Strategist Innovation Procurement, Swedish Competence Centre for Innovation Procurement; and Mark Hidson, Global Director, ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre.

The Procura+ Awards are an initiative of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, in cooperation with the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project. They reward successful, already running, sustainable and innovative public procurements. The application period for the 2022 Awards will open soon. The 2021 ceremony can be viewed here.

More details on procurement initiatives of this year’s winners and finalists can be found on the Procura+ website.

Save the Date! Procura + Awards ceremony to take place on 23 November

23 November 2021

The 2021 Procura + Awards winners will be revealed in an online ceremony on 23 November 2021 (10:00 – 11:30 CET), to be live-streamed on YouTubeYou can watch the ceremony here.

The Procura + Awards, an initiative of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, in cooperation with the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project, reward successful, already running, sustainable and innovative public procurements. Public authorities compete in four different categories: Procurement Imitative of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year, Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT and Sustainable Procurement of the Year.

In the category ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’ the finalists competing for the Award are the Province of Zeeland (the Netherlands) and the City of Helsinki (Finland). The former is praised for using the SDG’s as the compass of all its purchases, while the Finnish capital is using carbon footprint criteria to promote sustainable public procurement, aiming to take into account the various climate impacts of procurement.

The Supreme Audit Office of the City of Prague (Czech Republic) is a finalist in the category ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ for including Building Information Modeling (BIM) in its tender documents to build its first permanent seat with the lowest appropriate life-cycle costs. It is joined by the Santiago de Compostela City Council (Spain) which showed it can use procurement to develop innovative solutions for its citizens, while respecting the complex and specific needs of being a World Heritage City.

In the category ‘Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT’ two Spanish authorities are competing for the win. Murcia Health Service (Murcia) used a co-creation model to improve communication between doctors and epilepsy patients, bringing together procurers from three different regions (Paris, Murcia, Oulu) via the European project InDemand. The Barcelona Provincial Council used innovation procurement to improve its telecare services. The tender identified the challenges, but left it up to the bidders to decide how to address them.

Finally, in the category ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’, the City of Copenhagen (Denmark) introduced social and environmental considerations into its food procurement, guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Agglomeration of Dinan (France) created a tender for cleaning services, aiming to not harm the environment, support access to employment and to enable companies of different sizes to apply. They are joined by the South Moravian Region (Czech Republic), which identified the need to build a new sanitarium for children with respiratory diseases and challenged the market with the ambition of making it as aesthetic, user-friendly, and energy-efficient as possible.

The entries for the 2021 Procura+ Awards were assessed by a jury of four procurement experts and policy makers. They are:

  • Erika Bozzay, Senior Policy Adviser at the Infrastructure and Public Procurement Division, OECD
  • Johanna Enberg, Strategist Innovation Procurement, National Agency for Public Procurement, Sweden
  • Katharina Knapton-Vierlich, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission
  • Mark Hidson, Global Director ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre

The jury will reveal its winners on 23 November. The online ceremony will take place form 10:00 – 11:30 (CET).

More details on each of this year’s finalists can be found on the Procura + website. There you will also find more information about the winners from previous years.

The Procura + Awards Ceremony will be live-streamed on ICLEI's YouTube channel. Register here to receive the YouTube link shortly before the event.

2021 Procura + Award finalists unveiled

28 September 2021

The jury of the 2021 Procura + Awards has revealed the nine finalists for this year. The Procura + Awards, an ICLEI Europe initiative, supported by the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project, recognise excellence in sustainable procurement.

In the category ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’ the jury has picked the Province of Zeeland (the Netherlands) and the City of Helsinki (Finland). The former is praised for using the SDG’s as the compass of all its purchases, while the Finnish capital is using carbon footprint criteria to promote sustainable public procurement, aiming to take into account the various climate impacts of procurement.

The Supreme Audit Office of the City of Prague (Czech Republic) is a finalist in the category ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ for including Building Information Modeling (BIM) in its tender documents to build its first permanent seat with the lowest appropriate life-cycle costs. It is joined by the Santiago de Compostela City Council (Spain) which showed it can use procurement to develop innovative solutions for its citizens, while respecting the complex and specific needs of being a World Heritage City.

In the category ‘Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT’ two Spanish authorities are competing for the win. 
Murcia Health Service (Murcia)
used a co-creation model to improve communication between doctors and epilepsy patients, bringing together procurers from three different regions (Paris, Murcia, Oulu) via the European project InDemand. The Barcelona Provincial Council used innovation procurement to improve its telecare services. The tender identified the challenges but left it up to the bidders to decide how to address them.

Finally, in the category ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’, the City of Copenhagen (Denmark) introduced social and environmental considerations into its food procurement, guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Agglomeration of Dinan (France) created a tender for cleaning services, aiming to not harm the environment, support access to employment and to enable companies of different sizes to apply. They are joined by the South Moravian Region (Czech Republic), which identified the need to build a new sanitarium for children with respiratory diseases and challenged the market with the ambition of making it as most aesthetic, user-friendly, and energy-efficient as possible.

The 2021 Procura + Awards will be awarded soon at a special ceremony for the winners. More information about this ceremony will be published soon.

More information about the 2021 Procura + Awards can be found at the Procura + website.

Procura+ Awards 2021: These are the shortlisted candidates

22 June 2021

The shortlisted candidates for the Procura+ Awards have been selected in all four categories: Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the year with the subcategory Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT, and Procurement Initiative of the year. The Procura+ Awards are an initiative of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, in co-operation with the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project.

The ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’ category recognises outstanding environmental, social and economic impacts of the procurement. The shortlisted candidates are:

  • Procura+ Participant City of Copenhagen (Denmark) together with City of Odense for their organic food procurement according to the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Procura+ Participant Government of Flanders (Belgium) for creating a platform for circular furniture exchange across the Flemish Government and beyond
  • The South Moravian Region (Czech Republic) and the City of Brno for challenging the market with the ambition of most an aesthetic, user-friendly, and energy-efficient sanitarium for children
  • The Barcelona Sports Institute (Spain) for reducing packaging through procurement using an objective and transparent scoring methodology
  • Dinan Agglomeration (France) for low environmental impact cleaning services
  • Procura+ Participant City of Stavanger (Norway) for procuring ICT for schools and pushing for fair working conditions

In the category ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ that recognised outstanding innovation of the procurement and the public authority as a launch customer, the shortlisted candidates are

  • The Santiago de Compostela City Council (Spain) using innovation procurement to meet Santiago’s unique needs as a World Heritage City
  • The Municipality of Valladolid (Spain) for two innovative social and health solutions for active ageing and independent living
  • The Supreme Audit Office, City of Prague for building net-zero energy innovation through procurement in construction in the centre of Prague
  • Procura+ Participant HSY (Helsinki) for developing a silent electric refuse truck for late-night city centre waste collection

The candidates shortlisted for the ‘Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT’ are:

  • Murcia Health Service (Spain) for co-creating an app using the inDemand model to improve communication between doctors and epilepsy patients
  • The Barcelona Provincial Service for Procurement of Innovation to take better care of their population

The category recognising outstanding processes and actions towards strategic, sustainable and innovation procurement, ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’, has four shortlisted candidates:

  • Procura+ Participant Province of Zeeland (Netherlands) for using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as compass for each procurement
  • Procura+ Participant City of Helsinki (Finland) for working towards carbon neutral municipalities and regions using carbon footprint criteria to promote sustainable public procurement
  • Procura+ Participant City of Copenhagen for developing a dynamic model for green vehicle requirements across a range of city services.
  • The University of Cagliari (Italy) for supporting women in academia through the provision of an on-campus kindergarten

We thank all applicants for submitting their entry and encourage all shortlisted candidates and all applicants to keep up the good work. ICLEI will announce the finalists in summer. Winners will be announced during an Award Ceremony later this year.

Find out more information about the shortlisted candidates here.

GLA Group features 12 case studies on responsible procurement

16 June 2021

Procura+ Participant GLA (Greater London Authority) Group has recently published 12 case studies on responsible procurement. They address good practice examples of public procurement within the London Fire Brigade, the London Legacy Development Corporation, Transport of London and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). 12 individual case studies are showcasing the power of public procurement and the valuabe work being done in several areas such as construction, transport and textiles.

To only name a couple, the London Fire Brigade is making the switch to electric, in order to drastically cut its carbon use from the cars in its fleet. Transport of London is ethically procuring TfL uniforms ensuring the people who make its uniforms work under safe and fair conditions.

Using circular procurement strategies and new business models, the MPS is creating innovative solutions for reducing waste and is further committed to delivering social, economic and environmental outcomes through an extensive construction programme.

The case studies highlight the progress being made to achieve the ambitious commitments set out in the Responsible Procurement Implementation Plan 2018-20. The GLA Group summarized results in a Responsible Procurement Progress Report 2019-20. The newly re-elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, came out with a new Responsible Procurement Policy 2021 which forms the foundation of further efforts to strive for responsible procurement.

Public buyers swap circular procurement stories as part of Procura+

8 June 2021

The term 'circular economy' is all around. From the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan, to the European Circular Cities Declaration (CCD), governments of all levels are getting behind the circular economy as the model for a resource-efficient, low-carbon and socially responsible society. But practically speaking, what does circularity mean for procurement?

This is exactly the question that the Procura+ Circular Procurement Interest Group aims to answer, by bringing together a range of procurement and policy practitioners to share their real-life experience and discuss their upcoming plans.

At the third meeting of the Interest Group on 20 May, Tonje Nerby presented Oslo’s approach for increasing the circularity of city-owned ICT products, which along with circular requirements in tenders includes a range of capacity building, market dialogue, and monitoring activities. Valentina Schippers-Opejko also presented the City of Haarlem’s approach to procuring cough-screens for offices in response to COVID. Several discussions also took place, such as on overcoming obstacles to circular construction, getting started with circular furniture procurement, and how to set targets and monitor progress towards circular procurement. This last point in particular is a big topic of interest, hopefully to be returned to at the next meeting.

The Circular Procurement Interest Group - which is coordinated by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability with support from the CityLoops project - brings together participants from the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network, CCD signatories, and UN’s One Planet Network communities. Current group members are drawn from 37 public purchasers and circular procurement experts from 11 European countries, plus Canada. For more information about this and other Procura+ Interest Groups, visit us here.

Cities taking action on improving school meals

27 May 2021

School food is an essential service provided by local governments in many countries. School food (or catering services) represents a significant share of the procurement budget of many local governments. Yet how should local government procurers decide which fish should or should not be purchased (because of over fishing)? What kind of strategy might work best for reducing leftovers (plate waste)? What is the best way to involve parents to ensure that their voices are also heard? These are the kinds of questions and discussions taking place between the cities forming part of the City Interest Group on Sustainable School Food Procurement.

The group was formed in March and has since met twice online so that its members can share their experiences (both good and not so good) on how to help improve or transform their school meal service to a service which is both good for people and our planet.

The group brings together eight cities and one school – Ghent (Belgium), Aarhus, Copenhagen (Denmark), Tallinn (Estonia), Helsinki (Finland), Ladzijai (Lithuania), Riga (Latvia), Rybnik (Poland), and Lyceum No. 126 Saint Petersburg - and is coordinated by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. The City Interest Group has been formed as part of the EU-funded StratKIT project, which aims to construct sustainability pathways across the Baltic Sea Region by targeting its food and catering purchases.

More information is available here.

Procura + Participant Flanders Government launches new LCC Tool for indoor lighting

25 May 2021

Procura+ Participant Flanders Government developed a new Office Indoor Lighting LCC-Tool based on the original Smart-spp LCC-CO2 Tool. It can be seen as complementary to the ‘LCC-tool indoor lighting’ of the European Commission (EC). Both tools are based on the same principles and data (e.g. for CO2 information) and the development teams regularly coordinated their efforts to guarantee a common basis.

You can use the Office Indoor Lighting LCC-Tool (Government of Flanders) for more complex situations, to also consider the embedded emissions or to simulate lease situations. Broadly speaking, the Office Indoor Lighting LCC-Tool offers you the following additional options:

  • Input of a complex building structure with a large quantity of different lighting devices (LCC-tool indoor lighting from the European Commission offers a maximum of five types of lighting devices)
  • Covers both acquisition and lease contracts
  • Enables the option to consider embedded emissions from the production and end-of life stage, if an Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) is available for all lighting devices

„We could count on a lot of interest and help while developing the tool. We would especially like to thank the Procura+ Network and the Procura+ Interest Group for their strong involvement." Els Verwimp, Flanders Government

Would you like to learn more? Join the official ‘Office Indoor Lighting LCC-Tool’ launch webinar on 1 June, 9:30 – 12:00! You can register here. Registration is possible up to two days before the event. The link to participate will be sent shortly before the webinar.

Find the tool and a user guide here.

Procura+ Awards 2021: Deadline extended

30 March 2021

The deadline for applications to the Procura+ Awards has been extended until 30 April 2021. Public authorities have now one month longer to prepare an application in all four categories - Sustainable Procurement, Innovation Procurement and Procurement Initiative of the Year, as well as Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT.

Hosted by Procura+ network coordinators ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability in cooperation with the Procure2Innovate project, the competition rewards sustainable and innovative public procurements leading to significant improvements of public good, services, process and infrastructure.

The awarded public authorities will receive an unique trophy and have the right to promote themselves with the award title. The rewarded procurement activities will be widely endorsed using a wide variety of ICLEI publications and channels. Furthermore, a case study on it will be produced and disseminated on the Sustainable Procurement Platform and the Innovation Procurement Platform. Winners will be granted free entry and a presentation slot at the next conference organised by ICLEI.

Read about the 2020 Procura+ Award winners here.

To apply, click here.

Power of Procurement: Procura+ Participants declare joint statement of demand towards fair, circular smartphones

29 January 2021

As major consumers of smartphones, ICLEI members and Procura+ participants Malmö, Oslo, Copenhagen and Helsinki are challenging the market with a joint statement of demand outlining their vision towards fair and circular smartphones by 2025.                                       

The statement comes as 9 points of actionable ambitions such as 

  • By 2025, we are tendering with harmonised criteria and clauses that push for fair and safe working conditions and environmental sustainability across the entire supply chain including raw materials extraction, manufacturing and delivery stages as well as at repairing, reuse, recycling and disposal stages of smartphones and its components
  • By 2025, we work with resellers and suppliers on the actionable increase of transparency of the supply chain and end-of-life, including locations and conditions of production. This will be possible also in hardware-as-service agreements.
  • By 2025, we aim to establish processes, internally and in collaboration with suppliers and resellers, to collect 100% of smartphones at the end of life with a view to find a second-life, reuse or remanufacture all smartphones where possible. The remaining smartphones should be recycled, critical raw materials should be safeguarded and as many materials as possible should be reused and recycled for new devices.
  • By 2025, we can apply certification and worker-driven monitoring to contribute to circularity, environmental and social responsibility supported by regular dialogue for continuous improvement. 

The joint statement has been developed under the European project Make ICT Fair over a period of six months including several internal and external feedback loops. The Nordic Forum for Market Dialogue on 25th November 2020 was one of the opportunities for discussion and reflection on the statement in collaboration with representatives from suppliers and resellers, as well as relevant third-party organisations. The market engagement event, opened by Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of the City of Malmö, has proven to be a highly valuable tool to strengthen cooperation between the relevant stakeholders. The dialogue emphasised that the ambitions of the statement can be achieved only through collaboration.

"As public buyers we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to take social, environmental and economic aspects into consideration in our procurements. As chair of Procura+ Europe, the city of Malmö is pleased to collaborate with other public buyers such as with the City of Oslo, City of Helsinki and Municipality of Copenhagen. Together we share a vision towards fair, circular smartphones by 2025. We hope that with this statement of demand we can find workable solutions to the sustainability challenges we face together with suppliers and resellers." Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of the City of Malmö


From now on, the Joint Statement is open to other public authorities who support the ambitions. Pooling demand and sharing ambition between public buyers will create a collective power that will help ensure fair and safe conditions for workers as well as to create a market for circular solutions. The statement is supported by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, Electronics Watch and the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network. If you are interested in learning more and to support the statement, please contact Josefine Hintz josefine.hintz@iclei.org.