IGPN - International Green Purchasing Network



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April 22, 2024

Beyond an age of waste: Turning rubbish into a resource

Generation of unsustainable waste continues to increase at great cost and risk to society, yet a circular economy approach that transforms waste into a valuable resource could resolve this crisis and unlock economic potential, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme.

The ‘Global Waste Management Outlook 2024’, released on 28 February 2024 at the 6th UN Environment Assembly, projects a two-thirds increase in municipal solid waste by 2050. This alarming growth – representing an increase of over 60% on current numbers - poses significant challenges for economies and the environment, requiring urgent action to prevent further damage.

From 2020 to 2050, municipal solid waste generation is projected to rise from 2.1 billion tonnes to 3.8 billion tonnes, marking a 56% increase. In 2020, 38% of municipal solid waste (810 million tonnes) was improperly disposed of, either dumped in the environment or openly burned. Without changes, by 2050, the amount of improperly disposed waste could almost double to 1.6 billion tonnes annually, contributing to adverse climate change, marine plastic pollution, and health effects.

Failure to address this issue will come at a steep price, with the report estimating that the annual cost of waste management could reach a staggering USD 640.3 billion by 2050, primarily due to the indirect costs associated with pollution, health impacts, and climate change. In 2020, direct waste management costs are estimated to USD 252.3 billion. Uncontrolled waste and poor disposal practices incur an annual full net cost of USD 361 billion due to pollution, health issues, and climate change. Maintaining these practices would escalate the annual full net cost to USD 640.3 billion.

Addressing waste as a resource opportunity and a vital circular economy feature is essential to reversing waste cost and damage; the report highlights that such action can reverse astronomical waste management costs to a potential net gain of USD 108.5 billion per year by minimizing waste ensuring and resources are reused and recycled.

Presenting a compelling alternative to the current unsustainable trajectory, reports call for urgent action on several fronts.

Rapid reduction of waste generation and mitigate environmental and economic damage.
Strong leadership and partnership across society, including by governments and businesses, to set clear directions and invest in solutions.
A collective shift towards a circular economy to decouple waste generation from economic growth and create a more sustainable future.

Read the report at UNEP Website.
See Zero Waste ideas and solutions on the One Planet Network’s Zero Waste platform.

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category : Topics

April 17, 2024

Driving Sustainability in China's Textile Industry: A Collaborative Approach to Ecolabeling and Sustainable Procurement

The "Sustainability in the Textile Value Chain Promoting Ecolabel and Sustainable Public Procurement in China" project is a small-scale initiative spanning one and a half years, from 2024 to 2026. It's supported by UNEP and is contributing to the broader objectives of the project "Greening Supply and Demand: Advancing Eco-Labels and Sustainable Public Procurement for Climate and Biodiversity Protection (EcoAdvance)" jointly implemented by GIZ, United Nations Environment Programme, Öko-Institut funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The primary goal is to foster more sustainable consumption and production patterns by leveraging ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement policies.

In this initiative, the expected outputs to be achieved:

Ÿ Facilitating the sustainable transition for textile industry with specific focus on climate change and biodiversity impact, through the development of textile product technical specifications. The technical specifications will be developed under the CEC LOGO certification and will be based on China Environmental Labeling standards . The criteria will be based on a life cycle approach (from cradle-to-grave), look at human health, climate change, biodiversity, pollution impacts and will include social aspects along the value chain.

Ÿ Promote sustainable procurement (business to business) along the value chain for textile products in China by using the developed sustainability criteria;

Ÿ Promote sustainable public procurement for textile products in China by using the developed sustainability criteria.

The initiative will entail various activities, including literature review and standard research, developing technical specifications for the textile product category, promoting the application of these specifications, and facilitating knowledge sharing. China Environmental United Certification Center (CEC) will collaborate with key stakeholders such as associations, companies, laboratories, testing institutions, and research institutes within the textile industry.

“Greening Supply and demand: Advancing Eco-Labels and Sustainable Public Procurement for climate and biodiversity protection (EcoAdvance)” aims to advance more sustainable patterns of consumption and production through employing the policy tools of ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement. The project is implemented in 5 Latin American countries (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico) and has also a global outreach component to foster worldwide knowledge exchange.

China Environmental United Certification Center (CEC) is an organization affiliated to Environmental Development Center (EDC) of Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China (MEE). It is a state-owned, legal entity of independent third-party certification body leading in environmental protection, energy saving and low carbon areas. Internationally, CEC was awarded the Clean Development Mechanism Designated Operational Entity by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, holds the secretariat of the International Green Purchasing Network (IGPN) since 2018, a board member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) and is closely cooperating with ecolabel programs in 13 countries and regions, is the Co-lead of the One Planet Network Sustainable Public Procurement Programme since 2019 on behalf of EDC.

Learn more at UNEP One Planet Network Knowledge Center.

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category : Topics

April 15, 2024

Sustainable Procurement of Building Materials: A Progressive Approach to Chemicals of Concern

This guidance is primarily aimed at public procurers involved in a range of contracting agreements related to building materials and products. This includes the purchase of building materials for construction works, but may also extend to material extraction, manufacturing, building, retrofit, refurbishment, design, interior fit out, and end-of-life demolition or deconstruction processes.
There are a variety of roles within the procurement cycle that the guidance can support, from commissioning, category management, tender preparation and evaluation, to contract management.

Learn more at UNEP One Planet Network Knowledge Center.

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category : Topics

April 9, 2024

Advancing the Sustainable Consumption and Production Agenda at the 6th UN Environment Assembly

Report on the 10YFP Board and SCP Partners Meeting held on 24th February 2024 at UNEP HQ, Nairobi-As the world gathered at UNEP HQ in Nairobi for the 6th UN Environment Assembly taking place from 26 February to 1 March 2024), One Planet network took the opportunity to bring together partners with our Board to advance the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) agenda with dialogue, exchange, and inspiring engagement.
The day began with the 10YFP Board meeting, which discussed global efforts towards advancing sustainability goals and efforts to fostering strategic partnerships for equitable development.
Afterwards, One Planet network convened a day of engaging topical thematic sessions which welcomed experts and leaders in SCP to share powerful insights and ideas. Engaging our in-person attendees taking part in UNEA6 as well as an active online global audience, our sessions offered inspiring and pointed conclusions which encourage furthering the SCP agenda during UNEA6 and beyond.

Learn more from the UNEP One Planet Network Website.

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category : Topics

April 1, 2024

Public buyers take concrete steps toward sustainable & circular transformations at Procura+ Conference 2024

The Procura+ Conference 2024 convened over 220 government officials, industry leaders and procurement practitioners in Lisbon (Portugal) for its 11th edition. The conference theme “Step Changes for Big Impact'' demonstrated how public buyers across Europe are taking steps to leverage public procurement as a driver of sustainable and circular transformations. The Norwegian Central Procurement Body, the city of Malmö, and the city of Lisbon were also revealed as the winners of the Procura+ Awards during the conference.

Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon (Portugal), and Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö (Sweden), underscored the importance of sustainable, innovative and circular public procurement for their cities.

"In Lisbon, we are turning the idea of sustainability into reality. And we are doing so by leading by example. We're doing it by making an impact on people's lives. We are making sustainable procurement within our municipality a reality. And I am honored to be able to say that we are very close to achieving 100% sustainable procurement in the Lisbon City Council. This is a great achievement ", says the Mayor of Lisbon. "The Procura+ Awards is also the recognition of the commitment of all workers and managers who, on a daily basis, strive to do more and better, towards a new paradigm of public procurement", adds Carlos Moedas.

Mayor of Malmö and first Vice President of ICLEI Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh highlighted how important conferences such as Procura+ are for the further development of sustainable public procurement. “ICLEI has been organising these Conferences for 25 years, showcasing great steps, successes and experiences. Now it is time to take another big step forward. Climate neutrality is not enough. Our sustainable solutions cannot deepen social inequities. We need a fair and inclusive transformation, that requires us to work with all perspectives. This is why in the city of Malmö all purchases must take social, environmental and economic responsibility into account. Public procurement can be a driving force to reshape the market and our societies”.

Janez Potocnik, Co-chair of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) International Resource Panel and former EU Commissioner for Environment (2009 - 2014), emphasised the need to harness the strategic power of public procurement in terms of the global availability of key resources, both from the perspective of policymakers and public authorities. “The current economy championed by industrialised nations is wasteful and unjust. We must shift away from the prevailing resource wasteful economic approach based on maximising the output of sectors, simplistically defined by GDP, towards an economy that is efficiently meeting human needs and optimise human wellbeing. The current logic is both ethically and ecologically unsustainable, which is why the Global Resources Outlook aimed to set the record straight. The economy was invented to serve humans and not the opposite, which is why the economy must serve citizen’s wellbeing.”

Key highlights from the conference, hosted by the City of Lisbon in collaboration with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, included sessions, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Circular Flanders, Rijkswaterstaat, TCO Development and the Institute of Brilliant Failures, on professionalising public procurement and learning through experience. The conference also offered case studies such as the City of Lisbon’s Sustainable Procurement Management System and the CO2 Performance Ladder and among others. Meanwhile, interactive workshops focused on urban development, innovation, circular economy, just transitions and the transformation of the food system. As, Paul Iske, Chief Failures Officer at the Institute for Brilliant Failures noted “Sustainable procurement is the way to create a sustainable society. Change doesn’t happen in a straightforward way. There are many holes, mountains and interesting experiences. Enjoy the ride, even when you don’t succeed at first.”

The Conference highlighted some key procurement successes with reveal of the 2024 Procura+ Award winners. The Awards were given in three categories: The winner for Sustainable Procurement of the Year was the Norwegian Central Procurement Body for developing a framework agreement on the reuse and recycling of used ICT equipment, that also included social requirements for work-life inclusion. In the category Innovation Procurement of the Year the Award went to the City of Malmö for developing procurement criteria for several tenders based on universal design principles to make physical infrastructure, goods and services accessible to people of all ages, sizes and abilities. Finally, the City of Lisbon won the category Procurement Initiative of the Year, for Developing a Sustainable Procurement Management System, to establish a systematic framework ensuring that all public procurement processes within the Municipality are developed within responsible, transparent, fair, and ecological principles.

Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre closed the Conference: “Lisbon were fantastic hosts for an extraordinary gathering of procurers from across the world. The Procura+ 2024 Conference was about renewing inspiration, strengthening networks, and a shared commitment to catalysing step changes for big impact in procurement practices. The momentum generated during the conference sets the stage for continued collaboration in the transition to a more sustainable, just and resilient way forward.”

Find more information on the conference at ICLEI Procura+ conference website.
Learn more about the Procura+ Award Winners and their achievements at ICLEI Procura+ Awards website.

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category : Topics

March 28, 2024

Call For Proposals:Promoting Ecolabels and Sustainable Public Procurement In the Building and Construction Sector

The Consumer Information Programme of the One Planet network (OPN) and the EcoAdvance project, in partnership with the Sustainable Public Procurement Programme of the One Planet network are launching a call for proposals. Its main objective is to increase the use of ecolabels (ISO 14024) and promote sustainable public procurement (SPP) as tools to improve climate mitigation, biodiversity, and resource protection in the building and construction sector.

Through this call for proposals, the Consumer Information Programme and the EcoAdvance project, in partnership with the Sustainable public procurement programme, will support initiatives from developing countries or emerging economies (except the five target countries in Latin America) working in the building and construction sector to:

-apply good practices related to the use of Ecolabels in SPP,
-develop ambitious ecolabels criteria (linked to climate change, biodiversity protection, and resource conservation),
-improve policy and legal frameworks,
-enhance knowledge management and increase engagement of stakeholders.

This initiative is receiving financial support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and has been launched at the Buildings and Climate Global Forum thanks to the support of the French Government.

Deadline for submission of proposals: 12 April 2024

Notification of selection: May 2024

Start of activities: July/August 2024

Learn more at UNEP one planetnetwork website.

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category : Topics

March 26, 2024

Food systems finally reached the multilateral agenda, but will they also make it to UNEA-6?

Throughout 2022 and 2023, food systems transformation was finally recognized as a key lever to achieve the Paris Agreement on Climate, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF), and the Sustainable Development Goals. Policymakers seem to have started to react to the alarm bells. Food systems reached several multilateral and global agendas, with three Rio Conventions - UNCCD, UNCBD, and the UNFCC - including their first ever “Food Day” into their official programs. More importantly, food systems started to feature in their outcome agreements. The KMGBF included a series of targets that commit countries to transforming certain elements of our food systems. At COP28, the first ever Global Stocktake of the UNFCCC Paris Climate Agreement included references to food systems, while the Adaptation section even featured a range of food systems actions. In addition, over 150 countries committed to implementing the Emirates Declaration on Resilient Food Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, and Climate Action that was put forward by the COP28 Presidency.

Meanwhile, it is not clear whether these breakthroughs will be reflected at the 6th session of the UN Environment Assembly, the highest decision-making body on the environment, which focuses on addressing the interconnected planetary crises and promoting effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions against climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. While the topics of several of the draft resolutions that will be negotiated at UNEA-6 are highly related to food and agriculture – including water policies, land degradation, nature-based solutions, pesticides, and circular economy – the current draft decision texts lack any prominent mention of food systems. This means that countries and could miss a critical opportunity to embrace the urgent need to transform our food systems as a key integrated approach for overcoming the triple planetary crisis. The draft UNEA-6 outcome documents and country-led resolutions currently lack any prominent mention of food systems transformation.

To bring food systems back to the table at UNEA-6, the SFS Programme has developed guidance for UN Member States with concrete text proposals for four key draft resolutions that can help place food systems transformation where it needs to be if we are to succeed with Agenda 2030.

Read the guidance for advancing food systems in UNEA-6 resolutions at One Planet Network knowledge center.

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category : Topics

March 21, 2024

Digital Trade for Development

Joint report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), The World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

This report explores the opportunities and challenges for developing economies arising from digital trade and discusses the role of international cooperation in tackling these opportunities and challenges.

The report considers policy actions in the areas of digital infrastructure, skills, international support for capacity development, and the regulatory and policy environment.

Specific policy issues include the WTO e-commerce moratorium, regulation of cross-border data flows, competition policies and consumer protection.

Learn more at UNCTAD publication site.

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category : Topics

March 6, 2024

Unlocking USD 6.7 million for dairy value chain

GO4SDGs developed a finance-ecosystems project for SMEs to assess and facilitate the uptake of resource-efficient and cleaner production (RECP) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in two value chains (dairy and tea) in Kenya.

The project brought together diverse partners to create an ecosystem to evaluate and implement commercially viable RECP interventions that could be replicated in similar ecosystems across Africa. This includes two prominent value chains in the agri-food sector, Meru Diary Cooperative Union (MDCU) and Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Limited (KTDA), the Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre (KNCPC), a finance expert (Fintech Frontiers Kenya Ltd), along with two financial institutions, Absa Bank Kenya Plc, and the African Guarantee Fund.

RECP Opportunity Assessment:
During the pilot, extensive assessments were conducted by KNCPC, focusing on two milk cooling plants and the milk processing plant within MDCU, looking at three areas: water use and wastewater management, raw materials use and solid waste management, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. KNCPC also analysed the potential for industrial symbiosis and assessed environmental compliance levels, offering recommendations for improvement within MDCU and its associated SMEs. MDCU committed to self-financing the low-capital RECP upgrade interventions, which included measures to reduce water consumption, enhance energy efficiency, optimize milk processing, and reduce waste. With tailor-made credit models developed by the finance expert, MDCU commenced negotiations with Absa Bank Kenya Plc for a commercial facility to support the larger capital RECP upgrade recommendations.

Unlocking Value for Money:
Through a USD 67,500 investment in RECP assessments and customized financing expertise into the pilot project by GO4SDGs, MDCU was able to secure USD 6.7 million in commercial financing for RECP upgrades that will foster efficient water management, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and environmental compliance.

Beyond financial gains, the investment also generated positive environmental and social impacts. It is important to note that the assessment only covered a fraction of MDCU's operations, emphasizing the vast potential for RECP financing opportunities within the entire value chain, including the 33 remaining milk cooling plants and the 160 SMEs supplying goods and services to the processor.

This pilot project showcases the potential for transformative change through strategic partnerships and innovative financing models, seizing opportunities to realize the full potential of value for money.

Learn more at greenpolicyplatform.

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