IGPN - International Green Purchasing Network



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June 21, 2024

International Green Purchasing Network 2024 Knowledge Sharing Webinar Held to Bridge Sustainable Public Procurement Practices in Asian Region

2024 knowledge sharing webinar of the International Green Purchasing Network-IGPN was held visually on June 13th. Participants from national Green Purchasing Networks (GPN), IGPN Council and IGPN Advisory Board, invited guests from UNEP, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, World Bank, TCO Development, GIZ Thailand office attended this meeting. The meeting was hosted by the IGPN Secretariat, China Environmental United Certification Center–CEC.

Mr. Chen Yanping, Chair of IGPN, presented his speech in the opening remarks, “IGPN has been continuously supported global sustainable procurement development in terms of capacity building, awareness raising, tools and approach development, Since the development of GPN measurement methodology initiated and pilot test conducted, pilot questionnaires were received from GPN Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong SAR to develop a scientific measurement methodology to evaluate the effectiveness which will help to achieve the long-term goal of promoting sustainable purchasing practice for all organizations”. Mr. ZHU Shu, regional director of ICLEI East Asia, newly appointed vice chair of IGPN, pointed the recommendations on IGPN development including advocating and mainstreaming GPP awareness, seeking synergies with core international conventions, building sustainable funding scheme steadily, incorporating middle Asian countries and cities for green development and transition under the BRI of China, and exploring possibilities of developing best practices on cities, industrial zones, and specific industries like building and textile.

During the meeting, Ms. Fabienne Pierre, Programmes & Flagship Initiatives Lead of UNEP One Planet Network Secretariat, presented the flagship initiative on mainstreaming circularity in the construction sector through sustainable public procurement; Mr. Howard Bariira Centenary, Lead Procurement Specialist of East Asia and Pacific Region Governance Global Practice from World Bank shared the landscape of Sustainable Public Procurement in East Asia Pacific; Mr, SHAN Mingwei, representatives from CEC introduced ·Feasibility study on promoting carbon reduction in the steel and cement industry through public procurement,

Meanwhile, Mr. Gakuji FUKATSU, secretariat general of Japan GPN, recapped the history and latest activities of GPN Japan and provide valuable insight for the on-going pilot test of GPN Measurement Methodology conducted by the IGPN Secretariat. Mr. Pranav Bhardwaj, assistant vice president of GPN India, provided the GPP practice in the Indian Road Sector; Dr. Chaiyod Bunyagidj together with Mr. Augustine Koh, Director of GPN BERHAD brought the latest progress on exploring the certification and verification of GPNB standards in tracking system within a blockchain and its key features and benefits.

Since CEC holds the IGPN Secretariat in 2018, it consistently works on the IGPN operational and members’ collaboration activities. Stated by Mr. LIU Zunwen, CEC general manager, in the summary speech, “Next, IGPN Secretariat will revise the methodology, release the methodology and report as scheduled; Furthermore, the Secretariat will work closely with ICLEI, enrich projects and activities, bridge the IGPN and One Planet Network for a platform for SPP practical practices in the Asia Pacific region,”


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June 18, 2024

Good practices on ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement

This specific case study explores the benefits of grouping sustainable certifications under a recognition scheme or pre-approved list to streamline sustainable public procurement. This approach helps public procurers easily identify and trust products and services with credible sustainability performance, mitigating the challenge of assessing diverse and often unreliable environmental claims. The MyHIJAU Mark in Malaysia and the EPA’s Framework in the USA serve as examples of successful implementation. MyHIJAU Mark has recognized over 15,000 products and services, promoting green procurement through robust certification and communication strategies. Similarly, the EPA’s Framework recommends over 40 standards across various categories, aiding federal purchasers in making environmentally sound choices. This system not only boosts the availability of certified green products but also simplifies the procurement process, supporting broader environmental and economic goals. This case study highlight that effective national policies and communication strategies are crucial for successful adoption and market expansion of sustainable products.

This series of 20 good practices reflects experiences on ecolabelling, sustainable public procurement, or the joint use of ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement that have demonstrated positive impacts on fostering sustainable consumption and production — for this reason, they are called "good practices.” These good practices aim to promote global exchange by providing information and examples of various approaches that entities from different countries and contexts can apply to strengthen the use of ecolabels and sustainable public procurement. They were developed as an outcome of the Working Group on Ecolabelling from the Consumer Information Programme, under the One Planet network, and the EcoAdvance project, jointly implemented by the German Cooperation for Development (GIZ), the United Nations for Environmental Protection (UNEP), and the Oeko Institute, funded by the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, nuclear safety and consumer protection (BMUV), and the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

Learn more at One Planet Network website.

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June 12, 2024

How sustainable public procurement advances New European Bauhaus

Within the Big Buyers Working Together (BBWT) project, a Community of Practice (CoP) focused on the New European Bauhaus (NEB) is the first European initiative to explore meaningful links between the NEB and sustainable public procurement. This CoP, led by ICLEI Europe, kicked off recently with a webinar that explored cases of how sustainable public procurement can help advance the NEB principles.

Eytan Levi of Roofscapes explained how a tender of the City of Paris (France) enabled his organisation to transform pitched and slanted roofs in the city into green and accessible spaces. In the context of climate change, green roofs are especially important as they can help cool the city. At the same time they provide green spaces for the inhabitants of the building and have a positive impact on biodiversity.

In the second case study, the Mayor of Beclean (Romania) Nicolae Moldovan highlighted the prize-winning Legacy Recreation Center in his city. The project is aimed at the inclusion of people with social needs, allowing them to find a diversity of recreational, social and leisure activities in one place. The centre includes a library, a yoga centre, fitness, bowling, a sports hall, two swimming pools.

The BBWT project supports collaboration between public buyers with strong purchasing power and promotes the wider use of strategic public procurement for innovative and sustainable solutions. It is comprised of 10 CoPs coordinated by ICLEI Europe alongside Eurocities and BME on behalf of the European Commission. Each CoP is devoted to the purchase of a specific product, work or service where European collaboration is needed with the aim of developing more strategic and innovative procurement approaches.

In addition to the NEB, ICLEI leads three additional CoP’s in BBWT, namely Social Procurement, Heavy Duty Electric Vehicles and Sustainable Solar. More information about these communities can be found on the Public Buyers Community Platform. In addition, The European Commission recently produced a deep dive on the work of the Sustainable Solar CoP including a news article on the key challenges of the group in the context of the current EU-wide shift towards renewable energy, a factsheet that provides more info on the mission, key strategies and objectives of the group, and an introductory video.

Learn more at ICLEI Europe website.

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June 4, 2024

Circular Built Environment Working Group: exploring social dimensions and measuring circularity in the buildings and construction sector

The Circular Built Environment working group advocates for the uptake of circularity standards and practices through the buildings and construction sector at a national level, alongside key partners such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) at a buildings level, who had recently announced the development of the Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) for Buildings Framework. While the working group is leading the development of a Circularity Assessment Framework tailored for the national level. These efforts are key to continue developing a strong narrative on circularity in the construction sector as well as advancing on tools to measure and monitor circularity in public construction projects.

In 2024, Habitat for Humanity International will spearhead the Circular Built Environment working group's exploration of the social aspects of circularity. This initiative aims to gather and disseminate insights concerning circular practices within the affordable housing sector, including gender inequalities and jobs. Moreover, the working group invites other organizations to contribute to and shape this endeavor, with opportunities to explore additional sub-themes.

To become a part of the working group, please contact the GlobalABC. If you are interested in participating in the piloting phase of the Circularity Assessment Framework and the Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) for Buildings Framework please click here.

Circularity Assessment Framework The Circularity Assessment Framework - funded by Finland, led by UNEP and developed by UNOPS - assesses the state of circularity of the built environment and enabling environments at the national level and was launched at the Buildings and Climate Global Forum. Launched with a call to action for countries to join in the piloting of the assessment framework, the Circularity Assessment Framework is under development with the support of 50 international advisors and the piloting country teams. Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) for buildings launched WBCSD announced the development of the Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) for buildings framework in the Buildings and Climate Global Forum in March and launched the tool in the WCEF 2024 in April. The Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) for buildings framework assesses circularity at the building level. WBCSD is currently looking for stakeholders to engage in workshops and the pilot phase to answer as much as possible to the needs of the built environment value chain when it comes to measurement for material, energy & water flow, and design.

Learn more at One Planet Network News Center.

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May 27, 2024

New project: Regional Pathways on Sustainable Public Procurement for Sustainable Food Systems

With a substantial demand for food from the public sector, sustainable public food procurement (PFP) initiatives possess the potential to significantly influence both food consumption and production patterns, delivering numerous social, economic, and environmental benefits to positively transform food systems and contribute to sustainable and healthy diets. Depending on policy and regulatory frameworks, PFP initiatives play a crucial role in determining the type of food purchased (food security and nutrition), the source of procurement (livelihoods, decent jobs, income), and the production methods employed (environmental sustainability). Notably, school feeding programs, serving as one of the largest and most widespread social safety nets globally with 418 million children benefiting.

This is why a new project led by FAO and UNEP has been launched to bolster the efforts of the One Planet Sustainable Public Procurement and Sustainable Food Systems Programmes. The project will involve crafting a regional pathway on Sustainable Public Procurement for Sustainable Food Systems, paving the way for in-country technical support for the implementation of recommended actions. The project aims to identify prioritized principles for adopting sustainable public procurement practices that integrate social and environmental considerations holistically into public food procurement objectives, processes, and assessments.

To achieve this objective, a comprehensive stocktaking assessment will be conducted, examining sustainable public food procurement policies and practices at a regional level. This assessment will specifically address the integration of environmental considerations, including climate, pollution, and biodiversity goals, alongside with socio-economic considerations, into public food procurement objectives, processes, and assessments . Subsequently, a consultation will be implemented with regional experts and key actors (whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach) to validate and socialize the findings. These results will serve as a foundation for identifying prioritized recommendations for action, leveraging global-level expertise and networks. Results will mark an initial phase in the progression towards advancing commitments for action from all involved parties and providing technical support for the implementation of these recommendations at the national level.

Learn more at One Planet Network News Center.

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May 20, 2024

Decarbonizing buildings, leveraging the power of sustainable public procurement

During the Buildings and Climate Global Forum, held on the 7th and 8th of March 2024 in Paris , the One Planet Network organized the session “Decarbonizing buildings, leveraging the power of sustainable public procurement” in a joint collaboration with the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, UNEP and the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion & Ministry of Energy Transition of France; and in partnership with UNOPS, UNIDO, OECD, C40, Stora Enso, Skanska, EPA Ghana, French state Property Directorate (DIE), German Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building, Climate Group, Ministry of the Environment of Finland, and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands.

The session convened diverse actors in a panel discussion including the public sector as well as the private sector and international organizations, with the aim to highlight the key role both the public and the private sectors play in creating the conditions for demand to successfully drive the decarbonization of the built environment through public procurement policies and practices, including a discussion of specific challenges, conditions to inspire innovation and create market readiness, and the social impact as well as the capacity-building needs.

Furthermore, the session focused on showcasing existing multi-stakeholder platforms and partnerships, such as the OPN flagship initiative “Mainstreaming circularity in the construction sector leveraging the power of sustainable public procurement”, UNIDO/IDDI Green Public Procurement pledge and the C40 Accelerators, that provide effective commitments to support and implement sustainable, low-carbon public procurement at scale through concrete objectives, tools and pathways, knowledge sharing and cooperation, and identify recommendations for amplifying their capacity to mobilize, foster new collaborations and raise the level of ambition.

Lear more at One Planet Network news center.

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May 13, 2024

The destruction of returned and unsold textiles in Europe’s circular economy

EU policymakers recently decided to introduce a direct ban on the destruction of textiles and footwear, with some exemptions for small, micro and medium-sized companies.

In this briefing, the EEA takes stock of what is currently known about the volumes and destruction of returned and unsold textiles in Europe. The growth of online shopping, flexible return practices, changed consumer preferences and fast-fashion business strategies in Europe have resulted in increased shares of returned and unsold textiles.

Over the past years, fast fashion and luxury brands have been reported as destroying returned or unsold clothing, shoes and other textiles. Textile product destruction is a very good example of a ‘take-make-waste’ approach.
It analyses how European countries include circular economy and waste actions in their reporting on climate change mitigation policies and measures and how the introduction of additional measures can help accelerate future reductions of GHG emissions.

The briefing finds that waste management and the circular economy have considerable potential for mitigating climate change. Therefore, countries would benefit from including policies and measures in these areas in their climate policy mix.

Learn more at European Environment Agency website.

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May 7, 2024

New Circular Built Environment framework and key recommendations unveiled at Buildings and Climate Global Forum

The Buildings and Climate Global Forum, co-organised by France and the United Nations Environment Programme, with the support of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, took place on 7-8 March 2024 in Paris and gathered for the first time ministers and high-level representatives of key organisations, to initiate a new impetus in international collaboration for building decarbonisation and resilience after the Conference of the Parties (COP) 28.

During this event, the Circular Built Environment group - led by the Ministry of the Environment Finland and RMIT University and operating under the Materials hub managed by GlobalABC, One Planet Network and Life Cycle Initiative - organised with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development a thematic session on the 'Circular economy in the built environment - A solution to the triple planetary crisis' on the 7th of March, with support from UNEP, Holcim, WorldGBC, UNOPS, UNIDO, and RMIT University.

The session raised awareness of the importance of circularity in the built environment and addressed challenges related to policy and market development encouraging the audience to focus on moving away from the linear model and instead committing to a circular economy model of the buildings and construction sector.

Three circular economy related recommendations of the Ten Whole Life Cycle recommendations for the Buildings breakthrough were launched in the session. The 10 consensus driven recommendations were developed by the Materials Hub and its two parallel working groups Circular Built Environment and Whole Life Policy Coalition that is led by the UKs Department of Energy Security through extensive stakeholder engagement including over 100 academic, policy and industry professionals from over 42 countries. To find our more please visit: https://globalabc.org/news/10-whole-life-cycle-recommendations-buildings-breakthrough

The Circularity assessment framework assessing the state of circularity of the built environment at the national level was also launched in the session. The Circularity assessment framework is funded by Finland, led by UNEP and developed by UNOPS. The piloting of the framework will start in Bangladesh this month by UN-Habitat. WBCSD also announced the launch of the Buildings CTI tool that assesses circularity at the buildings level in the session. To find out more about these two assessment frameworks please visit: https://globalabc.org/resources/calls-for-proposals/call-pilots-circularity-frameworks

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April 29, 2024

Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction (Buildings-GSR), a report published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), provides an annual snapshot of the progress of the buildings and construction sector on a global scale. The Buildings-GSR reviews the status of policies, finance, technologies and solutions to monitor whether the sector is aligned with the Paris Agreement goals. It also provides stakeholders with evidence to persuade policymakers and the overall buildings and construction community to take action.

As outlined in this edition, the buildings and construction sector contributes significantly to global climate change, accounting for about 21 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2022, buildings were responsible for 34 per cent of global energy demand and 37 per cent of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The 2022 update of the Global Buildings Climate Tracker (GBCT) paints a concerning picture: the gap between the current state and the desired decarbonization path is significant. To align with the 2030 milestone, an annual increase of ten decarbonization points is now required, a substantial jump from the six points anticipated per year starting in 2015.

This year, the deep dive chapters are the following: adaptation and resilient construction methods; innovations in business cases, as well as nature-based solutions and biophilic design.

Find more resources on the UNEP website.

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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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