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29 October 2015

Check the six reports on best practice in regional SPP/PPI networks

Three existing network SPP Regions partners – Xarxa de Ciutats i Pobles cap a la Sostenibilitat (Barcelona region), Acquisti Pubblici Ecologici (Torino region) and RGO (West France region) – and three other regional SPPI networks – ÖBS (Austria), Partnership on Green Public Procurement (Denmark) and Regione Autonoma della Sardegna (Italy) – have documented their experience in six best practice reports.

The documents focus on aspects that are relevant to potential replication in other regions, such as organisation structure, activities and tools, hurdles identified, monitoring of activities and results, and major successes achieved.

These reports will help new established networks within the SPP Regions project to develop their implementation plans, as well as new regions that might be interested in joining the project. The six reports can be downloaded from the Resources section of the SPP Regions website.

28 October 2015

Austrian wastewater recycling system wins prize for most innovative procurement in Europe

The procurement of a machine that vaporises waste-water to remove waste particles saw the Federal Procurement Agency of Austria awarded the Public Procurement of Innovation Award at a ceremony in Paris (France) last night. The Federal Procurement Agency received a trophy for innovation procurement excellence, together with the title “European innovation procurement of the year”. They will also have a case study published on the Procurement of Innovation Platform in the coming weeks.

Four other finalists from across Europe were also in competition for the award (more information on each finalist is available on the PPI Platform website). “The quality of each of the finalists meant that choosing the overall winner was very difficult. It was an exceptionally close competition,” said Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director at ICLEI Europe and jury member. “We felt that the procurement of the vaporising system best showcased the impressive work being carried out, as well as the type of solution that public procurement of innovation can achieve. The procurement brought together the institutional knowledge of public procurers with the ingenuity of the private sector.”

The innovative solution is used by the Austrian mint to clean water contaminated during the production of coins and notes. Vaporisation of the waste-water takes place in a vacuum, allowing for fresh water and waste particles to be separated. Once the filtering process is complete, 97 percent of the water can be reused. The ceremony was held as part of the European Assistance for Innovation Procurement event, organised by EAFIP.

For more information, visit the PPI Platform.

22 October 2015

Energy Performance Contracting helps cities to replace inefficient street lights

An innovative method of financing the upgrade of street lights is being promoted to local governments by a new EU-funded project. Street lighting can account for up to 50 percent of a municipality’s total electricity consumption - by applying modern technology, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), a reduction in electricity use of between 30 and 70 percent can be achieved.

The Streetlight-EPC project helps local authorities to avail of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), a process whereby replacement and refurbishment costs are covered by an external energy service company (ESCO), who is then reimbursed through the cost savings generated as a result of the lower electricity consumption. As such, the ESCO will not receive payment unless significant energy savings are achieved.

The EPC approach has the benefit of transferring the risk from the local authority to the ESCO. The project is carrying out EPC projects in nine European regions, including the establishment of helpdesks that provide support to municipalities and SMEs. The project is particularly timely, as under an EU Regulation 80 percent of currently used street lamps are to be phased out by 2017.

For more information, visit the Streetlight-EPC website.

20 October 2015

Public authorities invited to help shape green electricity criteria

The EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for electricity are currently under review. The first stage of this process is a survey of public authorities, due to be carried out in October 2015. The survey will look at how much electricity is currently being purchased from renewable sources, the procurement procedures used, and what is stopping public procurers from purchasing more renewable electricity.

The survey is aimed at local authorities who are already purchasing some renewable electricity as well as those who would like to but are currently unable to do so. The questionnaire itself takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete and will be extremely valuable in ensuring the updated criteria are both useful and appropriate.

The more responses received, the more accurately the new criteria will reflect the reality on the ground. The survey is available in English, German, Spanish, Italian, French and Lithuanian.

To take part in the survey, click here.