Procura+ Awards 2019 – leadership on sustainable procurement of GLCN Cities continues to inspire
The Procura+ Awards reward successful, already running, sustainable and innovative public procurements. These procurements lead to significant improvements of public goods, services, processes and infrastructure.
The ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’ Award went to the City of Ghent (Belgium), that launched a pilot procurement for ethically produced workwear in line with the socially responsible requirements in its procurement policy and worked in partnership with suppliers to get the product required.
“We are thrilled that we are able through our public procurement to encourage the market to change in a sustainable way, and that we can share our experience with other purchasing authorities through our toolbox for socially sustainable workwear,” said Aline De Cokere, Public Buyer for the City of Ghent.
Ghent wants to make sure that the clothing they buy has been made in fair working conditions, emphasizing that ‘Fairtrade’ is a certificate for the entire production process, not just for raw materials. After researching best practices in textile procurement and conducting a market analysis of fair and ethically produced clothing, Ghent realised that the market was not ready to deliver the level of environmental and social impact required.
The city decided to divide the framework agreement of 1.200.000 EUR into five lots that required varying degrees of social and environmental performance and developed a toolbox that defines each level of performance, and the proof bidders had to submit. It also details the supplier journey towards more responsible workwear, which they commit to through contract clauses. Supplier performance will be verified by third parties, with Ghent also working in partnership with them to deliver on the improvements.
However, the production chain of raw materials and clothing production is still far from transparent. To help other cities unravel the jumble of the complex procurement process, Ghent, together with the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG) created the Toolbox ‘Socially Responsible Workwear’.
The City of Helsinki made it to the finalist round for two of the four award categories.
Their application for ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ was recognized as runner-up with its sustainable innovation for the Olympic Stadium seats to be environmental, low maintenance and long lifetime, but also in line with the heritage laws for renovating the arena, built in 1938.
CERN and the City of Helsinki were competing for the ‘Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT’ Award. Helsinki’s application focused on robotisation and automation of library services. No off-the-shelf product existed to meet these demands, so the City of Helsinki’s Culture and Leisure department launched an innovation partnership.
The Procura+ Awards is an initiative of ICLEI Europe, with support from the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project.
The Procura+ Awards Ceremony saw three cities and a European research organisation going up on the stage to get their recognition for their biggest successes in public procurement: Zurich won in the category ‘Procurement Initiative of the Year’, the City of Ghent in the ‘Sustainable Procurement of the Year’ one, the Municipality of Frederiksberg in the ‘Innovation Procurement of the Year’ category and the European Organization for Nuclear Research won the ‘Outstanding Innovation in ICT Procurement’. The event took place on 24 September within the Nordic Edge Expo in Stavanger, Norway.