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Capacity Building for Sustainable Public Procurement in Developing Countries

June 2011

Sustainable Public Procurement Newsletter

Issue #05

In this Issue

News from pilot countries

Colombia on the fast-track to SPP Implementation

Final meeting of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement

Outcome of the 19th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development

CSD-19 Side Event on SPP: the mandate of the Marrakech Task Force on SPP comes to an end. UNEP to take over.

Other news
- Training of Experts on the Marrakech Task Force Approach on Sustainable Public Procurement
- New Responsible consumption unit at UNEP
- Regional Workshop on Sustainable Public Procurement – Panama City, Panama – 11-13 July 2011
- Procurement Guidelines

 

Dear Reader,
Welcome to the latest issue of UNEP’s Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) newsletter.

Since 2009, UNEP has been running a project aimed at supporting the development and the implementation of SPP policies in 7 pilot countries through the Marrakech Task Force (MTF) Approach to SPP (see http://www.unep.fr/scp/procurement/). Because public procurement accounts for such a large share of GDP, SPP is considered to be a key instrument in the delivery of the sustainable development agenda and has therefore been included in UNEP’s programme of work.

In this issue of our SPP Newsletter we will inform you on the progress achieved by pilot countries in the roll out of the MTF Approach to SPP which will be revised on the basis of the lessons gathered from project implementation. The newsletter will also cover important activities which took place in the last months: the training of SPP experts on the MTF Approach to SPP organized in Freiburg in April 2011, the last meeting of the MTF on SPP and the side event on SPP held in New York on the occasion of the 19th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-19).  This event marked the end of the mandate of the MTF on SPP and paved the way to UNEP’s new role as custodian of the MTF Approach to SPP.

The first phase of the SPP project will end in November 2011. UNEP is therefore actively preparing the next phase which should allow us to up-scale SPP implementation through the revised SPP Approach. We also plan to reach out and better coordinate our activities with major sustainable procurement stakeholders (governments, cities, private sector, UN agencies, development Banks, expert organizations, etc.) through an International SPP Initiative.

The 19th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) took place on 2-13 May 2011.  An agreement had been reached by member states on the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) that included an open and illustrative list of programmes, including a programme on sustainable public procurement.  However last minute disagreements on other themes and political issues prevented the adoption of a decision by the CSD, including the agreed section on the 10YFP. Although there was no formal decision adopted, the substantive content of the 10YFP text that was agreed by all groups at CSD 19 was very encouraging, showing broad support for the establishment of this framework and for an associated voluntary trust fund.

Last but not least, we are pleased to inform you that UNEP’s SPP team is now part of the newly created Responsible Consumption Unit, headed by Ms Fanny Demassieux. You’ll find in this issue a message of Ms Demassieux outlining the rationale which led to the creation of the new unit and its future role in support of sustainable consumption, in conjunction with the strengthening of our sustainable public procurement activities.

We hope that you will enjoy reading this issue of the SPP Newsletter. Please don’t hesitate to send in comments and inputs for our future issues.

Sincerely,

fy caeo

Farid YAKER
Programme Officer – SPP Project
United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

Carlos Andres ENMANUEL
Consultant – SPP Project
United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

Click here for more information about the SPP project.  For more information on the MTF on SPP click here.

News from pilot countries

progress chart

Chile has finalized its market readiness analysis. The consultants in charge of the task have processed and aggregated the expenditure information provided by Chilecompra. They have screened the sustainability of 55 framework agreements and 1.297 product groups assessing their present and prospective market availability. As a result of the study, ChileCompra Express, the Chilean e-catalogue, will now feature type II eco-labels for an increasing number of goods and services. Specific sustainable indicators and criteria will also be used for future framework agreements. Chile is also moving ahead with the training of national procurers through an e-learning module focused on the sustainability criteria of the Chilecompra Express store.  
For more information visit the new SPP website of Chile Compra: http://www.comprassustentables.cl/.

Colombia is also making rapid progress. The legal review and market readiness analysis have been completed. SPP implementation should start within the next two months in a number of voluntary public entities.  See special focus on Colombia below.

Mauritius is finalizing its legal review showing the current legal framework´s compatibility with sustainable public procurement. In addition, Mauritius is launching its first SPP pilot tender for the procurement of efficient vehicles for the local police force.  Mauritius was also the first country to host the SPP Policy workshop with various stakeholders, and it is scheduled to finalize its Action plan by mid-2011.

Lebanon has finalized its legal study. The Steering Committee has also approved the prioritization process, which led to the choice of the following product groups that are currently the focus of the market readiness analysis: electrical construction and maintenance, IT material supply and maintenance, water equipment construction and maintenance, cleaning products, roads construction and maintenance, agricultural materials, buildings construction and maintenance, public sector transport machinery.

Uruguay has completed its status assessment and legal review. The country has picked the following priority products and services which are going to be analyzed in the framework of the market readiness analysis: cleaning services, paper, construction, ICT, plastic products, eco-efficient bulbs. On 25-26 April, Uruguay organized an SPP policy workshop that outlined the content of the country’s SPP action plan which will cover the 2012-2014 period and will soon be submitted to the project’s Steering Committee. Claudio Loyola, the Chilean project manager, was invited to the Montevideo policy workshop where he presented the experience of Chile.

Despite the current political turmoil, Tunisia has managed to make good progress on the legal review, prioritization exercise and market readiness analysis. The SPP Policy and Action Plan Workshop will take place next July.

Colombia on the fast-track to SPP implementation

The Colombian SPP project started in June 2010 and has since then made rapid progress. By the end of September 2010, most relevant stakeholders had joined the Sustainable Public Procurement Steering Committee which has so far counted with the active participation of its members and a proactive attitude in the development and promotion of SPP.  It is envisioned that the Steering committee becomes a formal institution in charge of overseeing the implementation of the future SPP policy.

A capacity building workshop took place on 11-12 October 2010 and allowed UNEP experts to train Steering committee members on the MTF approach and in particular on the prioritization methodology of goods and services. Colombia completed its status assessment and its prioritization exercise by the end of 2010.  The following priority product groups were selected: organic coffee, eco-efficient light bulbs, recycled paper, graphic industries and construction materials.

A summary table featuring the prioritized goods and services, targets of procurement volumes, means of verification and associated legislation was developed by the Consultant in charge of the preparatory studies. This tool has proven to be very efficient and will be annexed to the procurement guidelines developed for the Colombian procurers.

traininig colombia

SPP Policy and Action Plan Workshop – Bogota, Colombia. April 2011

Colombia has also drafted Guidelines for SPP implementations which were presented during the recent SPP policy workshop organized in Bogota on 28-29 April 2011. 

These Guidelines illustrate the context and the objectives of SPP implementation as well as the country priorities and measures to be taken in order to insert sustainability criteria in public procurement. The document also suggests basic criteria to select sustainable goods and services as well as appropriate suppliers.  Ultimately, government officials and procurers will be able to include sustainability considerations at various stages of the procurement process.

The Guidelines will form the basis for the implementation of SPP in the country and will be reinforced by a presidential directive, following the example of the Spanish policy on sustainable public procurement.  An economic and social policy document (CONPES) will also be developed under the supervision of the National Planning Department.

In order to accompany the implementation of the policy two types of communication materials will be developed: (a) an electronic guide, aiming at providing guidance to institutions and individuals implementing sustainable public procurement; (b) a user-friendly brochure that explains and encourages the implementation of sustainable public procurement.

Starting from June 2011, the Ministry of Environment intends to carry out a series of initial pilot actions and will periodically report on SPP implementation to the Steering Committee. The momentum generated by this project will be maintained through the establishment of regular Steering Committee meetings and the continuous engagement of all the relevant stakeholders involved in SPP implementation. 

The national focal point and the Steering Committee intend to undertake the following activities which will promote an enabling environment for SPP implementation: 

  • Develop a solid argumentation based on the environmental, social and economic benefits of procuring sustainable goods and services in order to increase political support
  • Further expand the market knowledge of sustainable goods and services
  • Clearly define the sustainability criteria to be applied through the procurement process
  • Develop and adopt a legal framework that makes the implementation of sustainable procurement compulsory
  • Build capacities in the country to properly manage and drive sustainable procurement implementation.
  • Develop monitoring and tracking tools to continuously improve implementation

Final meeting of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement

mtf meeting glion

Members of the MTF on SPP. Glion, Switzerland - May 2011

The 7th and final meeting of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement (MTF on SPP) organized by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment took place on 2-3 May 2011 in Glion, Switzerland. Ambassador Franz Perrez, Head of the International Affairs Division of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), took the opportunity to thank all the MTF members for their highly appreciated contributions to the successful outcome of the MTF on SPP's work. The gathering provided the opportunity to review the work that has been carried out by MTF members and in particular the SPP capacity building project lead by UNEP. Members also discussed possible changes in the MTF Approach to SPP as well as modalities of continuation of the Task Force work after CSD-19.

Outcomes of the 19th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development

The 19th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) took place on 2-13 May 2011 with the following thematic cluster: mining, waste, chemicals, transport and the 10YFP on SCP.  An agreement had been by member states on the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production that included an open and illustrative list of programmes.

The decision would have established a 10YFP on SCP covering the period 2011-2021, based on Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) in order to achieve the goals and objectives defined in Chapter 3 of the JPOI on SCP. The text also included a common vision, values and goals, before detailing the functions of the 10YFP, its organizational structure, means of implementation and an open list of SCP programmes (including sustainable public procurement). Some of the important features of the agreement were:

The organizational structure: The draft decision requested UNEP, within its current mandate, to serve as the 10YFP secretariat, and to collaborate with all relevant UN bodies, including through an interagency coordination group. The draft decision also invited national governments and other stakeholders to designate SCP focal points.  The secretariat would have developed and maintained a platform for developing countries and those with economies in transition in support of their SCP programmes.

Means of implementation: UNEP was invited to establish a trust fund to support the implementation of the 10YFP. The negociated text also requested UNEP to act as trustee and administer the fund.

Programmes: The text agreed upon a flexible, initial and non-exhaustive list of programmes that would have built upon the experience gained through the Marrakech Process, including those identified by the regional SCP roundtables, strategies and action plans.

The proposed text on the 10 YFP agreed by Members in the field of SCP was perceived as unique in the history of the CSD, with a framework and means for implementation that went beyond the usual broad recommendations, reflecting the strong engagement of countries and stakeholders towards the 10YFP on SCP

On the last day of negotiations, delegations had agreed on the totality of the texts on transport, mining and the 10YFP on SCP.  However, few outstanding issues remained unresolved on Chemicals; Waste Management, mainly related to means of implementation. On the final evening, the Chair, having consulted with the different country groups, proposed a compromise text for the areas where no agreement had been reached and presented the complete document for adoption. Unfortunately, after long consultations, the CSD19 closed without adopting a decision.

The intensive work that led to CSD19 has been extremely useful.  The Marrakech Process partners will continue to make every effort to strengthen cooperation with all stakeholders at all levels, to increase commitment and accelerate the shift towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns.

CSD 19 Side Event on SPP: The mandate of the Marrakech Task Force on SPP comes to an end. UNEP to take over

The Swiss Confederation and UNEP co-organized a side event on the experiences gained over the last years through the roll out of the MTF Approach to SPP in 11 pilot countries. D. Ziegerer and E. Venanzoni from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment presented the main components of the MTF approach to SPP and achievements of the MTF on SPP. The floor was then given to the representatives of the two pilot countries to the MTF approach to SPP, New Zealand and Mauritius who focused on the specific case of SPP implementation in their respective countries. The MTF’s mandate came to an end at the 19th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

At the end of the session, Mr Arab Hoballah, Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production at UNEP, confirmed the readiness of UNEP to act as the new custodian of the MTF Approach to SPP. He also presented the plans of our institution for the future scale up through the revised SPP Approach and outlined the efforts to reach out and better coordinate our activities with major sustainable procurement stakeholders (governments, cities, private sector, UN agencies, development Banks, expert organizations, etc.) through an International SPP Initiative.

On the occasion of CSD 19, the MTF on SPP and UNEP released a set of Sustainable Public Procurement policy conclusions and recommendations based on the first results of the implementation of the MTF Approach on SPP in various pilot countries.  The document illustrates the key success factors and proposes a series of recommendations to promote SPP implementation.

The final report of the MTF on SPP was presented at the event and is now available online. The report presents all the activities and outcomes of the MTF on SPP since its inception. The report elaborates on the definition and the benefits of sustainable public procurement. It also describes the methodology developed by the MTF to implement SPP in developed and developing countries. (http://www.unep.fr/scp/marrakech/taskforces/procurement.htm).

sppsideevent

Panel of Speakers at the SPP Side Event at CSD-19, May 2011 – New York, USA (Credit:IISD)

Other News

Training of Experts on the Marrakech Task Force Approach to Sustainable Public Procurement

freiburg

SPP Expert Training on the Marrakech Task Force Approach to Sustainable Public Procurement, April 2011. Freiburg, Germany

The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), UNEP and ICLEI organized a high-level training of procurement experts on the Marrakech Task Force (MTF) approach to Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) in Freiburg (Germany) from 11 – 15 April 2011). The training was delivered by Ms Barbara Morton from Sustainable Procurement Ltd and was aimed at training selected experts to assist various countries worldwide in the implementation of Sustainable Public Procurement.

The Freiburg training brought together senior experts working in various countries such as Lebanon, Mauritius, Australia, Ghana, Columbia, France, Spain, Italy, UK, Iceland and Switzerland. Over the course of the week, participants who had to run through a highly demanding selection process, presented and exchanged experiences on the state of public procurement in their countries and discussed key issues related to the implementation of SPP and the delivery of training on the MTF approach to SPP.

For more information on UNEP’s SPP project, please visit http://www.unep.fr/scp/procurement/

New Responsible Consumption Unit in UNEP
A new Responsible Consumption Unit has been created within the Sustainable Consumption and Production branch of the Division of Technology Industry and Economics of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Message from Ms. Fanny Demassieux
Head, Responsible Consumption unit – UNEP DTIE

Dear Readers of the Sustainable Public Procurement Newsletter,

Consumers are increasingly interested in the "world that lies behind" the product they buy. Apart from price and quality, they want to know how, where and by whom the product has been produced. Consumers from developing and developed countries are a key driver to the paradigm shift that is necessary for our societies to become sustainable. Through increased demand for sustainable products, they can influence production patterns, business strategies and help markets of sustainable goods and services to go beyond their current niche.

This is the reason why a new Responsible Consumption Unit has been created within the Sustainable Consumption and Production branch of the Division of Technology Industry and Economics of the United Nations Environment Programme.

This new unit will aim at better coordinating and reinforcing UNEP’s activities in the consumption area. Its overall objective will be to foster sustainable consumption practices along the supply chains of products. It will try and reach this goal through the development of information and decision-making tools, capacity building activities, and the provision of advisory services in order to help direct consumer choices to more sustainable products. It will also seek to enhance the global consensus on the various methodologies and tools that guide sustainable consumption, including on sustainable public procurement.

Sustainable public procurement will be one of the key programmes of the unit as it is central in mobilizing the public sector to send appropriate market signals to institutional consumers. Ecolabelling and product information tools, education and sustainable lifestyles, as well as agri-food will be the other three pillars of the workprogramme of the unit.

Looking at this issue of the SPP Newsletter, it is striking to see that a lot is happening already and that our joint work and efforts are undoubtedly contributing to the transformative changes that are necessary for our societies to become more sustainable!

Fanny Demmassieux

Fanny Demassieux
Head, Responsible Consumption Unit
UNEP DTIE

Regional Workshop on Sustainable Public Procurement – Panama City – 11-13 July 2011

The Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Network for Government Purchasing, UNEP and the Panama’s National Environment Authority have joined forces to organize a regional workshop on sustainable public procurement. The workshop will take place on 11-13 July 2011 in Panama City, Panama and will have the following objectives:

  • Present the results achieved by the Latin-American pilot projects supported by UNEP;
  • Share the lessons gained through the roll out of the Marrakech Task Force Approach to Sustainable Public Procurement in the 4 Latin American countries.
  • Discuss the SPP methodology and its roll out in view of the second phase of implementation due to begin in January 2012;
  • Prepare and reflect on the up-scale of the project in the Latin American region.

For more information please contact farid.yaker@unep.org

Procurement Guidelines

To access the UNEP Sustainable Procurement Guidelines, please visit http://www.greeningtheblue.org/resources/procurement

To access the European Commission Green Procurement Guidelines, please visit http://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/second_set_en.htm

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