PRESS RELEASE
04 October, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
For immediate release

Bertrand Piccard challenges public authorities to buy better

EcoProcura 2018, the international conference on sustainable, strategic, circular and innovation procurement, which is now in its twentieth year, kicked-off yesterday in European Green Capital Nijmegen (The Netherlands), setting the scene on how procurement can evolve as a policy tool to achieve strategic objectives and targets.

The three-day conference, which is taking place in conjunction with the Dutch National Annual Sustainable Procurement Conference (MVI Congress), began with an inspirational speech from Dr. Bertrand Piccard, Chairman and Initiator of the Solar Impulse Foundation, who called on procurers to become today’s pioneers and explorers. “It is not easy to do things differently. Today the challenge is not technology. It is psychology,” said Piccard.

The conference theme of using procurement to meet strategic goals was introduced by Mark Hidson, Global Director, ICLEI Sustainable Procurement Center. Hidson reflected on the barriers to strategic procurement, which will be discussed throughout the conference and called on participants to work collaboratively to mainstream the use of procurement, sending a message to others that this is the way forward.

Irmfried Schwimann, Deputy Director-General, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission presented the Commissions’ Communication on Making Public Procurement work in and for Europe, which was published in October 2017. In particular, she focused on partnerships with big buyers and the impact this could have on the market, training public procurers, digital transformation and the transition to e-procurement that will soon be completed. “We must use public procurement as a lever for sustainable growth, bring it to a strategic level that includes green, social and innovative aspects” said Schwimann.

Roald Lapperre, Director-General for the Environment and International Affairs, Ministry for Infrastructure and Water Management, The Netherlands, outlined how they have used procurement strategically to meet policy aims and objectives. “I want to use this enormous purchasing power to influence the market to achieve climate goals. My national objective is to reduce carbon emissions by one megatonne a year by 2022. That’s more than three times the energy used by all the households in the city of Nijmegen.”

The potential of sustainable, circular and innovation procurement as a tool to meet strategic objectives will be explored further during the conference, with the second conference day focusing on behavioral change needed to make strategic procurement happen.


For more information and to see what participants can expect from the conference, click here.

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Background:
ICLEI Europe – Local Governments for Sustainability is the leading global network of over 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future. By helping the ICLEI Network to become sustainable, low-carbon, ecomobile, resilient, biodiverse, resource-efficient, healthy and happy, with a green economy and smart infrastructure, we impact over 25% of the global urban population.

ICLEI has been working on procurement since 1996, assisting hundreds of cities, regions and public authorities to embed sustainable, circular and innovation criteria into public tenders directly and through many collaboration projects.

Through these projects and our flagship networks, 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.

EcoProcura 2018 is the tenth conference in the series and takes place in conjunction with the Dutch National Annual Sustainable Procurement Conference. The EcoProcura series of conferences provide a platform to exchange amongst procurers from all levels of government, policy-makers, suppliers and representatives from the European Commission and European Parliament on strategies and the latest practical solutions for including sustainability, circularity and innovation in public procurement.

Image:
For a selection of downloadable photos from Day one of EcoProcura 2018, visit our Flickr album. Copyright: Gerard Verschoten

Contact:
Kelly Cotel
Officer, Communications and Member Relations
ICLEI Europe, Leopoldring 3, 79098, Freiburg, Germany
Kelly.Cotel@iclei.org
Phone: +31 (0) 646 344 459 – Available between 03-05 October





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