Procurement News – Europe

Putting green procurement into practice

February 5 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

Over the next week BusinessGreen will be exclusively syndicating extracts from an upcoming essay collection on greening the UK’s supply chain. The essays, written by academics and industry experts, were compiled by the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG) and covers topics from green design standards to shifts in consumer behaviour. The full collection will be published next week.
The first extract in the series is from Liam Fassam, senior lecturer on supply chain management at the University of Northampton. In this edited extract from his essay he considers how the introduction of green procurement policy, including the introduction of real-time data analysis, reduce waste throughout the food supply chain.

Every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets wasted, equating to a third of global production, while 795 million global inhabitants experience hunger and malnutrition.
Alongside the food waste challenge, global consumer trends are changing and this is placing a strain on sustainability in a supply chain context. For example, the average person in China consumes 57kg of meat per annum, an increase of 25 per cent over the previous decade, with an anticipated increase of an additional 50 per cent over the next ten years. This is predicted to have a knock-on effect on demand for cattle feed (grain) of 94 million tonnes, on top of the current requirement of 650 million tonnes per annum.
As a society we are heading for the perfect storm, where consumer demand and waste inhibits supply and creates an unsustainable supply chain, unless procurement functions can effectively drive change.
Although procurement has the proven rigor and structure to lead change in a supply chain, more needs to be done to change cultures within these decision-making departments, to embrace ‘softer’ elements of business decisions to bring holistic benefits in terms of waste reduction, which arguably brings cost reductions.
In order for procurement to effect decisions on the supply chain that will inform more sustainable practices and reduce waste, data acquisition and sharing of that data is key.
A traditional farm-to-fork food supply chain operates on a forecast, which in the case of food originates ‘downstream’ (toward customer) with a retailer. Food retail forecasts will be based on but not restricted to market trends, consumer demands and expected market uptake (in case of new product introductions). However, rarely do these forecasts pass fully ‘upstream’ to the producer of raw material i.e. farmer.
Take the example of planting oats for UK cereal producers – the forecast lead time is habitually 18-month in advance of harvest. During this time, consumer tastes can change, prices due to other commodities such as oil differ and weather events can affect a harvest. Collectively, these events are known as ‘supply shocks’. It is these supply shocks that procurement departments work to mitigate.
However, if a supply shock occurs in the current linear economy little is done to inform upstream actors of the change in demand. In the rare instance this does happen there is scarcities of ‘other’ options available for product re-use, therefore the product becomes waste, despite still holding a nutritional benefit. Consequently, by not sharing ‘real time’ data and implementing alternative routes to market for this material, we can determine this as an avoidable waste.
One could argue that procurement departments should work with their upstream suppliers, which for the European food industry comprises 90 per cent small to medium enterprises (SMEs). However, SMEs have little resource capability to find alternative routes to market or uses for their product. It is therefore incumbent on government and larger corporations to support redeployment of what would be traditionally termed as ‘waste’ in the linear economy and adopt a more circular approach.
The challenges of a linear economy not only affect the local economy, but cause a ripple effect across our global trading communities. Harnessing ‘real time’ information on supply chain activity will not only reduce avoidable waste but further mitigate food security challenges by diverting or finding alternative uses for food stocks, ease price shocks and reduce food mountains.
A database of resource availability, separated out by category and updated automatically through enterprise planning systems would greatly assist procurement professionals in making informed decisions. Quite often a business will repurpose or reuse material that is a by-product of another manufacturing process. This would be particularly the case if this was a reliable source and supported with robust logistics networks. Data could act as a facilitator of ‘waste exchange’ and further support reverse logistics operations.
In conclusion, there is currently a global business community that is driven by cost metrics, with outsourced risk policies, and procurement functions that have little insight into demand and production. Further, there are limited and diminishing material resources and a research gap in the area of sustainable procurement.
It has been found that procurement is best placed to effect change and deliver governance to holistic supply chains, with the public sector leading the way as an exemplar of what good practice looks like in a business context.
An overriding requirement is needed to foster greater sharing of information across supply chain actors in order to reduce waste and make supply chains more resilient and sustainable.
The marketplace is crowded with SME’s all of which are looking for alternative routes for products or different sources of raw material and the creation of logistics industrial symbiosis and leveraging off of the current logistics networks is a way around this.
This investment will not only foster a resource efficient economy, it will stimulate growth, innovation and skills development whilst meeting ethical and societal needs.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.businessgreen.com

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Commission propose mechanism for opening up international procurement markets – New Europe

February 1 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

The European Commission wants to pressure the EU trading partners to open up their procurement markets and today it presented a revised proposal on achieving the much-desired goal.

The EU institution said that the EU’s public procurement market is traditionally very open but this is not always matched by a similar degree of openness by EU’s trading partners. According to the Commission some of the EU’s major trading partners apply restrictive practices which discriminate against EU businesses.

“The restrictions applied by our trading partners affect sectors where the EU is highly competitive, such as construction, public transport, medical devices, power generation and pharmaceuticals,” Commission said.

Overall, public procurement affects a substantial share of world trade flows and amounts to €1 000 billion per year.

Today, the Commission has presented a revised proposal for an International Procurement Instrument – a tool to promote open access for EU companies to public procurement markets around the world. The mechanism would allow the Commission to initiate public investigations in cases of alleged discrimination of EU companies in foreign procurement markets.

Commenting on the revised proposal, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “I firmly believe that an open international trading system needs to include public procurement. Openness is good for business, good for consumers, and leads to an efficient use of taxpayers’ money. It also helps in the fight against corruption. This new proposal will give us the means to show that we are committed to opening up procurement markets globally.”

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Government procurement around the world represents a huge market. We want EU companies to be able to tap into this market outside the EU just as companies from outside the EU are able to benefit from our market. What we are doing today will open doors for our businesses and allow them to compete on an equal footing.”

The revised proposal must now be adopted by the European Council, before coming into force.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: neurope.eu

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New Procurement Regulations For Scotland – Government, Public Sector – UK

January 29 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

On 19 January, the Scottish Government published the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016. The Regulations will come into force on 18 April and make further provision for regulated (below EU threshold) contracts under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

The Regulations mirror much of the EU regime. They set out how to calculate the estimated value for regulated contracts, and the circumstances in which such a contract can be awarded by a contracting authority without seeking offers under a procurement. They also set out how the Act applies to dynamic purchasing systems, and what constitutes a health or social care service for procurements under the Regulations. There are also some specific provisions about publication of contract notices and contract award notices.

Importantly, the Regulations require a contracting authority to exclude an economic operator from a regulated procurement on certain grounds of criminal activity, as well as in cases of blacklisting. They also provide for the selection of economic operators and the use of technical specifications in relation to regulated procurements.

The publication of these latest Regulations follows closely behind the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015, which were laid before the Scottish Parliament last month. They establish a procurement regime for regulated contracts and are set to be a new feature on the Scottish procurement landscape.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.mondaq.com

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Project in Romania: Public procurement to be conducted entirely online

January 21 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

All types of public procurement must be done entirely online, according to the first draft of the norms for applying the law on public procurement, which was published on Friday.

The norms bring changes related to market consultation, rules for assessing in advance (ex-ante) the tender documentation, specification of the ‘value for money’ and ‘lowest cost’ criteria, according to the Finance Ministry.

The contracts on technical assistance, consultancy, and design should also include the “value for money” criterion. However, the “value for money” criterion can’t account for more than 40% in choosing the winning offer.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.romania-insider.com

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Procurement for public ‘electromobility’ in Barcelona (Spain) | Eltis

January 21 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

While Barcelona’s network is already one of the cleanest in Europe thanks to its hybrid and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses and the retrofitting of its diesel vehicles with particulate filters, the public transport operator Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has decided to integrate fully-electric buses into its fleet. This started with the purchase of a BYD K9 bus and two IRIZAR buses. A tender for two additional electric buses was subsequently published in January 2014. These two extra buses (along with the IRIZAR buses) are part of the EU ZeEUS project which aims to introduce electric buses into the fleets of European municipalities.

Context 
The purchase of electric buses is a part of a broader sustainability policy for TMB and the city of Barcelona with the common aim of lowering emissions from public transport as much as possible.

In action 
The tender clearly specified that TMB would buy electric buses, whatever their type (battery, on-road charging or hydrogen fuel cell) and their length (12-metre, articulated 18-metre or bi-articulated 25-metre), together with the necessary charging stations. In choosing electric vehicles, emissions will be cut as electric buses are ‘zero-emission’. Other technical specifications related to the battery range as the buses must be capable of providing an air-conditioned service for 16 hours per day. Then, after considering these exacting specifications, the award-criteria set for the tender was based on price. TMB chose to purchase two 18 metre-long Solaris Urbino, designed for 120 passengers each. The buses are charged at each end of the line. This charging system (25 per cent charging takes just 5 minutes at each terminal) allows lighter batteries to be used onboard and, consequently, is more energy-efficiency. These two new buses will be integrated into the Barcelona fleet for a test phase in November 2015.

Results 
First, the buses selected do not emit CO2, NOx or PM. Additionally, electric buses are energy-efficient. Simulations of Solaris Urbino buses in operation show an energy consumption of approximately 3.0 kWh/km during winter (when air-conditioning is not required).

Challenges, opportunities and transferability 
The procurement process is regarded as producing a positive outcome as the new buses will integrate well into the fleet and fit in with TMB’s sustainability policy. However, the public transport operator stresses the importance of closely following rapidly evolving technological developments so as not to miss future opportunities for further improvement.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.eltis.org

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