Good Practice
Thirty European Cities Commit to Eco-Friendly Procurement

Leaders of 30 European cities met last week to commit to a clean-climate policy that will involve procuring environmentally friendly products and services. According to an article in The Guardian, European officials signed a declaration agreeing to use their collective purchasing power of around €10 billion annually to buy eco-friendly.

Some of the larger cities that have agreed to the policy include London, Madrid, Rome, Paris, Bucharest, Vienna, Budapest, Milan, Brussels and Stockholm. The population of these amount to a total of 25 million people.

The cities that have signed the declaration will commit to favouring green sectors of the economy and low-carbon industries for procurement contracts, which will hopefully have a “leverage effect on the private sector that very often aligns its own requirements with the public sector.” The leaders state that that more should be done to promote the co-ordination of public investments on a voluntary basis.

A joint statement from the European leaders said: “time has now come for European capitals and metropolises to pool our efforts to tackle climate change. This requires a closer dialogue between cities through a more regular exchange of expertise and good practices.” The statement reads that within the European Union, this must be supported by the European Parliament and Commission and should benefit from direct European funding.

An article in the Irish Times said the leaders met in Paris as part of a summit in preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP21, which will take place in eight months time. At the meeting, officials discussed their collective goal to address the major causes of greenhouse gas emissions, including polluting transport, old and poorly isolated buildings and energy supply.

They also addressed upcoming projects aimed to tackle urban sprawl, (re)introduce nature and biodiversity into cities, improve recycling, fight waste, move towards a circular economy, prioritise public transport, increase electrical mobility refurbish buildings and improve energy efficiency.

In December Paris will host the COP21 Conference, which plans to adopt an international agreement on climate change response that is hoped to be binding and universal. According to an article in Clean Technica, the Paris agreement would come after 20 years of only partly successful worldwide negotiations, including the Kyoto treaty.

Earlier this year, we wrote Green Public Procurement and Some Very Successful Case Studies about the importance of eco-friendly procurement and how the EC is collecting examples of successful green public procurements to inspire and provide guidance to local authorities buying green products and services.

The latest agreement illustrates Europe’s further commitment in implementing environmentally friendly procurement practices.