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29 May 2019

Oslo conference showcases procurement as tool for cities to initiate change

Sometimes procurement is described as the ‘sleeping giant’ of the sustainable development world. However, if used correctly and with sufficient leverage procurement can be a powerful tool to achieve social and environmental objectives. This was the key message shared at the recently held Urban Global Future Conference, which took place in GLCN city Oslo (Norway).

"Results can be surprising when leveraging procurement as a tool, it may not be the obvious approach, however, a powerful one that can do good for both environmental and social sustainability"  said Mark Hidson, Global Director, ICLEI Sustainable Procurement Centre: Deputy Regional Director, ICLEI Europe.

In helping to ‘wake the giant’, ICLEI Europe hosted a session, during the conference, on how to get started on green public procurement. During the session, where GLCN cities Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Oslo as well as Procura+ Participant Aalborg (Denmark) had the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences, it became clear that for green procurement to be successful, it needs to start from a solid foundation.

That is to say, it is important to gain an understanding of the European policy context as well as to leverage local political support and to harness existing guidance documents, which include lessons learned from other cities. The City Oslo is a prime example for this process of introducing sustainable procurement to now being a lighthouse for instance on developing zero-emission construction sites. The agenda also receives support by the wider cutting-edge sustainability approach i.e. having a carbon budget for the whole city. With the European Green Capital 2019 award, the city of Oslo may be the place to witness sustainability put into local action, actively shaping how urban future could look like.

For more information and to learn more how your local authority can harness the power of public procurement to achieve social and environmental goals, take a look at ICLEI’s Guidance Material: P+ Manual & Buying Green.

The next Urban Future Conference will take place in Lisbon 2020 and then in Rotterdam 2021.

22 March 2019

GLCN Cities call for sustainable procurement at UN Environment Assembly

The United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) is the highest level global decision making body on issues related to environment held every two years since 2013. 

At the 4th Session of UNEA to be held in Nairobi this week, national governments are negotiating a set of resolutions aiming at building sustainable, prosperous and inclusive societies that address key environmental challenges with innovative solutions and rely on responsible patterns of consumption and production.

During the UNEA Cities conference on March 13, ICLEI hosted a session on integrated planning and policies for circular transitions. Convening cities, national government representatives and business, the session explored how circular urban systems that achieve both social and ecological benefits can be promoted through nature-based solutions, public procurement and technologies.

GLCN member city Oslo (Norway) was among the ICLEI delegation to UNEA. The City of Oslo highlighted the importance that ICLEI’s work and the GLCN network has had for advancing the City’s sustainable procurement practices and leverage the power of procurement to achieve sustainability outcomes.

Learn more about ICLEI’s call for circular development here.


5 October 2018

GLCN Member Rotterdam wins procurement award at major european sustainability event

The biggest successes in public procurement were honoured on October 4th at the EcoProcura conference in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, with a clutch of top class projects in sustainability and innovation winning the 2018 Procura+ Awards.

This year’s Innovation Procurement of the Year was awarded to GLCN Member Rotterdam, which is pioneering the procurement of innovative goods and services to make the city more accessible for the elderly or citizens with special needs. Its efforts involve a multitude of local SMEs.

Warmly welcoming the award, the city’s vice mayor Arno Bonte said: “We are honoured to receive the Procura+ Award for Innovation Procurement of the Year! The city of Rotterdam continuously seeks innovative and sustainable solution to our citizens’ needs and I am delighted that the hard work of our procurement team is recognised at a European level.”

For more information, click here.

18 September 2018

GLCN Member Ghent shortlisted for European Sustainability award

GLCN Member Ghent (Belgium) was recently announced as a shortlisted candidate for the 2018 Transformative Action Award.

The award, which is co-organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, The Basque Country and the City of Aalborg (Denmark), rewards current or concluded Transformative Actions that address the pathways of the Basque Declaration related to three categories: socio-cultural, socio-economic and, technological transformation.

From a strong field of 40 applications, the City of Ghent (Belgium) was shortlisted for seeking to transform the city’s local food system through participative governance models, the introduction of a food policy council and sustainable food procurement.

Other shortlisted candidates includes: the City of Bologna (Italy), for entering into collaborative pacts with their citizens in order to increase civic engagement and regenerate urban commons, and the City of Tirana (Albania), for increasing urban green space around the city, to counteract urban sprawl.

For more information about the shortlisted candidates, click here.  To learn more about Ghent's Sustainable Procurement work and goals, click here.

14 September 2018

Tshwane announced as new chair of GLCN on Sustainable Procurement

Executive Mayor of Tshwane, South Africa, Solly Msimanga has been announced as the new chair of ICLEI’s  Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN) at the Global Climate Action Summit.

As an early leader in sustainable procurement in Africa, the City of Tshwane was an obvious choice to lead in the next phase of the GLCN. Tshwane’s long term strategic vision commits itself to a path of sustainable economic growth decoupled from environmental impacts, and Tshwane has recently set targets to make 40% of the city bus fleet green by 2030, 10% of overall purchases sustainable by 2021, and reach 20% renewable energy at community-scale by 2030.

The GLCN is a group of 14 cities from around the globe committed to the implementation of sustainable and innovation procurement. Their goal is to support the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient and socially responsible society.

For more information on the GLCN, please click here.

17 August 2018

GLCN Members Rotterdam and Oslo to showcase their SPP work at EcoProcura 2018

GLCN Members Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Oslo (Norway) will present their sustainable procurement work and goals, and will discuss how they hope to use public procurement strategically to contribute towards achieving the sustainable mobility goals in their respective cities, at EcoProcura 2018.

Both cities will participate in a session titled: ‘Procurement on the move: Achieving sustainable mobility’ 3 October, 16:00-17:20, where they will present their SPP work, explore the crossovers between procurement and mobility, and discuss how public procurement can help achieve sustainable mobility goals.

The EcoProcura 2018 conference is taking place from 3-5 October 2018 in Nijmegen (the Netherlands), and focuses on sustainable, circular, and innovation procurement. It will bring together over 400 procurers, policy makers, businesses, researchers, and international organisations.

A mix of plenary sessions, breakout sessions, market lounge tables, study tours and social events make up the conference programme.

For more information about the sustainable procurement work and goals of our members, click here.

18 July 2018

Auckland contributes to climate target by procuring electric vehicles

Auckland Council is reducing its vehicle fleet and going green with the purchase of 10 new electric vehicles (EVs). The procurement will bring the total EV’s owned by the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement participant up to 14 – including the mayor’s own EV.

Mayor Phil Goff says, “The council has reduced the size of its vehicle fleet by 57 vehicles in the last year and replaced old petrol cars with electric vehicles. It saves ratepayers $600,000 and sends a clear signal that we are serious about reducing emissions and protecting our environment”.

Auckland Council will continue to reduce the size of its fleet over the coming three years and progressively add electric vehicles to replace aging petrol cars.

Mayor Goff added: “Climate change is a defining issue of our time and transport accounts for around 40 per cent of Auckland’s emissions. Reductions in the council’s fleet and the purchase of electric vehicles contribute to our commitment to reduce our carbon emissions under the Paris Accord of 2015”.

The purchase of the EVs by Auckland Council follows Auckland Transport, the public body responsible for all of the region’s transport services, acquiring 20 EVs earlier in the year. Auckland Transport has also committed to reducing its fleet size by 15 per cent.

To read more about sustainable procurement in Auckland and the targets of other GLCN on SP cities, visit 




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