News Archive

Here you can browse through older news items:

July 2011

27.07.11 GPP would help anticipate raw materials price hike

According to an article published through ENDS (25 July), the majority of participants to an EU consultation on resource efficiency policy believe the price of some raw materials will rise considerably by 2020. This is according to a summary of responses published by the European Commission in July.

More than half of the respondents were companies or business associations. Most of them believe that importing raw materials would become more difficult in future, and that shortages are likely to hit Europe in the longer term.

Easy access to investment and research funding, green public procurement and trade measures such as the introduction of sustainability criteria for imported products are seen as the most effective measures to encourage resource-efficient business models.

Summary of consultation responses (published on 12 July 2011)

(source: ENDS - Environmental Data Services)

25.07.11 Get the latest news on SMART sustainable procurement

With SMART SPP coming to an end at the end of August, the final issue of the project's newsletter is packed full of with information about the latest guidance and materials developed by the project consortium.

Also read about how local authorities in Portugal, Spain, the UK and Denmark introduced new, innovative low carbon emission technologies and integrated solutions into their cities through public procurement.

Discover the revised SMART SPP guidance launched at the project's final conference held at the end of June in Brussels. The guidance aims to assist public authorities who wish to procure the best sustainable technologies that the market has to offer.

Save the date also for ICLEI's European Convention on 12-14 September 2011, during which ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement team will deliver a half-day workshop. >>more

21.07.11 Early engagement leads to NHS lighting innovation

A fresh approach to procurement has enabled Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust to uncover an innovative lighting proposal for its hospital refurbishment.

The trust worked with the British Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to implement a forward commitment procurement process that involves early engagement with suppliers to draw on them to put forward innovative ideas to address the hospital’s needs.

While also saving on cost and reducing carbon, the NHS-leading lighting system that the trust is in the process of buying will improve patient experience and give staff better working conditions, said the trust’s head of procurement Steph Holmes.>>more

(Source: SupplyManagement.com)

19.07.11 Debate on modernisation of EU public procurement

At a conference on 30 June, the European Commission (EC) presented the results of the consultation on the modernisation of EU public procurement policy. Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier, invited stakeholders interested in public procurement to discuss future orientations.

“Public procurement needs to play its part in helping us to protect the environment, to innovate, to improve jobs and living conditions, and to help us to fight against climate change”, said Barnier. Making the legislation more conducive towards other societal goals such as the environment evoked mixed reactions, with representatives from business, Member States and public authorities showing little support for reform in this regard, according to responses received by the EC on the Green Paper.

Find out more in the latest issue of the EC's GPP News-Alert.

(Source: GPP Helpdesk)

15.07.11 New energy efficiency directive for Europe

The proposed new Energy Efficiency Directive was published by the European Commission on June 22. This contains a number of measures aimed at reaching the EU's target of 20% primary energy savings by 2020.

Member States are to ensure that:

  • From 2014 at least 3% of their public building stock is renovated each year to agreed minimum energy performance standards.
  • Public bodies purchase only products, services and buildings with high energy efficiency performance, as defined in an Annex to the Directive.
  • Model contracts are provided for energy performance contracting in the public sector


(Source: European Commission, DG Energy)

12.07.11 New EU Ecolabel criteria for PCs published

New EU Ecolabel criteria for personal computers were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 6 June 2011. They are valid for three years. They apply to portable computers, as well as tablet PCs with touch-sensitive screens.

According to the criteria document, "these criteria aim in particular at promoting the reduction of environmental damage or risks related to the use of energy (global warming, acidification, depletion of non-renewable resources) by reducing energy consumption." >>more

(Source: EU Ecolabel News alert)

11.07.11 Good results from testing LED retrofit laps, but big quality differences

The latest issue of Topten Focus provides some interesting results for retrofitting using LED lamps. Topten is a consumer-oriented online search tool, which presents the best appliances in terms of energy efficiency, impact on the environment, health and quality, for various categories of products.

14 LED retrofit lamps were recently tested in Switzerland by topten. Good results were obtained, however the quality differences on the market were found to be substantial.  >>more

(Source: topten.eu)

08.07.11 Outcomes from the Smart Procurement conference now available online

If you were not able to attend the Smart Procurement - Reducing Costs and Saving Energy Conference last week or you would like to revisit one of the presentations you saw that day, make sure that you visit the conference website. All the presentations delivered during the conference are now available online.

Along with the presentations are a number of photos and a press release highlighting the outcomes of the conference, such as the launch of the much anticipated updated version of the innovation guidance for purchasers. >>more

05.07.11 Funding to support public procurement of innovative solutions

A new call for proposals was published last week by the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry) to help support public purchasers in purchasing innovative products and solutions. The latter are further defined by the Innovation Union Communication.

The call for aims to provide support for establishing trans-national networks to enable contracting authorities in the European Union and organisations supporting innovation procurement to: offset additional risks and costs of carrying out this type of procurement; to collaborate to create a critical mass; and to test the feasibility and implementation modalities of a future EU support scheme.

The deadline for the submission of proposals (to strands 1 and 2) is 27 September 2011.  >>more

(Source: European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry)

June 2011

30.06.11 Cities lead the charge for change to sustainable procurement through market engagement

"Public procurement rules as they stand are too complicated and not flexible enough to reach our goals" according to MEP Heide Rühle. Rühle said that she welcomes the current revision process scheduled to be concluded in the coming months when speaking at the Smart Procurement - Reducing Costs and Saving Energy Conference.

The event took place in the Basque Country Representation Office in Brussels on 29 June with leading European cities in the field of sustainable procurement meeting with representatives from DG Environment, DG Enterprise and DG Energy. Participants had the opportunity to explore the role and potential of sustainable procurement as a driver of energy efficient innovation in the European Union. As strong advocators for achieving clearer wording on what is possible when spending public money in a more sustainable manner, the main message from the European Parliament and Commission is that the public sector can be a driving force for greening the market. >>more

27.06.11 Appliance tests reveal energy labelling errors

A third of the refrigerators and freezers tested by an EU-backed project did not match performance figures given on their energy efficiency labels, according to preliminary results released as part of Sustainable Energy Week on Tuesday.

The organisations behind the ‘appliance testing for energy label evaluation’ (ATLETE) project say it shows the need for better testing regimes in member states.

Initial ATLETE results presented in Brussels suggest that 16% of products had lower energy efficiency ratings than those stated on their label. They were also displaying the wrong energy consumption figure. Another ten products did not live up to storage temperature and volume figures on their energy labels.>>more

(Source: Atlete)

24.06.11 Common language for sustainable construction

In response to the need for more sustainable construction, new concepts, phrases, terms and expressions are being used in the construction industry across Europe. From Air Source Heat Pumps to Zero Carbon Homes; from Whole Life Costing to Photovoltaic Electricity; from Recycled Materials to Passive House, it is important that the industry and authorities reach a common understanding of these terms in order to provide a base for harmonised development in the future.

The European Concrete Platform (ECP) working together with the Architects Council of Europe (ACE) believed gathered these terms and established a ‘working’ glossary of the concepts currently in use in a concise, easily accessible form.

The European Economic and Social Committee has also become actively involved in the project by translating the glossary into all the official EU languages and publishing a book containg the English, French, German and Spanish versions.>>more

(Source: The European Cement Association)

20.06.11 New label for energy-efficient data-centres

During their last meeting in May the Blue Angel Jury passed new Blue Angel award criteria for a range of important products and services, among them data-centres.

In Germany around four medium-sized coal-powered power stations alone are needed to power servers and data centres. The possibility exists of being able to save between 40 and 50 percent of the energy being used.

The Blue Angel label is awarded to data centres whose operators set in motion the realisation of a long-term strategy to increase energy efficiency in relation to the IT services they generate. The awarding criteria include: the improvement of the current situation, a continual monitoring of electrical energy usage, temperatures and the IT load, as well as the creation of an annual energy efficiency report. In addition ambitious demands will be made in terms of the efficiency of individual components in the data centres.>>more

(Source: Blue Angel)

16.06.11 Smart Procurement – Reducing Costs & Saving Energy Conference: Last chance to register!

Don’t forget to register your place at the Smart Procurement – Reducing Costs & Saving Energy Conference! It is set to take place on Wednesday 29 June in Brussels and is hosted by the Basque Country EU-Office. During the morning session, high level speakers, such as MEP Heide Rühle and representatives from the European Commission - namely DG Environment, DG Enterprise and DG Energy - will discuss the state of play of sustainable procurement as a driver of energy efficient innovation in the European Union.

The finalised procurement tools developed through the SMART SPP project will also be launched at the Conference. These include the much anticipated  Life-Cycle Costing and CO2 Assessment Tool (LCC-CO2) Tool and procurers' Guide on Innovation through Sustainable Procurement

The afternoon break-out sessions will offer you the opportunity to further discuss the ways public authorities can encourage sustainable product and service innovation through their procurement practices. Training sessions on how to use the newly developed LCC-CO2 Tool will also be delivered.

Attendance is free of charge (registration closes 23 June!). Interested in registering or finding out more? >>more

14.06.11 Public consultation on Irish GPP national action plan

A draft National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement (GPP) has been prepared by the Irish Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. This process has been assisted and informed by an inter-Departmental working group on GPP, and also by the feedback from an initial public consultation exercise which took place from May to September, 2010.

This draft National Action Plan is now available for public consultation. It puts forward seven priority product groups for which the public sector should have GPP criteria in all of their tendering processes:

  1. Construction
  2. Energy
  3. Food and catering services
  4. Transport
  5. Cleaning products and services
  6. Paper
  7. Uniforms and other textiles

The consultation period will last until Friday, July 8 2011. >>more

(Source: Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government)

08.06.11 Innovation through procurement in your country

Within the framework of the SMART SPP project, a number of regional seminars will be held during June and July to present the newly revised SMART SPP guidance and experiences from the project.

The seminars will take place in the participating countries/regions - that is, Denmark (Copenhagen), Portugal (Cascais), Spain (Barcelona) and the UK (Bromley, London) - with the next one taking place on 17 June in Barcelona (registration is still open!).

The events will provide those attending with information and tools on how public procurement (including pre-procurement actions) can be used as a strategic tool for sustainability, and particularly for innovation in energy efficiency. Approaches for how public bodies can successfully engage and dialogue with potential suppliers to improve the procurement process and its results will also be explored.>>more

07.06.11 State of play and future of GPP in the EU

Brussels was the setting for the Green Public Procurement - state of play and future developments event, held as part of European Green Week 2011. The session gathered speakers from the European Parliament, Commission, Member States and industry to discuss the status of GPP and next steps. Recent developments in policy and practice were presented, along with responses to the consultation on the modernisation of EU public procurement rules.

Some 650 responses were received and will be published along with a summary on the Commission’s website DG Internal Market . The application of life-cycle costing (LCC) to promote greener procurement was one of the themes emerging from the consultation. Read more in the 12th issue of the GPP News- Alert.

(Source: GPP Helpdesk)

06.06.11 Green Week presentations now available online

The 11th edition of Green Week, the biggest annual conference on European environment policy, took place on 24-27 May 2011 in Brussels. This year's theme was "Resource Efficiency - Using less, living better".

If you were not able to attend the event or if you would like to revisit one of the presentations you saw at the event, make sure to visit the Green Week website. Dozens of presentations, from more than thirty sessions are available online in PDF format.

Among them you can find the speech from European Environment Commissioner, Janez Potocnik, on resource efficiency. Also available are the presentations from the session on green public procurement (GPP) - session 2.7 - in the EU with interesting views from an EU business representative and an overview of GPP in Europe. Sessions on eco-innovation are available also, with presentations on "Financing eco-innovation" and on the state of play in Europe. >>more

(Source: European Commission, DG Environment)

01.06.11 Study finds 60% of consumers would consider plug-in electric vehicles for next car

The majority of consumers would consider buying a plug-in electric vehicle (PEVs) for their next car purchase, according to a global study by Accenture.

“Plug-in electric vehicles: changing perceptions, hedging bets”, a study of more than 7,000 people in 13 countries, found that 60% of consumers would consider buying a PEV for their next car purchase.

Consumers’ preferences for charging PEVs, however, could challenge utilities and charging service providers by increasing grid congestion and peak time electricity demand. It would then be necessary to optimize infrastructure through collaboration with distribution network operators.>>more

(Source: Green Car Congress)

May 2011

30.05.11 European funding for SMEs and local authorities

Got a great business project that could make Europe greener but don't know how to get it off the ground? The 2011 Eco-innovation call for proposals may be for you!

The European Commission grants an additional 2 million euros to finance green ideas: the total budget available for the 2011 call is 38 million euros. Calls support Eco-innovative projects in different sectors which aim at the prevention or reduction of environmental impacts or which contribute to the optimal use of resources. Priority areas for 2011 are materials recycling, water, greening business, food and drink sector and sustainable building products.

Also, the deadline for submission of a LIFE+ funded project is coming closer. LIFE+, the Financial Instrument for the Environment aims to protect, conserve, restore and monitor natural systems, with the objective of halting the loss of biodiversity within the EU. You have until 18 July 2011 to submit your proposal. €267 million available.>>more here and here

(Source: ETAP News Alert)

25.05.11 Sustainable consumption and production: some gains but still long way to go

In a guest editorial article for ENDS, Arnold Tukker of Dutch research institute TNO gives his views on progress towards implementing the EU's 2008 Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) package and what to expect from its forthcoming revision.

According to him, the EU saw considerable action on SCP by many actors. Some examples include green public procurement which is implemented by various member states.

In 2012, the SCP action plan will be revised. In Tukker's opinion, the new plan could align policy instruments along value chains, creating more impact with less regulatory burdens.

As a conclusion, he says that, "against this background, the steady progress on SCP made in Europe, even if not as radical as NGOs had hoped, is a refreshing sight." >>more

(Source: ENDS)

23.05.11 An internet address for every light bulb

What if every light bulb had its own unique Internet IP address? The possibilities are endless: you could monitor, manage and control every light bulb from any Internet-enabled device – turning lights on and off individually, dimming or creating scenes from your smartphone, tablet, personal computer or television – to save energy as well as electricity costs.

"The GreenChip smart lighting solution signals a fundamental shift in the way we interact with lights" said John Croteau, senior vice president and general manager, power lighting solutions and high performance RF, NXP Semiconductors.

"By bringing together wireless IP connectivity with energy-efficient lighting and power conversion technologies in a compact, low-cost solution, we are transforming the way we design, control and manage lights. For consumers, it means highly personalized, intelligent lighting environments – lights that turn on and off when and where you need them, at the desired level of brightness – while saving power and electricity costs". >>more

(Source: LED professional)

18.05.11 Wireless electric car charging system makes global debut

A technology that charges electric cars without the need for cables is being tested as part of the UK's largest public trial of ultra-low emission vehicles.

Two Citroen C1 models fitted with the inductive system as well as a standard plug-in charger will form part of the testing programme.

Designed by New Zealand start-up HaloIPT, the system allows cars to charge while parked on a pad. The firm maintains that the technology could ultimately be installed on roads, and at garages and car parks, providing seamless recharging of electric vehicles.

"In the longer term we are striving towards embedding highways with charge pads to enable 'dynamic charging', which will allow charging of vehicles in motion." said Chief executive Anthony Thompson. >>more

(Source: BusinessGreen)

16.05.11 Consumers need backing to switch to electric vehicles

Europe's leading motoring consumer group argues that muscular public policies are needed if consumers are to switch to electric cars, citing in particular the establishment of infrastructure networks for recharging stations, environmental labelling and tax incentives for green consumption.

In a policy paper, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) also stresses the need for green procurement procedures, close cooperation between business and academia on research, and the integration of transport policy into urban planning and energy supply.

Electric cars have existed since the late nineteenth century but have proven relatively unpopular due to cost, limited driving range and public infrastructure oriented towards gas-powered vehicles.>>more here and here

(Sources: FIA and Euractiv)

11.05.11 What's on in Europe related to smart sustainable procurement

To keep you up-to-date about the many events, workshops and seminars taking place across Europe on the topic of innovative sustainable procurement, we have compiled a calendar of events for you to plan your attendance and contribute to the debate.

From the Smart Procurement - Reducing Costs and Saving Energy Conference to the ICLEI European Convention 2011, through to the Week of Innovative Regions in Europe 2011 or the Conference on the Modernisation of European Public Procurement Policy, organised by the European Commission, the SMART SPP  events calendar displays the most relevant events, covering a wide range of topics, for you to share experiences and make your voice heard.

Contact information, website and brief summaries - the events calendar gives you all the details you need to take an informed decision and choose whether you should register to attend an event.>>more

09.05.2011 Project puts cities on the road to electric vehicle use

Several european cities are partnering in a Green eMotion initiative to increase electric vehicle use in Europe. The initiative aims to foster the exchange of electric vehicle knowledge and experience, as well as facilitate the market roll-out of the cars.

A total of 42 partners are involved. The project is part of the European Commission’s (EC) Transport 2050 Roadmap, which aims to break Europe’s dependency on oil for transport and calls for a CO2 reduction of at least 60 percent by 2050.  Ultimately Transport 2050 hopes to half the number of conventionally fuelled cars in cities by 2030 and phase them out completely by 2050.

The four year long project Green e motion is part of the European Green Cars Initiative, and the EC will make €24.2 million available to finance part of the initiative's activities. The project will cover different types of electric vehicles, the development of Smart Grids, innovative Information and Communication Technologies solutions, and urban mobility concepts. >>more

(Source: RAPID)

05.05.11 ICT industry raises green procurement concerns

In its response to a European Commission consultation on modernising EU public procurement, DigitalEurope warns that variations in environmental criteria across Europe “create market distortions and a huge administrative burden”.

The EU has developed green public procurement criteria for 18 product groups but they are voluntary and not widely used at the moment, says DigitalEurope.

“We fully support the intentions behind green public procurement policies, it is their implementation that worries us,” said the association’s director general Bridget Cosgrave. “Our members have already done much to cut noise levels and extend product lifespans, and strongly support the Energy Star standards developed by the EU and US.”>>more

(Source: ENDS Europe)

02.05.11 Alert about GPP?

The latest policy developments from the European Union, guidance, tools or studies carried out relevant for green public procurement (GPP) are now available in an easy to digest format. The information is published on a monthly basis through the European Commission's GPP News-Alert.

Complementing the policy news and tools, each issue features a number of practical examples – good practice cases – illustrating how public authorities put GPP into practice for various products and services. Examples range from the procurement of recycled paper to constructing a new hospital building, or purchasing new energy efficient IT equipment for office use. 26 examples have been published to date and the idea is to showcase experience from all the EU Member States.

The News-Alerts form part of the service offered through the European Commission's GPP Helpdesk. The Helpdesk serves to promote and disseminate information about GPP, and to provide timely and accurate answers to queries from different stakeholder groups. Queries may be submitted to the Helpdesk in English, French and German to the email address gpp@biois.com. ICLEI is working with BIO Intelligence Service to deliver the GPP Helpdesk service offered by the European Commission.

Sign up today to start receiving your copy.

April 2011

28.04.11 Small businesses not embracing green market opportunities according to research

The market for green goods and services is already valued at £112 billion in the UK alone and the Carbon Trust believes that SMEs can profit from accelerating growth in the green economy.

However, recent research from the Carbon Trust shows that not all small businesses are aware of the opportunities. More than half of the UK's SMEs (52 per cent) see a greener economy as a threat. Almost half believe that reaping the benefits of green growth requires access to capital, less than a third (29 per cent) expect it to lead to increased profits and only 22 per cent are investing in greener products or services.

In order to help small firms to seize the opportunities presented by green growth, the Carbon Trust has just published a practical, hands-on guide "Green Your Business for Growth".>>more

(Source: Carbon Trust / Action Sustainability)

26.04.11 The new Concerted Action Book "Implementing the EPBD - Featuring Country Reports 2010" has been launched

Reducing energy consumption and eliminating wastage are among the main goals of the EU. With 40% of our energy consumed in buildings, there is significant potential for reducing consumption. A key part of the legislation introduced by the EU is the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which requires all EU countries to enhance their building regulations and to introduce energy certification schemes for buildings.

To support EU countries in this task, the Concerted Action (CA) EPBD was launched by the European Commission to promote dialogue and exchange of best practice between them. On 13 April, the CA EPBD issued the "Implementing the EPBD - Featuring Country Reports 2010" report. This report reflects the efforts taken by countries throughout Europe to date.

It contains an extended summary of conclusions for each of the five Core themes that were organised during the period 2007-2010 (certification, inspections, training, procedures and information campaigns) together with a collection of reports from each country describing the status of the EPBD-related issues at the end of 2010. >>more

(Source: Build Up)

21.04.11 European companies turn to eco-innovation to tackle rising input costs

The competitiveness of European businesses is increasingly vulnerable to growing materials scarcity which causes price volatility. To tackle this challenge, small and medium-sized businesses are looking to eco-innovation as their answer.

European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said "What we are seeing is certainly a change in the right direction, but we need to move from evolution to revolution in our attitude to resources. A more efficient use of resources is a must for businesses. Eco-innovation is way of turning this challenge into an opportunity."

There are a number of obstacles preventing businesses from investing in eco-innovation. Public authorities have a crucial role to play in helping SMEs to overcome these barriers and adopt eco-innovation. The Commission is planning to put forward an Eco-innovation Action Plan by this summer that will further help business develop and invest in eco-innovation.>>more

(Source: ETAP Newsletter)

18.04.11 Catch up on ICLEI's activities on sustainable procurement

This month's issue of ICLEI's quarterly newsletter on sustainable procurement features a number of new projects and tools available online to assist public bodies with their purchasing actions.

The first round of outputs published by the Sustainable Construction and Innovation Network (SCI-Network) are now available in the online Resource Centre. This includes reports on different innovative technologies used in construction, descriptions of tools which can be used to assess the environmental impact of renovations, and good practice case studies. A report on financing and contracting opportunities for public authorities wishing to pursue sustainable and innovative construction projects is also online.

Catch up on the latest developments in the Procura+ Sustainable Procurement Campaign - with its newest member, the German city of Hannover - and find out how to obtain your copy of ICLEI's latest publication on "How to organise sustainable meetings and events in Brussels".>>more

13.04.11 Green public procurement profiled during EU sustainable energy week

Today (13 April) will see the Topten approach to energy-efficient procurement presented during one of the workshops held within the EU Sustainable Energy Week. The workshop will focus on the resources which are available to public procurers through the www.topten.eu website – including guidance, criteria and sample tender documents. Speakers from the European Commission, the French national energy agency (ADEME) and ICLEI will also speak about the potential role of the upcoming revision of the European Public Procurement Directives in promoting higher standards of energy-efficiency and life-cycle costing in public procurement.

Complementary to the Topten workshop on standards and guidance, some national and sector specific experiences on using public purchasing power to drive energy-efficiency will be discussed and presented during a different session held on Thursday (14 April). The session will be featured as part of the European Buy Smart project on encouraging green purchasing among public sector buyers.

>>more information on the Buy Smart session

11.04.11 ISEAL surveys 100 experts on sustainability standards

The ISEAL Alliance has released a report entitled the ISEAL 100 in which it surveys 100 "thought leaders" as to how they use and regard sustainability standards.

The main findings are as follows:

  • social and environmental standards (such as Fairtrade, Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, Rainforest Alliance or an organic standard) are an increasingly useful sustainability tool for large companies;
  • credibility of the standards is all-important, their reputation and a multi-stakeholder approach is essential;
  • operational improvements are a key benefit from use of standards
  • the standards landscape needs to be more coherent, with less overlap and more business focused.http://www.isealalliance.org/iseal100

Several conclusions were drawn from the report, including that social and environmental standards are becoming a widely used tool to implement corporate social and environmental responsibility. And also that standards should strive to build a coherent landscape: there are many standards, much overlap and often confusion over claims. >>more

(Source: ekobai.com)

07.04.11 The role of central purchasing bodies to push the green vehicles market

Central purchasing bodies’ experience of purchasing for several buyers can be very useful especially when they are interested in pushing the green vehicles market. UGAP, a French central purchasing body, is currently leading a joint procurement for more than 50 000 electric vehicles. Among its partners in this joint procurement are some of the biggest French companies such as Air France, EDF, Véolia, Eiffage, Vinci, La Poste or SNCF.

Recently, UGAP has launched a “Tour de France” of electric vehicles, in order to sign partnerships with local authorities. This Tour will stop in 9 cities, from February to November 2011, and allow UGAP to inform and discuss with interested authorities and particularly pilot authorities for electric vehicles charging infrastructure.>>more (in French)

(Source: UGAP Magazine n°1, March issue)

04.04.11 EC makes €24.2M available to the development of electromobility in Europe

The European Commission will support a cross-European electromobility initiative, Green eMotion worth 24.2 million euros, in partnership with 42 organisations representing municipalities, electric car manufacturers, universities and research institutions. The project will cover different types of electric vehicles, the development of Smart Grids, innovative Information and Communication Technology solutions, and urban mobility concepts.

An interoperable platform will be created to enable the different actors to interact and to allow for new high-value transportation services and innovative billing systems. It will contribute to the improvement and development of new and existing standards for electromobility. Green eMotion will demonstrate this interoperable electromobility framework in all participating regions and will thus provide the basis for its replication across Europe.

The municipal partners in the Green eMotion initiative are Dublin, Cork, Copenhagen, Bornholm, Malmö, Malaga, Rome, Barcelona and Berlin.>>more

(Source: European Commission)

March 2011

31.03.11 Solar innovation promises wireless phone charging

Electronics users may soon never have to plug their cellphone or e-book reader into a wall again thanks to the latest innovations in thin film solar technology. 

A French company is planning to launch a transparent solar film that will fit over a device's screen, charging it without the need for wires.It claims that it can be built into screens, fabrics, plastics, and other materials, without affecting their appearance, making it ideal for mobile electronic devices.

However, the French company is also setting its sights on a wide range of potential markets, envisaging tents with built-in light sources, or garden furniture that can similarly power electrical devices. Street furniture and advertising, along with sailing and leisure, also feature in the potential applications for the material, the company said.>>more

(Source: Business Green)

28.03.11 White paper on transport by the European Commission sets goals for 2050

The European Commission adopted a roadmap of 40 concrete initiatives for the next decade to build a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment. At the same time, the proposals will dramatically reduce Europe's dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050.

Among the listed initiatives, the Commission proposes to "promote joint public procurement for low emission vehicles in commercial fleets", which could involve governments buying low-carbon vehicles such as delivery vans or taxis, and renting or selling them to businesses at a subsidised rate.>>more

24.03.11 New online tool to measure the sustainability of a purchase

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Sustainability Review tool goes live at the end of the month. It analyses an organisation’s responses and within 10 minutes rates its procurement function as either gold, silver, bronze or entry-level based on its environmental, social and economic procedures. A report is also produced with advice on what steps the organisation should take to improve future results.

CIPS said it has been set up in response to increasing requests for help to benchmark purchasing performance and make progress towards sustainability goals. Demand for ‘greener’ products is forcing change across the supply chain and suppliers need to adapt to maintain and win new business, it added.>>more

(Source: supplymanagement.com)

21.03.11 Visit exemplary buildings during EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

During the EUSEW, you will be given the opportunity to visit some of Brussels’ exemplary buildings (eco-constructed and energy-efficient). 4 visits are scheduled.

Since 2007, the Brussels Capital Region has organised a call for projects for exemplary buildings in order to promote the building and renovation of projects with a high environmental performance. At the same time the aim is to show that these projects are technically and economically feasible in Brussels.

The energy concept of an exemplary building must be oriented towards minimising the primary energy needs and minimum use of conventional sources of energy (oil, gas, electricity). The concept strives to be a ‘zero-emission’ building (zero CO2 emissions).>>more

17.03.11 Green product standards ready by end of March in the UK

Specifications to help public sector buyers purchase more sustainable products will be in place by the end of this month, the UK government has announced.

According to the Carbon Plan published this week, “government buying standards” for cleaning products and services, food, furniture, gardening services, textiles, transport and water-using products will be finalised by the Department for Food, Rural Affairs and the Environment by the end of March.

Broader commitments to reduce the country’s carbon footprint included reforms to electricity generation, a strategy to help build the infrastructure to support ultra-low emission vehicles and a promise to work with the EU to take action on emissions created by international shipping if no global agreement can be reached by the end of this year. >>more

(Source: supplymanagement.com)

14.03.11 New energy-efficient lighting saves € 10 000 per year at Nature Museum

Thanks to a new, energy-efficient LED lighting solution, the Inatura Nature Museum in Dornbirn/Austria has started into a new lighting era. The museum’s previous lighting system using conventional spotlights has been replaced by advanced, energy-saving LED spotlights. With its compact, clear design, the new lighting system blends perfectly into the museum architecture. Inatura’s new lighting solution features 3-phase LED units, each including 3 LED spots with 2.6 W each, which have been installed in the entrance area as well as in large parts of the exhibition area.

According to Peter Schmid, Managing Director of Inatura:"The new multifunctional LED lighting system opens up exciting new perspectives: the lighting quality for our exhibits is significantly increased, and many exhibits are literally shown in a new light. Moreover, this highly energy-efficient system allows us to save energy costs of approx. EUR 10,000 a year". >>more

(Source: LED Professional)

10.03.11 Mitsubishi Corp. to provide 507 electric cars to Estonian Government

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) will provide 507 units of the i-MiEV electric vehicle to the Estonian Government. This marks the first case of provision of electric vehicles under the Green Investment Scheme (GIS) established pursuant to Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol, whose proceeds are to be used for environmental measures including greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions.

Under the terms of the GIS contract, MC will  provide the 507 electric vehicles, as well as support with regard to the introduction and dissemination of CHAdeMO quick charging technology. The Estonian Government will use the proceeds of the sale to support measures aimed at realizing the widespread use of electric vehicles. These measures are:

  • the introduction of electric vehicles for use by public facilities;
  • improving infrastructure for charging; and
  • subsidy programs for consumers who purchase electric vehicles, to be introduced by the end of 2012.>>more

(Source: Green Car Congress)

07.03.11 Placing a value on sustainable procurement

The relationship between sustainability and value creation will be a key issue to be tackled over the long term. The ability to express sustainability benefits in financial terms is one of the key drivers needed to instil sustainability into company business models.

Therefore PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Insead and EcoVadis joined their expertise to publish a report illustrating the economic benefits of sustainable procurement. They created a quantitative model  by the analysis of three drivers and their respective impact on the company’s annual procurement spend, market cap and revenue. Their impact was then compared to the implementation cost of a Sustainable Procurement programme. >>more

03.03.11 New European project to help SMEs and procurers to sell and buy innovative products

The aim of PRISME (PRocurement of Innovation from SMEs) is to improve SMEs’ access – and more particularly innovative SMEs’ access – to public procurement by bridging the gap between them and public buyers. To achieve this goal, the activities carried out by PRISME will target SMEs on one side, public procurers on the other side, and public procurers and SMEs altogether. Innovation and public procurement will be the cornerstones of the actions implemented throughout the project.

Public sector buyers will be surveyed about their role in purchasing innovative products, technologies and solutions. The results of the survey will reveal how awarding authorities in various EU countries deal with procurement and innovation. Workshops will be held in each participating country (DE, ES, FR, IT, UK) to give public procurers information on how to source more innovative solutions from SMEs.

Furthermore, PRISME just issued its first newsletter. In this issue, three international Public Procurement thematic Networks are highlighted, among them, ICLEI's SCI-Network. Also, you will find a best practices series, underlining Italian efforts towards SPP. >>more

February 2011

28.02.11 LEDs - the future of streetlights?

Street lighting can be responsible for as much as 60 percent of municipal electricity spending, making it a big consideration for municipalities finances. And, with the vast majority of electricity worldwide still being produced by coal fired power plants, street lights are also responsible for the production of a huge amount of greenhouse gas. This means street lighting is also a big environmental consideration.

Cities and local governments around the world are looking for more efficient options to light their streets. One such option is to switch current street lights to long-lasting, highly efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology.

The City of Ann Arbor (United States) was recently highlighted by the National Geographic ‘Great Energy Challenge’ for converting all of its downtown streetlights to LED technology. According to Ann Arbor’s estimates at the time the project was projected to shrink the city's public lighting energy use by half, cut maintenance costs by about $85,000 per year and save another $15,000 in annual electricity costs. >>more

(Source: National Geographic)

24.02.11 Online collection of case studies on innovation

In 1994, the Zero Emissions Research Initiative was initiated at the United Nations University (Tokyo). The goal of this foundation is to find sustainable solutions for society which are inspired by the principals of nature's design.

To support this project a team of scientists undertook a complete inspection of natural technologies that had been published in peer-reviewed articles. These technologies were then evaluated by a team of business strategists, financial analysts and public policy makers. The criteria used included the stage of development of the project and the possibility of contributing to attaining the Millennium goals set by the UN. Also the extent of creating possible places of employment and the speed in which mass markets can be targeted were taken into account.

The one hundred best ideas are introduced by the book "The Blue Economy". The innovations all base on functioning projects, undertakings or initiatives and therefore, have been tested in practice. Once a week, the Blue Economy website publishes one of these case studies. >>more

(Source: The Blue Economy)

22.02.11 5th edition of the SMART SPP Update out now!

In this issue, Czech Republic and Hungary are featured as the latest countries to be trained to use the life-cycle costing and carbon dioxide emissions assessment tool (LCC-CO2 Tool). A new version of this tool will be available by the month of May.

Save the date for the Smart procurement - Reducing costs & saving energy conference that will held in Brussels on 29 June 2011. The latest information and perspectives from European policy makers (European Commission and European Parliament) on how public purchasing can be used strategically to boost innovation and sustainability, particularly energy efficiency, will be one of the main topics debated. In addition to the conference in Brussels, a number of events of a national (or regional) nature will be organised by the SMART SPP partners in the lead up to the end of the project in late August.

The newsletter also highlights the latest developments in the sustainable procurement activities of the municipal and public authority partners from Spain, Denmark, Portugal and the United Kingdom. >>more

21.02.11 Jewel-toned organic phosphorescent crystals: A new class of light-emitting material

University of Michigan researcher Jinsang Kim and his colleagues have developed a new class of material that shines with phosphorescence—a property that has previously been seen only in non-organic compounds or organometallics. This pure organic compounds that glow in jewel tones could potentially lead to cheaper, more energy-efficient and flexible display screens, among other applications.

The new luminous materials, or phosphors, could improve upon current organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and solid-state lighting. Bright, low-power OLEDs are used in some small screens on cell phones or cameras. At this time, they aren't practical for use in larger displays because of material costs and manufacturing issues. >>more

(Source: LED Professional)

17.02.11 Call for electric car testers receives huge response in Aalborg

More than 700 individuals and families have signed up to test out ten new electric cars in ICLEI member city Aalborg (Denmark). The two year long test is being carried out as part of the CIVITAS initiative in co-operation with private company ChoosEV. CIVITAS is an EC initiative that promotes and implements sustainable, clean and energy efficent transport measures. Out of the 700 that applied only 80 persons or families will be invited to test one of the cars.

The aim of the project is to gather information on the situations when the electric cars are useful and to find out when other alternatives are more appropriate. The information gathered by the City of Aalborg will then contribute to policies on electric vehicles at a European level. The city will be working closely with the testers and designated charging points throughout the trial phase. >>more

(Source: CIVITAS)

14.02.11 EU research and innovation funding: European Commission launches a new consultation

The European Commission (EC) launched on 9 February a consultation on major improvements to EU research and innovation funding to make participation easier, increase scientific and economic impact and improve value for money.

The consultation clearly focuses on three mutually reinforcing objectives: giving the EU a world-beating science base; boosting competitiveness across the board; and tackling grand challenges such as climate change, resource efficiency, and energy security.

In that regard, public procurement is seen by the EC as the sector with the first highest energy saving and energy efficiency potential. >>more

(Source: European Commission)

10.02.11 New online database for sustainable goods and services

The French company Achats Concept Eco has launched an online tool for public and private procurers to compare sustainable products and services in more than 300 different categories. The tool covers IT, transport services and means, but also construction works, lighting and electrical furniture. The company assesses the environmental, social, and sanitary impacts of each referenced item. Life-cycle cost is also considered. >>more (in French)

(Source: Achats Concept Eco)

07.02.11  EVs now included in Hamburg's carsharing programme

As of this month (February 2011), two Mitsubishi i-Miev (electric vehicles) will form part of Hamburg's carsharing fleet, Cambio.

During a six month long pilot action, the batteries will be powered exclusively by renewable energy from a Greenpeace energy cooperative. Two charging stations will be set up to enable the vehicles to be charged. Cambio's customers interested in using the electric vehicles will be given lessons in driving electric vehicles by one of the local driving schools. >>more (in German)

(source: www.kfz.net)

03.02.11  Online tool to compare LED lights for lighting facilities under renovation

The Dutch company LED Lease has launched an online tool to compare LED Lights for lighting facilities under renovation. Considering the lack of independent information on LED lights, the Dutch company decided to launch this tool in order to compare options on the market, particularly in regards to quality, cost and efficiency. >>more

(source: LED Lease)

01.02.11  Purchasing energy-efficient outdoor lightning in Cascais (Portugal)

In 2005, energy consumption for public lighting in the municipality of Cascais represented 79 percent of total electricity consumed by the local government (for public infrastructure). Cascais’ Local Energy Agency took on the task of reforming the criteria used to purchase public lighting technology.

The preparation for the upcoming tendering action shed light on environmental product characteristics and the opportunities available for increased sustainable product innovation.

Cascais’ new energy efficient lighting system is expected to result in a reduction of indirect emissions of 34,600 kg of CO2 per year. >>more

(source: European Commission)

January 2011

27.01.11  EU moves towards modernising public procurement

The European Commission will make its first move today (27 January) towards significantly overhauling rules governing public procurement markets in order to improve SMEs' access to national tenders and boost cross-border activity.

The Commission will also try to review public procurement rules in an attempt to make public contracts greener and more supportive of innovation. "Should there be EU rules establishing obligations to buy only products respecting certain environmental conditions or to set aside a certain percentage of the budget for innovative goods and services?" are among the questions that experts will be requested to answer >>more

(source: EurActiv)

26.01.11  Upcoming trends in sustainable purchasing

Cost cutting, influencing more spend, improving supplier relationship management and raising the profile of procurement are priorities for purchasers once again this year. But what should they be looking at in the next three to five years? Rebecca Ellinor from Supply Management recently spoke to buyers, consultants and academics to find out more.. >>more

(source: Supply Management)

25.01.11  Awards in London and Dublin honour green procurement achievements

Award ceremonies recently held in Dublin and London have honoured achievements in the fields of green and sustainable public procurement.

In London, the Mayor's Responsible Procurement Awards were held on December 6. The winners in the Environmental Sustainability category were both involved in projects which aim to reduce London’s carbon footprint through the retrofitting of buildings.

In Dublin, the award for Green Public Sector Procurement went to the Furniture Division of the Office of Public Works for its commitment to reduce the environmental impact of furniture purchased on behalf of state offices and departments >>more

(source: European Commission)

20.01.11  Intelligent Energy Europe 2011 call for proposals open

The call for proposals 2011 for actions under the Intelligent Energy - Europe programme is now open. The indicative total amount available for this call is about 67 million Euro.

For STEER projects (dealing with energy in transport) dealing with energy in transport the indicative budget is 12 million Euro. ALTENER (addressing new and renewable energy sources) priorities for bioenergy include biofuels and biogas for transport, and has an indicative budget of 16 million Euro.

Proposals can be submitted to the European Commission until the 12 May 2011 >>more

For full details see the Call Text click here

(source: ELTIS / European Commission)

19.01.11  Electric vehicle information website for your supplier needs

If you are looking for to get in touch with companies supplying electric vehicles (EV) or want to find out more about EV models and types, then the EV-Info website could be just what you have been looking for.

The website provides information from companies all over the world in an easy to access format on

  • Electric cars, electric bicycles, electric scooters, electric boats, electric buses, electric trucks
  • The latest developments from manufacturers
  • Addresses of dealers, manufacturers and other companies in the automotive and EV-industry
  • Press and product releases of EV-manufacturers, EV-dealers


(source: www.ev-info.com)

07.01.11  UK Government reinforces support for electric vehicles

The UK Government outlined more support for green drivers to encourage greater use of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Ministers want councils to be at the forefront of an electric car revolution making it easier for drivers to make green choices. They are urging councils to promote electric vehicle charging points to be built on streets and in outdoor car parks without the need for planning permission.

The national government believes this will help redraw the motoring map of the country - building on the launch of eco-friendly car grants, available to green motorists from this month. The Plug-In Car Grant will reduce the cost of eligible cars by a quarter, up to a maximum of £5,000. >>more

(source: www.communities.gov.uk)

December 2010

18.12.10  Paris plugs in to self-service electric car scheme

First Parisians were urged to get on their bikes with an innovative self-service cycle scheme. Now residents of the French capital and tourists who embraced the Vélib bicycle hire scheme will soon be able to zip around town in environmentally friendly electric cars for less than the price of the average bottle of vin de table.The Autolib scheme, due to be introduced next autumn, will see 3,000 bubble-shaped, battery-powered cars stationed at 1,000 self-service hire points across the city and its suburbs >>more

(source: Business Green / Guardian)

14.12.10  Nissan LEAF electric vehicle wins car of the year 2011

For the first time in its 47 year history, the title Car of the Year was won by an electric car - the Nissan Leaf.

The five-seat electric car is a full plug-in and runs solely off grid electricity.The jury acknowledged that the Nissan Leaf is a breakthrough for electric vehicles, in terms of its performance, range and utility. Hakan Matson, jury president said that the "Nissan Leaf is the first EV that can match conventional cars in many respects."

The Leaf will be on sale in the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland and the United Kingdom from February 2011 >>more

(source: Car of the Year / Green Car Reports)

13.12.10  Five simple steps to create a Green Procurement Programme

Alcatel-Lucent has drawn up 5 simple ways a company can do to help it purchase the most environmentally friendly and lowest cost products available (with the right quality), and help raise the bar in terms of sustainability throughout their industry.

It suggested that companies should:

  1. Ask for Green
  2. Develop a Code of Conduct that includes Green
  3. Educate its supply base
  4. Reward good behaviour
  5. Practice what they preach

Read more on the article here

(source: Alcatel-Lucent)

08.12.10  EU-backed project lights up energy savings

Four European local councils from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are looking for ways to reduce the amount of energy they use for lighting streets and public spaces. The partnership forms part of a five-year project called Better Lighting in Sustainable Streets (BLISS), which is being supported by the EU.

The main aim of the BLISS project is to identify and try out different ways of reducing the consumption of electricity in the lighting of streets, roads and public spaces. Each of the partners is installing new lighting technologies in specific streets, and experimenting with innovative approaches for saving energy >>more

(source: BLISS StreetLab)

06.12.10  LiMaS Eco-Innovation Project

The objective of the LiMaS project is to supply to SMEs a practical methodology and a web application that will help them to integrate life cycle thinking and eco-innovation in their business. Additionally, to facilitate this integration, an already commercial software tool (LCAmanager®) will be improved by including this methodology, which will increase its market potential. The target groups are SMEs that manufacture Energy-using Products (EuP) and/or Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) and components.

The innovative aspect of this project is that SMEs will be able to manage different environmental topics using a common approach and without being an environmental expert. The clear environmental results to be obtained and the associated information about Best Available Technologies (BAT) and Eco-design Guidelines will support the eco-innovation of their products and processes, and help companies to be more competitive >>more

(source: LiMaS)

02.12.10  Latest LED professional Review available now

The Nov/Dec issue of the LED professional Review is now available. Some of the highlighted topics in this month’s issue include:

  • Impressions from Electronica 2010: the world’s largest electronic fair
  • Digitally controlled street-lighting
  • LED lighting applications that dim without flickering
  • Thermal foldback design: a new thermal management technique
  • Interview with ON Semiconductor: the supplier of high performance silicon solutions for energy efficient electronics

Download the latest magazine here

(source: LED professional)

November 2010

30.11.10  Free online source of information for public procurement

e-CERTIS is a free online source of information to help companies and contracting authorities to cope with the different forms of documentary evidence required for cross-border tenders for public contracts.

The tool, which was launched in October, presents the different certificates frequently requested in procurement procedures across the EU. Currently, the documents required differ from one country to another. e-CERTIS can help companies to identify which documents and certificates they need to submit when tendering for a contract in a European country. It also aims to help contracting authorities in European countries to establish what documents they need to ask tenderers for – or can accept >>more

(source: European Commission)

25.11.10  Cities sparkle using climate friendly lighting

More cities from across the globe are switching to more energy efficient technologies for their lighting needs.

With twenty percent of the world's electricity used for lighting, and ninety percent of the power used by a light bulb producing heat, not light, it does not take much convincing for cities to take action in this area. With the market availability of light emitting diodes (LEDs) on the increase, purchase prices for LEDs are on the path to becoming a more realistic alternative for buyers.

The LED City programme is one of the many initiatives out there which provide practical advice through tools and information for cities on how they can make the switch to a more climate friendly technology more effectively. The US-led initiative also includes the cities of Toronto and Bremen, in Germany, to increase the realm for exchange. LED technology is being promoted across the full range of municipal infrastructures through the initiative, which also works to share best practices about evaluation, promotion and installation of LED technology through municipal infrastructure >>more

(source: LED City programme)

23.11.10  Developing an EU environmental technology verification scheme

Environmental technologies represent Europe's path to a more sustainable economy and the means to tackle urgent environmental challenges. However, such technologies face barriers preventing them from breaking into the market and gaining potential users. The dearth of reliable information and inaccurate risk assessments frequently discourage investors and hamper technology developers – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Evidence shows consumers favour established technologies with proven track records. By validating a developer's claims, environmental technology verification schemes offer independent and credible confirmation of a technology's potential. ETVs can motivate investors and end users to take up a particular eco-innovation.

The European Commission is now in the process of establishing a voluntary scheme focused on Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) in the context of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP). >>more

(source: Environmental Technologies Action Plan)

19.11.10  London's electric vehicle charging network to go live in Spring 2011

London's city wide electric vehicle charging network, 'Source London', will be launched in Spring 2011. Source London, which will deliver 1,300 public charging points across London by 2013, is part of the Mayor’s plans for London to become the electric vehicle capital of Europe. The Source London network will create a single visual identity for electric driving across the capital, and allow members to charge their vehicles at any one of these public charging points for no more than an £100 annual membership fee.

The development of Source London, has been led by Transport for London in close collaboration with the London boroughs and a wide range of private sector partners – who will play a key part in funding and providing locations for the network's charge points. Discussions are now taking place with other UK cities developing charge point networks to ensure they can be used seamlessly by electric vehicle drivers and to ensure London's work can contribute to a national network of charge points >>more

For more information on the new network, please visit www.sourcelondon.net

(source: Transport for London)

18.11.10  Affordable Smart Solid State Light technology could soon be a reality

LED (light-emitting diodes) lamps are a fast emerging technology which is considered as the true alternative to the Compact Fluorescent Lamp. Many commercial products are now available for professional application; however there is rarely any LED retrofit product which meets all the expectations of consumers in terms of price, light output and other functionalities at the same time.

The Consumerising Solid State Lighting (CSSL) project aims to develop and demonstrate affordable Smart Solid State Light sources for consumers via both technology and application routes. The CSSL project works vertically across the entire value chain from LED die, light source, consumer luminaires, controls and dimmer companies aiming to achieve substantial cost reduction. The CSSL project will also work with energy companies to both gain valuable end user insights and explore new business models that would further promote and develop the consumer LED retrofit market. >>more

(source: LED Professional)

16.11.10  Bigger growth predicted for low-carbon cars than renewables sector

Low-carbon vehicles, such as electric cars, will be a bigger global market by 2020 than renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, according to a report by HSBC bank. The report predicts that 8.65m electric vehicles and 9.23m plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles will be sold globally in 2020, up from around 5,000 and 657,000 respectively in 2009.

When fuel-efficiency measures and switches to lower-carbon transport such as trains and coaches are included, the report for investors predicts that the market will be worth $677 billion (approximately €494 billion) a year in 2020 – up from $113m in 2009 >>more

12.11.10  Sustainable procurement fostering innovation in construction

The SCI-Network, sustainable construction and innovation through procurement, was launched publicly today. The Network brings together public authorities from across Europe to jointly identify new innovative solutions in construction, and examine how innovation can best be encouraged within construction procurement.

The public sector is responsible for 40 percent of EU construction activity, with buildings responsible for 36 percent of EU CO2 emissions. Therefore, public sector construction needs to be sustainable and innovative. Participation in the network is free and the Network has established five working groups on topics which participants consider to be particularly relevant. Each group has a dedicated space within the online discussion forum. The groups focus on various different areas, Innovation in sustainable renovation - application of environmental assessment systems, New Technical Solutions, Procuring Innovation – Procedures and Methods, Whole-life Costing and Financing and Contracting >>more

10.11.10  Electrifying insight, innovation and interaction at Local Renewables Freiburg 2010

E-mobility is part of, but not the sole solution to solving transport problems in cities. This was the main conclusion drawn by international experts from local governments, business and research gathered at the Local Renewables Freiburg 2010 Conference. Organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the conference ran from 14-15 October 2010 and focused on the role of renewables in the future of sustainable urban mobility.

Much of the discussion was around the role of the e-car, with Eicke Weber from the Fraunhofer Institute summarising the fascinating range of technological innovations around e-cars by saying, ‘the race is on’. Many experts and analysts from the industry agreed that e-cars will need to be accompanied by new solutions in fuel cell technology and sustainable biofuels, especially when buses and transport vehicles come into play. Cities such as Bremen (Germany) and Stockholm (Sweden) also emphasised on the importance of technology and how new fuels have to be locally embedded into an overall integrated management strategy for carbon responsible urban mobility and transport >>more

(source: ICLEI)

08.11.10  EU explores fuel alternatives for 'green' cars

The EU needs a long-term strategy on alternative fuels to decarbonise its transport sector by 2050. A draft report by the European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels assesses Europe's options for substituting oil in the transport sector. The report identifies electricity via battery or hydrogen fuel cells and biofuels as the main options for substituting oil in transport.

In addition, natural gas and bio-methane could be used as back-ups, while synthetic fuels could bridge the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, it says. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) could supplement the energy mix with a market share of up to 10% by 2020.

The use of lternative fuels in vehicles will be promoted in the European Commission's upcoming White Paper on Transport, expected in December, which is scheduled to launch an EU strategy for transport policy in the next decade >>more

(source: EurActiv)

02.11.10  Pre-commercial procurement related activities in the EU

Over the past few years, pre-commercial procurement (PCP) related initiatives have emerged in a number of countries around Europe. To facilitate further experience sharing around Europe in this area, the European Commission are regularly collecting and publishing such initiatives on their website as these emerge and evolve.

Some examples presented are from Flanders in Belgium, which have developed an integrated PCP approach, and Hungary's feasibility study into incorporating PCP practices into their regional operational programme for the Structural Funds >>more

List of EU-funded PCP networks >>download leaflet

(source: Pre-commercial Procurement Newsletter, Oct 2010)

October 2010

28.10.10  Saving Costs and the Environment - registration still open for conference in Bremen!

Public authorities from across Germany will come together this coming 18 November in the City of Bremen (Germany) to exchange on how changing purchasing practices to include environmental considerations can result in a win-win situation - for both municipal budgets and the environment.

Experts from the German Federal Environmental Agency, such as Dr. Hans-Hermann Eggers, the Öko-Institut and ICLEI will inspire and inform delegates about the ins and outs of putting green public procurement (GPP) policies and actions into practice. Questions or reservations about the legalities of GPP will also be addressed in the programme by German legal expert Dr. Angela Dageförde. Local authority delegates will have the opportunity to exchange on their experiences and hear from cities like Hannover and Bremen in a lively market-place set up. 

The conference working language will be German and will focus on the German framework for GPP, however people from outside Germany are also welcome.

The conference is free of charge and places are still available (prior registration is essential). Take a look at the programme to find out more.

27.10.10  Embedding sustainability into product design

The qualities of sustainable design and the obstacles that Design for Sustainability (DfS) faces are explored by a new study which provides recommendations on how to overcome these challenges. It suggests that design education needs to change and provides advice on how to improve our understanding of consumer behaviour.

DfS goes beyond eco-design by integrating social, economic and institutional factors (such as the dominance of mass production) into design, as well as environmental impacts. It considers wider systems of consumption and production and provides greater opportunity for stakeholder participation in the design process, including by consumers. From a public authority perspective, such a shift would enhance their purchasing choice of sustainable products from the market >>more

(source: Science for Environment Policy)

25.10.10  Toyota to expand its green model lineup

Toyota intends to expand its lineup of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric cars and fuel cell vehicles. The company will pay Tesla Motors Inc. about 60 million U.S. dollars, to develop electric vehicles, including improving and developing batteries, motors and other parts for those vehicles. The $60 million funding is only for research and development work done by Tesla and not for components that will be eventually supplied for the vehicles.

Toyota president, Akio Toyoda said “We are determined to be the leader in this area” >>more

(source: ecPulse)

20.10.10  Cities and Regions discuss smart ways to finance low carbon technologies

Encouraging a low carbon urban society will require significant changes to how energy in buildings, industry and transportation systems are used. During Climate Week NYC, The Climate Group hosted city and state government and business leaders from across the globe to share their best strategies for financing large-scale deployment of low carbon technologies.

The discussion focused on ‘smart’ information and communications technologies (ICTs) already available that could make growing urban infrastructure more efficient. The Climate Group’s 2008 report, ‘SMART 2020: enabling energy efficiency in the information age’, showed that smart grids, buildings and transport systems could reduce global emissions by 15% in 2020 >>more

(source: The Climate Group)

18.10.10  Germany to install first pilot production line for organic LEDs

Osram and its LED-affiliate Osram Opto Semiconductors are driving the technology shift on the lighting market and currently building a pilot line for organic LEDs (OLEDs) in Regensburg, Germany. Advances in OLED product development such as brightness, efficiency and service life can be seamlessly transferred to production technology, thereby achieving long-term reductions in manufacturing costs. In the next three years around 50 million euros will be invested in the new pilot production facility and in research on LED applications. Commissioning of the production line is scheduled for mid-2011 >>more

(source: Osram)

13.10.10  New innovation strategy released

Last week the European Commission published a Communication on its comprehensive innovation strategy - the "Innovation Union". The Communication outlines the key role which public procurement could play as a driver for innovation in Europe, but also the barriers which currently hinder this. These barriers include limited incentives for public procurers, limited knowledge of how to procure innovation, and fragmentation of demand within the public sector. The EU lags well behind both the US and Japan in the proportion of public procurement budgets spent on innovative products and services.

Proposed strategies include requiring Member States to dedicate a specific proportion of their budget to the procurement of innovation (to be supported by the Commission through guidance and a financial support mechanism). Joint procurement (including cross-border joint procurement) should also be heavily promoted >>more

(source: European Commission)

11.10.10  New alliance announces goal to place 1 Million additional electric vehicles on road by 2015

The Climate Group has convened a ground-breaking global initiative to speed the global deployment of electric vehicles. The EV20 will bring a core group of leading cities, states and nations, auto manufacturers, fleet owners, financiers and electric vehicle value chain players to focus on activities in the next three years to speed up market transformation by 2020.

On 20 September, the group met to discuss their influence over the future of the electric vehicle (EV) market. The global alliance set an ambitious target to put one million additional EVs on the road by 2015, on top of EVs that automakers are already planning to bring to market. EV20 members agreed to work together over the next three years to pursue targets that they believe will change the game on the EV market. The business and government partners aim to achieve this through brokering international fleet procurement alliances, developing national, state and municipal policy frameworks, and financing solutions >>more

(source: The Climate Group)

06.10.10  Greening urban transport with the right mobility mix

In Europe, cities are expected to be home to 80 percent of the total population by 2020, according to the European Environment Agency. In taking steps to mitigate the effects of climate change, many cities look to their transport systems to make a difference. Transport accounts for approximately 20-30 percent of all urban greenhouse gas emissions and affects citizens on a daily basis.

In order to provide realistic alternatives to traditional choices, investment in infrastructure for walking, cycling, car-sharing and public transport is essential. Hybrid vehicles are also seen as part of the solution and have long been a feature of public and private fleets. Now the all-electric vehicle is being embraced by cities across Europe. Amsterdam hopes to have 200,000 battery powered cars on its streets within 30 years, while London plans to start an electric vehicle revolution with 100,000 e-vehicles deployed as soon as possible. Mobility pioneer Stockholm, is set to roll-out its pilot programme with a fleet of 6,000 e-vehicles >>more

(source: ICLEI)

04.10.10  New website shows buyers carbon footprint of goods

An online procurement market, which enables buyers to see a calculation of the carbon footprint of the products they are buying along with the ability to offset the environmental impact, will be officially launched on 7 October 2010.

The e-market, @UK PLC is already active and has accumulated over 1 million users to date. The carbon footprint of products available on the site is calculated using e2class, @UKPLC’s ethical and environmental classification system, along with GreenInsight, its ethical and environmental analysis system. With the support of Google, @UK PLC hope to see a significant increase in spend and take up by buyers from both the public and private sector >>more

(source: @UK PLC)

September 2010

29.09.10  Renault's latest all-electric vehicles campaign

Renault’s latest showcase in London of its electrically powered Fluence saloon and Kangoo light van models reaffirmed its commitment to offer a range of affordable mass-market electric vehicles (EVs) by 2012. The car maker also revealed some supporting initiatives it is developing alongside the vehicle launches in a bid to see all-electrics take 10 per cent of global car sales by 2020. Renault's aim is to market electric vehicles at the same price as a diesel-powered vehicle of an equivalent size and equipment level >>more

(source: businessGreen)

27.09.10  EuroPROC to help SMEs access public procurement contracts

EuroPROC is an innovative project set up by 11 regional agencies and public administrations from 10 EU Member States under the INTERREG-IVC program to address challenges and opportunities Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) face when accessing international public procurement contracts.The European initiative seeks to improve the competitiveness of European SMEs by consolidating public procurement as a key element in their business strategy.

EuroPROC aims to develop new services in each partners’ institutions and improve instruments on public procurement for SMEs, and collect and provide in depth explanation of good practices that are conducted by public bodies, including local authorities, schools, hospitals.

The latest good practice guide on international public procurement for SMEs is now available and can be downloaded here

(source: EuroPROC)

22.09.10  Energy savings must be tripled to reach 2020 climate goals

A new energy savings report released on 15 September revealed that Europe will have to triple the scale of its energy efficiency policies in order to slash energy consumption by 20% over the next decade. This would save European consumers €78 billion a year by 2020, cutting an average EU household's energy bill by €380 in 2020.

However, EU policies are currently only delivering a third of the potential energy-saving measures, like insulating buildings or using electric motors in industrial installations. Meeting the target would require the bloc to save around 394 million tonnes of oil equivalent by 2020. The recession has reduced consumption by 70 million tonnes of equivalent (Mtoe) and new policies are expected to cut it further by 115 Mtoe, leaving the EU with a savings gap of 208 Mtoe by 2020.

A key solution for ramping up energy savings would be to introduce a binding energy-savings target for end-use sectors in each member state. The report warned of the scale of the challenge. "Energy-saving measures are diverse and spread across all sectors, and will have to be implemented quickly enough to deliver their potential on time," it said.

The Energy Savings 2020 report can be downloaded here 

(source: Ecofys)

20.09.10  UK electric car charging scheme expected to survive spending cuts

The UK government's upcoming spending review is expected to save the high-profile Plugged-in Places scheme, paving the way for the accelerated rollout of electric car recharging networks in British cities.

The Department for Transport has this year awarded £8.8m in match funding to the first three "plugged-in places", financing the rollout of recharging points in London, Milton Keynes and the North East. Under the scheme, the three regions plan to install a total of 2,500 additional charging points in the first year of the rollout and about 11,000 over the next three years >>more

(source: the Guardian)

15.09.10  Unspent EU money re-allocated to fund clean and efficient energy projects

Innovative projects to improve energy efficiency in areas such as urban transport, public lighting, and distance heating and cooling could get up to €115 million from the European Energy Recovery Programme (EERP) that would otherwise go unspent under changes to EU rules on financial assistance for energy projects. Under the plan, eligible projects will need to have a rapid and significant impact on economic recovery, boost energy security and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Such projects could involve combined heat and power and district heating networks particularly from renewable energy sources, grid-connected decentralised renewable production and clean public transport and electric vehicles, as well as electricity storage solutions, smart metering and smart grids >>more

(source: European Parliament)

13.09.10  Finland aims to build world's first 'green highway'

Finland is planning to build the world’s first carbon-neutral highway after the town of Loviisa, east of Helsinki, suggested the approach. The idea is to include local economies in the project through local ethanol production from waste and other resources found along the route. Wind and solar electricity would power the cars and infrastructure along the way. Smart lighting systems and geothermal heat pumps are also being considered. "The aim is to create the model for an ecological highway that could be used even on an international level," said Aki Marjasvaara from the Loviisa Municipality, leading the project.

Officials are drafting a study examining the project’s feasibility and cost. They hope to finish the study in March 2011 and believe the project could be completed by 2016 at a cost of 700 million Euros.

The 130 kilometre long E18 European highway links Finnish capital city Helsinki to Vaalimaa near the Russian border and is the EU's primary customs and border-crossing with Russia >>more

08.09.10  4th edition of the SMART SPP Update out now!

In this issue, the UK and Germany are featured as the latest countries to be trained to use the new life-cycle costing and carbon dioxide emissions assessment tool (LCC-CO2 Tool). Further training sessions for the tool are planned in North East England in September.

Public authorities are invited to participate in the implementation phase of the SMART SPP project by piloting certain actions. The pilot phase offers opportunities to implement the standard process for early market engagement, drive the adoption of innovations and ultimately incorporate its recommendations in at least one tender. Suppliers of environmentally innovative products to the public sector can still register their interest in participating in the market engagement stage of the project. The technologies in focus include: LEDs, electric vehicles, heating and cooling systems using renewable energy sources, and Solid State Technology solutions.

The importance and value of early market engagement between public procurers and suppliers in the pre-procurement phase has already been recognised by several countries. Municipal and public authority partners from Spain, Denmark, Austria and the United Kingdom are now using pre-procurement methods for the purchase of low energy lighting and sustainable vehicle technologies >>more

06.09.10  China lays groundwork for electric car charging grid

The Chinese government will implement three standards to regulate electric vehicle charging stations this October and is set to develop a further five. The measures are designed to accelerate the construction of electric vehicle charging facilities and enhance industrial upgrades in preparation for electric vehicles. The standards will specifically apply to electric vehicle charger conduction technical conditions, electric vehicle charging pile technical conditions and electric vehicle battery management system protocols. 75 electric vehicle charging stations are planned in 27 cities across China by the end of the year >>more

(source: Business Green)

01.09.10  Learn, debate and innovate at Local Renewables Freiburg 2010

As the move towards e-vehicles begins to gather pace, cities around Europe and the world face the challenge of answering a number of key urban mobility questions. The Local Renewables Freiburg 2010 conference, which takes place from 14-15 October 2010 in the City of Freiburg (Germany) will examine the role of renewables in sustainable urban mobility. The conference is in collaboration with the International Congress Solar Summits and will create a setting for the transfer of know-how among researchers, businesses and local government representatives >>more

(source: Local Renewables Conference)

August 2010

30.08.10  Hungary ready for the renewable energy challenge

Hungary faces its biggest climate challenge yet if it wants to reduce its CO2 emissions and energy consumption by 20%. This is one of the priorities of the EU's new 'Europe 2020' strategy for green growth. It is in Hungary's best interests to improve its energy efficiency and decrease its consumption, not least due to the country's huge reliance on imported energy – around 70%. Experts say that renewable energy could help Hungary to reduce its dependency on imports, provided that it modernises energy efficiency in its buildings too. If successful, the increased share of renewable energy in the country has the potential to drive future smart innovations >>more

(source: Euractiv)

25.08.10  Green Dragons meet potential suppliers

The Green Dragons event was funded as part of the SUSCIN project with the focus on stimulating a two-way dialogue between suppliers and purchasers to promote emerging technologies in the market.

Twelve small companies based in South East England with innovative sustainable products or services in development or new to the market had 45 minutes with the 'green dragons', represented by senior purchasers from the construction industry, to explain their innovation. The discussions also highlighted the barriers and difficulty small suppliers have in entering such a complex market. Of the twelve, six of these small companies will enter into more detailed discussions about how to turn the momentum into tangible business for innovative sustainable suppliers in South East England >>more

(source: Action Sustainability)

23.08.10  18-tonner hybrid debuts in Britain

Logistics heavyweight DHL has chosen the UK to trial what it claims is the world’s first 18-tonne hybrid distribution truck with an eye to siphoning 15 per cent off its fuel bill. Powered by an electric motor and a diesel engine, which can be used separately or together, the Volvo hybrid vehicle should mean reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions and lower noise levels. DHL and Volvo have formed a partnership to jointly develop the vehicle for a two-year period. DHL says the partnership arose from a mutual interest in developing new energy-efficient technologies and has seen the courier company work closely with Volvo on the specifications of the vehicle >>more

(source: Business Green)

18.08.10  Electric Vehicle charging stations attract new innovations

The Plug-in 2010 conference and exhibition took place between 26-29 July in San Jose (United States) and drew audiences such as automotive manufacturers, component suppliers, electric utilities, government agencies, the environmental community and academia to exchange ideas and gather information needed to make key decisions related to plug-in hybrid and electric transportation. Exhibitors showcased new innovative ideas including a new inductive charging system, charging stations integrated with metered parking and residential wall-mount unit chargers >>more

(source: Green Car Congress)

16.08.10  Postal services in the EU could go electric

Residents of several European countries may have their mail delivered by workers in small electric vehicles if tests of the "Free Duck" being carried out across several European cities prove successful. The purpose-designed vehicle with seating for one is said to be capable of handling about 440 lbs (including the driver) and can reach speeds of 28 mph. PostEurop, the association which represents 2.1 million postal workers across Europe, unveiled the electric delivery vehicle outside the European Parliament on 15th July. These quadricycles are an alternative to the classic motorcycles currently used by postmen in Europe and have already been piloted in Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria >>more

(source: edie news)

10.08.10  Electric vehicle summit in Shanghai pushes for rapid deployment

The Climate Group’s EV20 leadership summit in Shanghai which took place on 3rd May is the latest in a series of meetings to build an international ‘coalition of the willing’ to rapidly advance the commercial deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) around the world. The Summit opened with an EV Leadership Panel dialogue, with panelists discussing the challenges for EV adoption in China, Chinese government’s strategy to demonstrate and promote R&D of EVs, public-private partnership and the role of players along the value chain.

The summit was followed by a closed-door EV20 roundtable where, participants entered into a more in-depth discussion on technology challenges and R&D strategies and policy incentives at both national and local levels. Delegates also discussed public-private partnership in large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Hong Kong, innovative business models and alliances across sectors to accelerate EV deployment and how they will engage in The Climate Group’s EV20 initiative. The next roundtable meeting will be held in London on 7th September >>more

(source: The Climate Group)

09.08.10  Developing collaborative eco-innovations to environmental challenges

European Technology Platforms (ETPs) will play a key role to ensure eco-innovations make the transition from research to commercialisation. ETPs are industry-led stakeholder forums which develop research and technology objectives to help to ensure Europe’s future growth, competitiveness and sustainability. Now these platforms are forming clusters to find technological solutions to Europe’s societal challenges. Europe’s 36 ETPs have introduced strategic research agendas outlining common visions for each technology field. Certain platforms – such as the renewable heating and cooling platform and the water supply and sanitation platform – have started driving the development of environmental technologies >>more

(source: ETAP)

05.08.10  Scotland lays out low carbon vehicle plans

A £7.7 million initiative to encourage the use of low carbon vehicles by Scotland’s public services was unveiled by First Minister Alex Salmond on 16th June 2010. Part of this funding will go towards developing a green bus scheme to help Scotland cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020. In addition, local authorities will receive 'bridging' funding this year to cover the difference in cost between purchasing conventionally-powered cars or vans and low carbon alternatives such as electric vehicles. Other funding will also be available for other public bodies and to develop charging facilities >>more

(source: New Energy Focus)

04.08.10  Understanding policy integration in the ‘green’ economy

Many countries recognise the need to promote a ‘green’ economy and integrate its principles into a number of different areas of policy. However, new research has indicated that simply integrating environmental policy alone is not enough if the policies are neither coordinated nor continuous. It makes recommendations for a number of necessary conditions for successful policy integration including adapting the design, timing and coherence of measures to support the green economy >>more

(source: Science for Environment Policy)

July 2010

29.07.10  France launches new strategy for green economy

Paris hopes to tune into the green economy by increasingly placing eco-labels on everyday products, designing a green industrial policy and developing a more sustainable farming model.

French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo this week (27 July) presented another national strategy for sustainable development, for the period 2010-2013. The new strategy identifies nine strategic challenges for achieving "a green and fair economy". The strategy foresees boosting the development of environmental labelling for everyday consumer products to direct consumers towards more sustainable choices, and supporting companies in their eco-design efforts. One of the new strategy's goals is to make sustainable products and services accessible to more people and to double by 2012 the sale of products carrying an eco-label >>more

(source: EurActiv)

28.07.10  Making sustainable consumption and production a reality

The European Commission has published a guide which shows how a life cycle approach can be used to identify and reduce the environmental and health impacts of the products we use. It underlines the importance of considering these issues across the entire life cycle of a product and sets them within the context of policy development, business design and innovation. The information in this brochure is aimed at helping both the public and private sectors make more informed decisions to achieve better environmental outcomes through better policies, business strategies, product design and better customer choice >>more

(source: EU Commission)

26.07.10  Historic bridge gets LEDs

The high-pressure-sodium (HPS) lights that used to light the historic West Dummerston Covered Bridge have been replaced with LED luminaires. These fixtures have motion sensors and advanced controls that reduce the light output (and energy use) by 90% after five minutes of inactivity. The lighting retrofit of the West Dummerston Bridge was led by a local resident who recognised the opportunity to demonstrate the use of a state-of-the-art lighting product in a very photogenic and historic structure. The new lighting on the bridge not only provides better illumination for drivers but also highlights the internal and external architectural features of the wooden structure >>more

(source: BuildingGreen)

19.07.10  ELENA facility supports cities and regions in developing sustainable solutions

The European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) is providing €30 million in funding from the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme to help cities and regions implement viable investment projects such as retrofitting of public and private buildings, sustainable building, energy-efficient district heating and cooling networks or environmentally-friendly transport. At present urban areas are responsible for 70 to 80% of energy consumption and CO2 emissions in Europe. For this reason, EU initiatives at the local level, such as the Covenant of Mayors, are encouraging towns and cities to take the lead in the fight against climate change >>more

(source: ETAP)

19.07.10  Louvre Museum renovation to include LED lighting

The Louvre Museum will undergo a renovation project featuring Toshiba LED lighting. Under the agreement, Toshiba will support lighting renovations in some of the museum’s most visited public spaces including the Pyramids, the Napoléon Court, and the Cour Carrée with state-of-the art Toshiba LED lighting and renovation costs. A total of 4,500 LED light fittings are planned, with the partnership expected to last till the end of 2023 >>more

(source: LEDs Magazine)

14.07.10  Know the real cost of what your city is buying

Procurement decision makers can now calculate the life-cycle costs and carbon dioxide emissions of different innovative products and services they are considering purchasing with the help of the new SMART SPP Tool. The Tool was launched earlier this year in Spanish, English, Portuguese and Danish, and since today is also available in German.

Calculating the life-cycle costs of products is not always a straight-forward process and this is why a step-by-step user guide was also developed by the SMART SPP project partners to accompany the tool and provide further support to cities and public authorities - the users >>more

13.07.10  Predicting the effects of electric vehicles on the electricity grid

Recent research in Milan (Italy) suggests that increasing the number of private electric vehicles would have very little impact on the overall electricity consumption. However, unless there are suitable regulations, the daily demand for power to recharge the vehicles at peak times could overload the capacity of the electric supply system. >>more

(source: Science for Environment Policy)

07.07.10  Development of net zero energy office building through cooperative venture

Daikin Europe N.V. has joined forces with major research institutions to develop economically feasible net zero energy building (nZEB) concepts based on heat pumps. In the light of Europe's 20-20-20 targets, heat pumps will significantly reduce building energy consumption compared to fossil fuel based heating concepts. Daikin Europe N.V. is currently working on constructing a typical office that will have a net zero energy use, utilising heat pumps and solar cells as renewable energy source. The project is scheduled for completion in July 2010. >>more

(source: Build Up)

06.07.10  EU mandates standard plug for electric cars

The European Commission has announced a mandate for European standardisation organisations to develop a common charging system for electric vehicles. The idea is to make sure that all plugs and connectors use the same standard across all 27 EU member states so that drivers can use the same plug regardless of vehicle brand or country. The standards are expected to be ready for deployment by mid-2011 >>more

(source: EurActiv)

01.07.10  UK's North-East on the move to implement Whole Life Costing

More than 50 public procurers from the United Kingdom's North East region have been trained in using the Whole-Life-Costing and CO2 Assessment Tool, developed in the SMART SPP project. The tool helps procurers, requisitioners, carbon managers and energy managers, as well as political decision makers, to calculate the real cost of a good or service and, at the same time, helps them to find out how their purchase contributes to their climate bill by calculating the CO2 emissions. This is done by calculating not only acquisition but also maintenance, operation and end-of-life costs.

Feedback on the tool so far has been positive: "Excellent tool, very keen to progress to adoption." says Wendi Wheeler, Energy Manager, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. The training series, generously supported by the UK's North East Improvement and Efficiency Partnership, will therefore be continued in September this year.

Interested in finding out more? Contact Philipp Tepper

June 2010

30.06.10  Electric taxis take to the streets of Shenzhen

In May this year, the first batch of 30 BYD e6 electric taxis appeared in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province with the aim of increasing this figure to 100 by the end of the year. The e6 model is a crossover car produced by Chinese automaker BYD Co Ltd. To facilitate the uptake of this new industry, the Shenzhen government has drawn up a subsidy plan to help create a niche market for electric taxis. The introduction of electric vehicles is also part of Shenzhen's plan to create a green city and 24,000 electric vehicles and 12,750 charging stations are expected in the city by 2012. The automaker is in the midst of developing a solar energy storage system for these charging stations. If successful, the system of electric cars has the potential to run completely off-grid >>more

(source: People's Daily Online)

23.06.10  Registration now open for the Procura+ Seminar 2010 taking place in Helsinki in November

The annual Procura+ Seminar to be held in Helsinki later this year on 11-12 November will focus on "Innovation through Procurement" across two days. Representatives including procurers, policy makers and experts from across Europe will come together to exchange ideas, concepts, opinions and experiences on how sustainable procurement can contribute to innovation in the areas of sustainable construction, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and supplier engagement.

Participation is free, however prior registration is essential to ensure you have a place >>more

(source: Procura+ Campaign)

22.06.10  Electric taxi fleet ready to serve London's 2012 Olympics

After reports of increased revenue, Eco City Vehicles plans to launch a fleet of electric taxis this year in time for the London 2012 Olympics. The idea is to run electric taxis to and from the Olympic Village. The company is both a developer and supplier of eco-friendly commercial vehicles and the London licensed taxi. The Mercedes Vito model, in particular, is gaining popularity and has been put forward to both Transport for London and the London Mayor's office as a potential candidate for the possible taxi fleet. In addition, the group deepened its relationship with Mercedes-Benz and is in negotiations to become a full Light Commercial Vehicle Mercedes-Benz Franchise in the second half of 2010 >>more

(source: New Energy World Network)

17.06.10  Online comparison tool for retrofitting LED lamps

The Dutch company, LED Lease, has launched an online LED retrofit comparison tool for LED lamps.

In its search for qualitative LED products which are suitable for financing - and apparently due to a lack of independent and objective LED data - have spurred LED Lease to launch its own online comparison tool >>more

(source: LEDs Magazine)

15.06.10  Strasbourg and Stuttgart join forces for electric vehicle pilot project

A cross-border, rechargeable electric vehicle pilot project will be launched in mid-2010 between France and Germany, in the Eurodistrict and in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. A German-French working group on electric mobility developed a joint approach to the issue of standardisation for electric vehicles and charging infrastructures. The group's recommendations will be put into concrete action in the region between the cities of Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Mannheim and Stuttgart. The group's work is open to other EU member states >>more

(source: Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology)

07.06.10  Integrated heat and electricity systems reuse 'lost heat'

The integration of heat and electricity systems can enable the heat that is produced as a by-product of electricity generation to be recycled into a more energy efficient system. However, in a recent interview with Fiona Riddoch, managing director of Cogen Europe, and Sabine Froning, managing director of Euroheat&Power, it was emphasised that current EU energy strategies overlook this. There are significant energy savings that could be achieved with an integrated approach that allows the use of waste heat, they stated, but instead, the EU debate puts a heavy stress on electricity production and has left out discussion on investment in heat networks, infrastructure and cooling needs. "If we consider that we have already more than 50% losses in the energy system as a whole, it would only increase if we do not take care of the heat at the same time," said Froning >>more

(source: EurActiv)

02.06.10  New EV partnership – Toyota and Tesla together

Toyota Motors Inc. and Tesla Motors Inc. have partnered to make electric cars.  Tesla will begin to build its electric car, the Model S sedan and future vehicles, in a Californian factory where Toyota had, until last month, manufactured its Corolla and Tacoma vehicles. Toyota will be investing around $50 million into Tesla, with the hope of introducing its own electric vehicles in 2012. Additionally, Tesla hopes to benefit from Toyota’s extensive manufacturing experience. "The Tesla factory effectively leverages an ideal combination of hardcore Silicon Valley engineering talent, traditional automotive engineering talent and the proven Toyota production system," said Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk >>more

(source: Wall Street Journal)

May 2010

31.05.10  Strasbourg launches a 3-year EV project

Toyota, French energy provider EDF, and the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg launched a large-scale, 3-year Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHV) demonstration in Strasbourg. The City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg will lease five PHVs and ensure the set-up of public charging points along public roads, as well as provide a subsidy to the local car sharing company to lease three PHVs. The remaining vehicles will be leased to various public institutions and private companies. EDF’s objective is to evaluate different operational options for the charging infrastructure as some of the vehicles use an innovative charging system that facilitates the identification of the vehicle and consumed energy >>more

(source: Green Car Congress)

27.05.10  EU industry ministers push for electric mobility standardisation

Support has been given by the EU’s industry ministers to the European Commission’s strategy for clean and energy-efficient vehicles. At a Competitiveness Council meeting attended by the ministers, they called for the rapid development of a European standard for electric vehicles. This would ensure that electric vehicles can be recharged anywhere within the EU, with any model of charger. The industry ministers thus urged European standardisation bodies to come up with a harmonised solution for the interoperability of plugs by mid-2011. In addition, France and Germany lead requests for EU finance to fund pilot projects in the field of electric mobility >>more

(source: EurActiv)

25.05.10  Staffordshire village installs LED street lights

Whitington has become the first village in the county of Staffordshire to install over 30,000 new energy-efficient light emitting diode (LED) street lights. The village aims to become a low carbon community and won the prestigious Guardian Green Heroes award in 2009. The new street lights will help the village reduce their CO2 emissions by 12 tonnes over their 25-year lifespan.

Michael Woodhead, Managing Director for E.ON’s Sustainable Energy business and Advanced LEDs Ltd., the provider of the new technology, commented that “Traditional street lighting takes up about 2% of all electricity used in the United Kingdom (UK) every year” and “if all the street lights in the UK were replaced with these energy saving alternatives, more than six million tonnes of carbon could be saved over a 30 year period” >>more

(source: LEDs Magazine)

20.05.10  Results from the "promoting innovation and public procurement" conference now available

Information and good practice on how public procurement can be used to stimulate sustainable product and service innovation are now available on the European Commission's website. These were presented at the recent European conference on Promoting Innovation through Public Procurement: Best Practice & Networking, which was held in Brussels last March. The conference was organised by the European Commission - DG Enterprise and DG Information Society and Media.

Presentations given at the conference range from practical experiences and approaches for using pre-commercial procurement, to joint green procurement and also to how to stimulate the local economy by involving small and medium sized enterprises >>more

18.05.10  Irish government publishes Guide to smarter procurement and improved SME access to public contracts

The Irish national Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment published a new handbook entitled "Buying Innovation, The 10 Step Guide to SMART Procurement and SME Access to Public Contracts", intended for use by all public sector organisations in Ireland. The handbook was published in conjunction with a report of the Irish Procurement Innovation Group - "Using Public Procurement to Stimulate Innovation and SME Access to Public Contracts".

Frank Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland said, "Purchasers who engage with the marketplace as early as possible before tendering become more knowledgeable customers. This is key to improving public procurement practices. This 10 Step Guide launched by the Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) is a very welcome development. I particularly welcome the recommended actions to be taken to facilitate greater access by our small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to public contracts" >>more

(source: Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment)

12.05.10  Renewable Heating and Cooling Systems – barriers and support mechanisms

The project Optimisation of Support Schemes for Renewable Energy Sources for Electricity Generation, Heating and Cooling (SUPPORT_ERS) has now produced two reports to aid public authorities in their development of renewable heat generation systems. The project, funded by Intelligent Energy and coordinated by the German Development Agency (GTZ), prepared an initial report that presents a systematic overview of existing support instruments for heat generation from renewables (RES-H) and policy recommendations concerning the development of RES-H support instruments using best practice examples. The second report assesses administrative barriers and provides a checklist for authorities to use, which will make administrative procedures related to RES-H projects more efficient >>more

(source: SUPPORT_ERS)

10.05.10  Singapore public housing now using LED technology

Public housing in Singapore will now use energy-efficient light emitting diode (LED) lighting in the stairways and corridors. The tender, worth approximately one million euros, includes supplying and installing mercury-free LED lighting that is able to last up to 50,000 hours, compared to only 8,000 hours for conventional fluorescent lighting. Additionally, the low power consumption of LED lighting will also translate into savings of up to 50 per cent in municipal electricity bills >>more

(source: Aztech Electronics)

05.05.10  EU support for electric vehicles

The European Commission adopted a strategy at the end of April that encourages the development and uptake of “green” heavy- and light-duty vehicles.

The strategy provides a framework for clean and energy efficient vehicles and is part of a wider plan to increase the overall uptake of “green” vehicles across the EU. Although the strategy is technology neutral, it highlights the potential of electric engines and states that the EU should take a leading role by working with member sates at national and regional levels on the build-up of charging and refuelling infrastructures.

However, this is only the beginning step, as highlighted by Jos Dings, director of NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), “on electric cars, the Commission hasn't addressed two of the most critical issues, namely ensuring that the extra electricity needed will boost renewable sources and the need for smart meters in every vehicle to keep track of consumption and the carbon intensity of electricity"…"these two issues will be critical to ensuring that electric cars actually reduce emissions." >>more

(source: EurActiv/European Commission)

04.05.10  Cities supporting innovation

The buying power of cities can act as a lever for change and market innovation, as cities are able to make cross-cutting connections that create opportunities for both big businesses and entrepreneurs.

A recent interview between EurActiv and a representative from the European city network Eurocities, highlighted that the challenge for cities is to come together and work to increase their leverage, such as by cities working together to develop a single specification to purchase "green" vehicles. Additionally, public private partnerships (PPPs) have become an increasingly common feature of how public authorities use their budgets, although they may take different approaches. Large cities, such as Vienna and Stockholm, are examples of this, where Vienna has a policy of delivering services itself and Stockholm has developed several partnerships with private enterprises >>more

(source: EurActiv)

April 2010

28.04.10  Working together on electric mobility in Munich

The BMW Group, Siemens and the Municipal Energy Supplier in Munich (Stadtwerke München - SWM) have come together to co-operate on the testing of electric vehicles and for building an appropriate charging infrastructure in the Bavarian capital.

As part of the German stimulus plan, Munich has been chosen as one of the eight model regions for the testing of and market preparation for electric vehicles. The plan intends to develop publicly accessible charging stations on roads and in parking lots, as well as power pumps for home and fleet charging. Efforts will be made to reduce charging times and to further the distance that the vehicles can travel. Siemens will supply the technology, the BMW Group the electric MINI E cars and green energy will be provided by SWM >> more

(source: Stadtwerke München)

26.04.10  Busting the myths surrounding electric vehicles

Greg Archer, head of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) took to the Stage at The Environmental Technology show last week in an attempt to dispel some of the fog surrounding the facts on electric transport.

"There are lots of myths out there at the moment, some exaggerate the benefits, some the downsides," he said. He said that the first myth was that, due to taking electricity produced by fossil fuels from the grid, they do not save carbon. "They do," he said. "Even with the current grid an electric car will get around a 25 to 30% saving over its lifecycle, and as the grid is decarbonised, so those benefits will increase >>more

(source: Environmental Data Interactive Exchange)

22.04.10  Freiburg leads the way with LED plans

The City of Freiburg in Germany has been honoured at the Light+Building 2010 trade fair in Frankfurt. The city was one of ten winners of the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) tendered LED competition ‘Communities in a new light’. The winners, announced on 12 April, will receive up to EUR 2 million to help them realise their plans.

The project proposed by Freiburg would see energy efficient LED lighting solutions for the illumination of the city’s historical centre. Through the use of advanced LED light sources in combination with intelligent control systems, savings of up to 65 per cent compared to earlier lighting could be achieved. This would significantly contribute to the ambitious climate protection targets of the city of Freiburg, which has long been committed to sustainable local environment and climate protection policy.

The competition was launched by the BMBF on 26 May 2009 at the German municipal congress in Berlin. Local authorities had until December 2009 to submit proposals for LED lighting in municipal areas. An independent jury selected the ten winners from the 141 submitted proposals >>more

(source: Optischetechnologien)

20.04.10  Online innovation lab

The Skipso Cleantech Open Innovation Lab enables public authorities to access clean technology innovation by tapping into a worldwide network of experts and innovators. The online platform is free to join and entirely focused on sustainable innovation. Skipso aims to create an environment where ideas, best practices and opportunities can be exchanged, bridge the gap between industry and research institutions and support cleantech companies investing in innovation >>more

(source: Skipso)

15.04.10  Germany's ambitions to become a lead market for electric vehicles

Several German ministries are involved in the launch of new projects for the national initiative regarding electric vehicle mobility. The German Federal Government plans to have one million electric cars on German roads by 2020.

Research will focus on two key issues: the battery and the development of new system approaches for electric vehicles, particularly in terms of energy efficiency, safety and reliability. The Government will also work closely with cities and municipalities to build the infrastructure for electric vehicles in public spaces. Furthermore, in addition to regulatory measures, a market incentive program will be tested, including the introduction of user benefits such as special lanes and parking >>more (in German)

(source: BINE Informationsdienst)

14.04.10  Green procurement no longer the exception

During a recent roundtable hosted by the UK's Carbon Trust Standard, procurement experts warned that suppliers to the public and private sector will see their competitiveness diminish over the next few years if they fail to provide customers with information on their carbon footprint and evidence that they are improving their environmental sustainability. The 'warning' comes from current practice and the expected trend, that public and private sector procurement professionals are increasingly including ambitious sustainable procurement criteria in their tenders for public goods and services. 

Several initiatives have been launched to co-ordinate the requests for environmental information from procurement officials, including the Carbon Disclosure Project, the UK's new Government Buying Standards, as well as other internationally credible new environmental standards. Such developments will help public authorities know whether they can trust suppliers' competing environmental claims >>more

(source: Business Green)

08.04.10  London tender to stimulate supply of green electric vehicles

A new tender for the supply of electric vehicles has now been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). The Contract Notice, which is worth up to 67 million pounds, seeks to award a framework agreement for the supply and maintenance of energy efficient electric vehicles (EVs) for different vehicle groups.

Transport of London, part of the Greater London Authority (GLA), and an Associate Partner in SMART SPP, is the contracting authority. By 2015 the GLA vehicle fleet is expected to include 1000 EVs as outlined in the Mayor of London’s 'An Electric Vehicle Delivery Plan for London (EVDP). The tender has been published in partnership with the London Borough of Bromley and the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation in the framework of SMART SPP >>more


05.04.10  Commercial lighting with a mind of its own

A new light emitting diodes (LED) technology for commercial installations has been recently revealed that can reduce running costs in facilities by up to 90 per cent over conventional lighting, according to founding company Digital Lumens. Using a wireless networking technology with a centralised system controlled by built-in computers, the embedded sensors detect motion and work accordingly. The decision engine also provides feedback on energy use and can be preset to specific parameters, such as length of shift being worked >>more

(source: Business Green)

March 2010

31.03.10  Electric vehicle pilot project in Kanagawa

A pilot project launched last year by the prefecture of Kanagawa, Japan, promotes the use of Electric Vehicles (EVs) - the first of such projects in Japan. The project is part of Kanagawa's efforts to have 3,000 EVs on the road by fiscal 2014. Under the pilot project the two EVs are rented on weekdays for official use and then to residents during the weekends and national holidays >>more

(source: Japan for Sustainability)

29.03.10  Promoting innovation through public procurement

It is often said that there is a link between public procurement and innovation, which is what experts and policymakers met to discuss at a conference organised by the European Commission in Brussels last week (23-24 March). One of the areas that was highlighted where public procurement can be a driver of adopting innovation was in improving design, insulation and energy use of public buildings.

As a UK-based management consultant said, "innovation doesn't come without risk – you have to be prepared and willing to fail from time to time." It is for that reason that the SMART SPP consortium recently prepared a guide, which explores the different tools that can be used in public procurement practices to support the introduction of innovative solutions. Specifically, it explores early market engagement and compares existing risk management, LCC and CO2 tools >>more

(source: EurActiv)

25.03.10  LCC-CO2 tool User Guide is now available in Greek!

The SMART SPP life-cycle costs (LCC) and CO2 emissions User Guide for public authorities is now available in Greek. The guide provides a step-by-step explanation of how the Excel tool should be used, which will help Greek authorities calculate both the LCC and CO2 emissions of their purchases which will inform public procurement decisions.

The user guide is now available in five languages >>more

22.03.10  Energy-efficient LED streetlights are now available

The first low-energy streetlight that has been designed, developed and manufactured entirely in the United Kingdom is now available to local authorities through E.ON. Using light emitting diodes (LED) lighting, the streetlights are expected to last 10 times longer than standard streetlamps, equating to more than 150,000 hours.  The installation of 10 lights will save £33,000 (36,700€) and 63 tonnes of carbon over 25 years, which could cut energy bill of local authorities by 70 per cent. The lights have already been installed by two local authorities >>more

(source: BusinessGreen)

19.03.10  Working together to standardise electric car recharging stations

Japanese auto, engineering and energy firms have formed a group with the aim of establishing an international standard for electric car fast-recharging stations. Fast-charge systems, which promise to recharge electric vehicles to around 80 per cent capacity within 15 minutes, are seen as essential to further adoption of electric vehicles. Currently Japan is home to around 150 fast-charge stations which are all largely use the same technology. The group, CHAdeMO, includes firms such as Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Fuji Heavy Industries and Tokyo Electric Power >>more

(source: Business Green)

16.03.10  New global lighting group

As the use of high-efficiency lighting can go a long way toward curbing emissions as well as energy costs, a new international consortium consisting of major lighting manufacturers are coming together to develop specifications for the standardization of LED light engines. The Zhaga Consortium, which includes OSRAM, Panasonic, Philips, Toshiba, and TRILUX, will enable the interchangeability of LED light engine products made by diverse manufacturers. This will foster industry innovation and the adoption of LED technology while preventing market fragmentation occurring with incompatible light engines >>more

(source: GreenerBuildings)

11.03.10 Deciphering the optimal heating and cooling system

The Solar Combi+ project helps identify a range of suitable combined solar water and space heating and cooling configurations that are independent of the specific products considered. Solar combi+ systems use heat from solar thermal collectors to provide heating in winter, cooling in summer and hot water all year round.

A new user friendly online tool is now available, which uses input in terms of collectors area and storage size, once climatic conditions, application and technical solutions to reduce the design effort for single applications >>more

(source: Solar Combi+)

08.03.10 OLED100.eu finalist for the Best ICT for Energy Efficiency Project Award

Organic Light-Emitting Diodes or OLEDs, which represent a paradigm shift in general purpose lighting, is one of the winners of the Best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Energy Efficiency Project Award, given by the European Commission. >>more

(source: European Commission)

05.03.10 Spain to transform telephone booths into EV recharging points

In Spain, underused telephone booths are to play a key role in the electric car revolution, as part of a test network of state-subsidised recharging points in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. Due to their ideal location, close to the curb of the sidewalk, and having their own electricity supply, they are relatively easy to adapt.  Additionally, those companies that can prove that they are using electric vehicles when tendering for public contracts will earn extra points. >> more

(source: Guardian)

03.03.10 ICTs agree to work together towards energy efficiency

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have come together to launch a new initiative, the ICT for Energy Efficiency (ICT4EE) Forum. Over the next three years, the ICT industries will work to develop ways of measuring the energy consumption of ICT processes and climate-friendly technologies. A voluntary framework for reporting on energy footprints and the identification of targets to improve the energy efficiency of their processes with a view to exceeding the EU's 2020 climate targets by 2015 was also agreed upon. >>more

(source: EurActiv)

February 2010

25.02.10 Bridging the gap between demand and eco-innovation

A report recommending the expansion of current EU demand-side innovation policy was released several months ago by the European Commission. It proposes the pre-announced use of demand-support measures and bringing together players from the market to indicate the characteristics of an innovation that they would be likely to buy, to address uncertainty in the eco-innovation market.

“Bridging the Valley of Death: public support for commercialisation of eco-innovation” analyses existing innovation procurement policies from within and outside the EU and contains investigated cases covering:

• white appliances (energy-efficient refrigerators, ovens, washing machines and tumble driers), components (high-efficient motors),
• housing (energy-efficient water mixers),
• office blocks (control and monitoring systems, sun shading technology and lighting systems), and
• public transportation (hydrogen buses).

(source: COWI / European Commission 2009)

23.02.10 Single EU strategy on clean and fuel-efficient vehicles will be published soon

The European Commission will table a proposal for a single EU strategy on clean and fuel-efficient cars by May this year, followed later by an action plan. Although electric vehicles have been a hot topic in discussions, the EU will not target a particular technology in their strategy. The strategy will remain technology-neutral and address all technologies, including hydrogen and biofuels, with the intention of increasing compatibility between national initiatives and enabling the smooth functioning of the European market.

Targeting specific technologies, such as electric vehicles, is an approach that environmental NGOs have not been supportive of. Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, for instance, propose integrating electric cars with a "smart" electricity network to prevent manufacturers using the sales of electric vehicles to offset the continued production of high gas-consuming cars. >>more

(source: EurActiv / EUobserver.com 2010 / LexisNexis Publisher)

18.02.10 Innovation focused procurement in Europe – latest news online now!

New tools to assist sustainable procurement decision-makers and the start of new activities in Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary are some of the news featured in the latest edition of the SMART SPP Update.

Procurement decision makers can now calculate life-cycle costs (LCC) and CO2 emissions of different innovative products and services they are considering purchasing with the help of the new SMART SPP Tool. Training sessions on the tool will be held in Cascais and Torres Vedras, Portugal. Additional SMART SPP training and awareness raising initiatives have also begun in the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Encouraging greater early market engagement between public procurers and suppliers in the pre-procurement phase is essential to benefiting from what the market has to offer. That is why countries such as Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Denmark (and soon Austria) are now using pre-procurement methods for the purchasing of police vehicles to LED vending machines. >>more

17.02.10 Pay as you glow in Germany

Three German towns are cutting energy costs and carbon emissions by setting up street lighting on demand. Thanks to an idea set up by a local energy supplier and a follow up project, called Dial4Light, residents can turn the lights on as and when they are needed by making a phone call. >>more

(source: Environmental Technologies Action Plan)

12.02.10 Electric vans on the go in Leeds

As part of the city's commitment to the Lower Carbon Vehicle Public Procurement Programme (LCVPP), Leeds City Council in the United Kingdom recently placed its first order of electric vans for its municipal fleet. Leeds is one of the six local authorities involved in the UK Department for Transport's national programme, which aims to introduce low carbon vehicles into public sector fleets. >>more

(source: Smith Electric Vehciles newsletter January 2010)

09.02.10 Saving Energy and reducing costs with efficient servers - green IT strategy in practice

Energy demand in EU data centres has increased significantly over the last years. Between 2003 and 2006, energy consumption of server hardware and infrastructure has grown by about 35 percent. In Europe servers are currently the second largest energy consumer among IT equipment following TVs. Market development trends based on IDC data (2006-2011) indicate that energy demand in data centres will double from a current 37 TWh to 77 TWh by 2012 if no counteracting measures are taken. With concerted measures, about 12 billion euros in energy costs might be saved in the same period, which, compared to business as usual, is equal to energy savings of about 60 percent.

Efficient server hardware and software allows to reduce energy consumption and operating costs in both the IT system and cooling. There are currently several technological options available to improve energy efficiency of servers including efficient hardware components, power management as well software for server virtualisation. 

The European project 'Efficient Servers' aims at demonstrating the high saving potentials due to efficient server technology in practice and at supporting the development of the market for energy efficient servers. Along with documenting good practice cases in this area, the project partners have also developed a set of guidelines for the procurement and management of energy efficient server hardware and infrastructure. >>more

(source: Efficient Servers project)

03.02.10 The electric car - is it here to stay this time?

The electric car finally seems to be on the verge of breaking through, offering significant environmental benefits, especially in urban areas. Innovative business models are on the way which should boost consumer acceptance and overcome the remaining barriers, such as high battery costs, green electricity supply and charging infrastructure.

Based on a critical literature review about the impacts on the environmental and the electricity market of a large scale introduction of electric cars in Europe, the European Environmental Agency, summarises the findings in a recently published article available on their website. >>more

(source: European Environmental Agency)

January 2010

26.01.10 Driving innovation through procurement – Guidance available in four languages

The first SMART SPP Tool and Guidance that help driving sustainable innovation through procurement are now available.

A practical guide explaining the steps for a public authority to take to encourage energy efficient innovation through public procurement, and an Excel tool (with a User Guide) for calculating both life-cycle costs (LCC) and CO2 emissions in procurement have been published in four languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese and Danish).

Both, the Guide and the Tool are beta versions that will be finalised in early 2011 following their use by the SMART SPP public authority partners in their innovation focused public procurement actions. They are available for download at:  www.smart-spp.eu/index.php

21.01.10 SMART SPP implementation phase kicks off in Austria

Prove Consulting and the ICLEI European Secretariat join forces on the implementation of the European project "SMART SPP – innovation through sustainable procurement" in Austria. The new partnership includes accompanying public authorities in the implementation phase of SMART SPP in Austria.

Together with the municipalities and central procurement offices specific tenders will be used to test the SMART SPP approach. Basic elements of this are the lawful integration of the market before the call for tenders to collect the most energy-efficient solutions as well as the use of a newly developed life cycle costing and CO2-emission calculation tool.

In order to place the objective to increase energy efficiency through innovative public procurement on a broader basis, there will be co-operation with multipliers, such as the Städtebund (Association of Cities and Towns), the initiative WienWin of the WWFF and the Viennese IT cluster - VITE as well as exchange among existing initiatives

More information is available in the issued press release here:

20.01.10 Call for Proposals: the Cleantech AdVenture!

Until 8 February 2010 business ideas and close to market R&D results can be submitted for the Heidelberger innovative forum, taking place on 22 April 2010 A goal of the meeting is the financing of technology-based start-ups and research projects. A broad spectrum will be covered within the Cleantech forum. The topics can range from Green IT and ICT innovations, energy efficiency, energy storage, renewable energies and white biotechnology to sustainable mobility and product recycling. Other ideas from additional fields of activity possible. Closing date for submissions is 8 February 2010. You can download the application form and find more information (in German) on the website: heidelberger-innovationsforum.de

18.01.10 Cree study shows LED lighting is best bet for energy efficiency

A new report on the life-cycle energy usage of energy-efficient lighting by Cree, Inc. shows that LED lighting products are now more efficient than traditional lighting products when compared across the high-volume applications of recessed downlighting and display spotlighting. Evaluating light fixtures and applications, the white paper’s energy comparisons demonstrate that LEDs offer clear advantages in terms of energy costs and environmental impact over traditional lighting such as incandescent, halogen and compact fluorescent bulbs. >>more

To view the entire study, please visit www.cree.com/lifecycle 

11.01.10 European Commissioner links environmental performance and innovation

Stravos Dimas, the European Commissioner for Environment, stresses the economic possibilities  as well as the environmental necessity for “smart green growth” in his blog.

Dimas identifies eco-technologies and services as a global market with strong growth. He outlines a coordinated package of measures which will be neccssary  for Europe to retain its current leading position in the next ten years, where the market will double to €3 trillion.

In the Commission's vision, the shift to a low carbon economy also plays a central role. Furthermore, Dimas points out that improving environmental performance can trigger innovation, which also has positive economic impact.  >>more

December 2009

17.12.09 OSRAM new OLED light source

Light, thin, non-glare and warm white - ORBEOS is the first OLED light source from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors for premium quality functional lighting. The new energy-efficient surface-emitting panel is especially suited to offices, private homes and shops, to name a few.

Today, over 20% of all the electric power produced on earth is used for lighting. The energy used to supply lighting produces greenhouse gases equal to 70% of the emissions from all the world's passenger cars.

OLED lighting is at least five times more efficient than conventional incandescent lighting. Widespread adoption of OLED lighting could actually result in a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Combined with sensors and information and communication technology (ICT) to implement 'smart-lighting', OLED lighting can further reduce energy consumption and deliver the highest quality of light. >>more

09.12.09 Innovate now, while keeping costs at a minimum

Local governments can now make smarter purchasing decisions with the latest guidance materials developed through the European SMART SPP project. The new publications explain how public procurement can be used as means for encouraging sustainable product innovation. The publication 'driving energy efficient innovation through procurement' guides local governments and public bodies on how to best engage with suppliers and design public tenders to obtain the most energy efficient solutions available in emerging markets.

Highly innovative product and service solutions can often come with higher purchase prices. Complementing the new publication, public authorities can now make more informed procurement decisions by being better equipped to calculate the costs of a potential new product over its life cycle and assess related carbon dioxide emissions. Both of these can be done by using the life-cycle costs (LCC) and CO2 emissions Tool also developed through SMART SPP. At a time when public service employees are coming under increasing pressure to meet both financial and climate protection targets, the new guidance and tools should be just the solution needed. >>more

08.12.09 Europe's first Innovation Commissioner

Ireland's Máire Geoghegan Quinn has been handed the newly-created innovation portfolio at the European Commission.

The job is an expanded version of the old science and research post, and comes just months before the first European Innovation Act is due to be published. >>more

(source: EurActiv)

November 2009

25.11.09 How to avoid an electric shock?

Electric vehicles can play a role in cutting Europe’s carbon emissions but current EU legislation contains loopholes that are likely to lead to emissions and oil use going up, according to a new report published on the 12 November by the European NGO Transport & Environment (T & E). The report sheds light on the role that electric vehicles can play in the decarbonisation of transport by bringing the available scientific evidence to the attention of policy makers and the public.

In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, electric cars can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the transport sector provided that two conditions are met: first, they must be more energy-efficient than state-of-the-art conventional vehicles on a ‘tank to wheel’ basis; second, the electricity to power the cars must be sourced from renewable sources. The second condition is far from guaranteed and is one that has often been left out of recent national government commitments given for electric vehicles, particularly in the EU. >>more

Download report [pdf file]

(source: T&E)


16.11.09 European electricity firms line up behind plug-in cars

Europe's electricity suppliers have come together to push for a standardised recharging infrastructure for plug-in electric cars. The move will pave the way for consumers to refuel vehicles at charging stations across Europe. Padraig McManus, speaking on behalf of the electricity industry, said the hardware – the connector and cables – should be the same in every European country.

The commitment of CEOs from electricity companies to pressing ahead with practical preparations for electric vehicles was welcomed by Commissioner Tajani, who said the move will help put the EU at the forefront of new transport technologies. However, not all auto industry players agree on what the future of electric vehicles will look like. Some are investing heavily in plug-in cars, while others have invested in hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

(source: EurActive)

12.11.09 European patent office to study green innovation

The European Patent Office (EPO) has embarked on a detailed study to map the growth in eco-innovation since the introduction of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. First results will be published in April 2010.

Business leaders are pinning their hopes on green innovation as a solution to the twin problems of climate change and the financial crisis. However, hard data in this area is scarce, making it difficult to quantify the true extent of Europe's eco-innovation sector. 

(source: EurActive)

06.11.09 110lmW Warm White LED for 1W and 3W Operation achieved

Taiwan-based Epistar has developed a technology to reach high CRI and high efficacy for warm white LED to replace the low efficacy incandescent light bulbs. Epistar's approach enables improvement of both efficacy and color rendering index (CRI) simultaneously.

The 1W package has the CRI of 90 and efficacy up to 110lm/W for lower voltage (15V) operation while the 3W package has the CRI of 90 and efficacy up to 105lm/W for higher voltage (50V) operation.Yellow-green phosphors were used in both 1W and 3W packages. These packages can be used in the E12/E14 candle light, E26/E27/GU10 light bulbs, PAR light and other applications for high efficacy warm white.

(source: EPISTAR)

October 2009

28.10.09 Electric cars don't deserve halo yet: study

Reuters, 19 October 2009 - Electric cars will not be dramatically cleaner than autos powered by fossil fuels until they rely less on electricity produced from conventional coal-fired power plants, scientists said on Monday.

"For electric vehicles to become a major green alternative, the power fuel mix has to move away from coal, or cleaner coal technologies have to be developed," said Jared Cohon, the chair of a National Research Council report released on Monday called "Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use."

(source: WBCSD / Reuters)

12.10.09 New German agency to accelerate electric car research

The German government set up a new agency in the beginning of September to push the pace of electric car development after the auto industry missed out on chances to exploit its early breakthroughs with hybrid technology.

Annette Schavan, minister for research and education, said the agency would coordinate the efforts of 30 different research institutes and be funded with 44 million euros ($63.78 million) from the government's 81 billion euro stimulus package.

In August the German government set aside 500 million euros of funding for the construction of electric charging stations and programmes to boost battery technology in Europe's biggest car market

(source: Climate Wire / Reuters)

05.10.09 Can the EU pave the way for electric cars?

Electric cars grabbed the headlines at the annual Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this month. But industry players are now looking to the EU to work through major challenges in battery technology, electricity infrastructure and consumer acceptance, according to an article published by EurActiv on 24 September.

Despite scepticism, there is a growing sense at industry and government levels that the planets are now aligned in a way that will bring electric vehicles from novelty concept cars to mass production. Meanwhile, regional and city authorities stand ready to roll out schemes supporting low-carbon cars but are fearful of backing the wrong horse until a dominant viable technology emerges.

For a newly appointed European Commission which will support the auto sector in finding innovative, marketable solutions, the challenge is to provide clear signals to industry, local government and consumers without pouring scarce public money into dead-end demonstration projects

(source: EurActiv)

September 2009

28.09.09 Market entry parameters for OLEDs identified

OLEDs offer a large variety of design options with regards to shape, size and emissive colour. Within the OLED100 project an architectural and aesthetical research has been carried out to identify the most suitable market entry parameters. Especially for size and shape, existing standards and common building materials have been evaluated in this research project.

The results of the study indicate that a suitable OLED tile size could be 15 cm x 15 cm pitch size and multiples thereof. In general larger tiles were preferred over smaller ones. For the emissive white colour of OLEDs in residential environments the acceptable range was from warm white (3000 K) to neutral white (4000 K) which is good news for OLED technology because OLEDs show their best luminous efficacy at low colour temperatures. >>more

(source: OLED100.eu)

21.09.09 EU to promote clean energy with 'smart cities'

The EU's bid for leadership in green technologies will focus on developing a network of "smart cities" to demonstrate renewable and other low-carbon energies in Europe, according to draft European Commission proposals as published by EurActiv on 17 September. The recommendations are featured in a draft communication setting out funding for the EU's Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan).

"These 'Smart Cities' will be the nuclei from which smart networks, a new generation of buildings and alternative transport means, will develop into Europe-wide realities that will transform our energy system," the document states. The cities would become champions of energy efficiency and renewable energy, where electric cars are fuelled with renewables produced in the buildings for their electricity needs. The Commission hopes to start with "low-carbon zones" and move onto low-carbon cities and regions >>more

(source: EurActiv)

15.09.09 Learning from the Korean IT strategy

An interesting report published by ITIF (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in the U.S) into South Korea's innovative green IT strategy explores the ways that South Korea is embracing green IT and sheds an interesting insight into what countries in the rest of the world could do to achieve similar goals. The Korean strategy addresses how to make the IT sector more energy efficient, how to use IT to transform society and how to pursue "green jobs".

The South Korean national government recently invested an extensive amount of money - equal to 2 percent of South Korea's GDP (USD 87.7 billion) in green investment - as part of its "Green New Deal" programme. The funds will go into investing in areas such as green IT products, building faster broadband networks, and investing in energy-efficient transportation systems. The remaining funds will be invested in R&D in 27 different green technologies, such as high-efficiency solar batteries, hybrid vehicles, high efficiency LEDs, and smart grid technology >>more [pdf file]


08.09.09 Read about the latest SMART SPP project news

The latest issue of the SMART SPP project newsletter (or Update) is out now and available online. Public authorities, such as local governments, and companies supplying to the public sector can read about the latest findings about how public procurement can be used as a mechanism for encouraging sustainable innovation, in terms of products and services.

LED and OLED technology for lighting (traffic, street and office) are one of four technologies considered as most promising for our climate (in terms of energy savings), according to the project's report on In-depth Identification of Emerging Technologies. Complementary to this information, public purchasers and suppliers can also read about current public sector practices for encouraging sustainable innovation, as well as gain an insight on what the main obstacles hindering the further development of innovative technologies are.

These outcomes are the groundwork for the start of the project's pilot phase where the consortium's public sector partners - Cities of Barcelona, Kolding, Cascais and Bromley, and the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation - will use the SMART SPP guidance to purchase innovative solutions for their cities >>read Update


02.09.09 Paris' electric car sharing plan

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, building on the success of the city's popular Vélib curbside bike rental scheme, is planning to deploy a fleet of 2,000 electric cars that customers can pick up and drop off at rental stands around the city. Another 2,000 vehicles will be offered in two dozen surrounding cities.

The green scheme, dubbed Autolib (short for "automobile" and "liberté"), is scheduled for launch as early as the end of 2010. Advocates say the system would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 22,000 tons a year while improving traffic congestion as fewer Paris residents would need to own cars. Paris would be the first major city to offer such a service. >>more

(source: Spiegel)

August 2009

28.08.09 Renewable energies meet electricity demand of growing electric vehicle fleet

Electric vehicles (EVs) are considered a highly promising environmental-friendly alternative to fossil fuel driven cars. However, EVs are only as ‘green’ as the electricity they are charged with. But do renewable energies produce enough electricity to meet the demand of a growing EVs fleet?  

Jörg Mayer, executive director of the German Agency for Renewable Energies not only thinks this possible, but even emphasises: “Renewable energies are easily capable of meeting the electricity demand of a growing fleet of EVs.” As electric engines are much more efficient than combustion engines, the development of electric mobility will only marginally affect the overall electricity demand. According to Mayer only 14 % of the electricity currently produced with renewable energies would be enough to keep 10 million EVs running. 

This is good news for the European project “SMART SPP – innovation through sustainable procurement”. Electric vehicle systems are in focus in this project which promotes the introduction of innovative technologies through sustainable public procurement. The city of Barcelona, the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO), and project associate partner Greater London Authority (GLA) have expressed an interest in EVs. SMART SPP will start early market engagement activities this year. Suppliers of electric vehicle systems are invited to express their interest by responding to the Prior Information Notice. >>more (in German)


10.08.09 London takes action on electric vehicles

There are currently 1,700 electric vehicles being used in London, a figure the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wants to boost to 100,000 (or five percent of the capital’s fleet) as soon as possible.

The city-wide governing body for London, the Greater London Authority (GLA), is instrumental in the implementation of London's Action Plan on Electric Vehicles. London's commitment to this initiative has inspired the GLA to take part in the SMART SPP sustainable procurement actions by signing up as an Associate Partner in the project. >>more

05.08.09 Lighting the path to lower energy consumption

According to the OLED100.eu project, lighting now accounts for a quarter of Europe’s total energy consumption. Development of alternative lighting systems with greater energy efficiency will have an important impact on European energy consumption.

While current low energy and longer-life light bulbs offer energy savings by comparison with incandescent bulbs, they have drawbacks. In particular, hazardous materials, such as mercury, prevents such bulbs from being viable long-term solutions. Fortunately extensive research into low-energy lighting has uncovered new technologies that could revolutionise the sector. >>more

(source: ETAP website)

July 2009

28.07.09 Public procurement tipped to drive EU recovery

Public procurement should become the driver of new technology developments and the main vehicle for economic recovery, Malcolm Harbour, the new head of the European Parliament's internal market committee, told EurActiv in an interview (on 27 July).

"We have to encourage public buyers, who are buying infrastructure, energy solutions and so on, to be much more ambitious in using that investment to encourage new technologies and new business," Harbour told EurActiv. >>more

(source: EurActiv)

23.07.09 Procuring innovative solutions, guidance published by the OGC

The UK national government's Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is working to encourage and embed innovation in public sector purchasing in a number of ways. Guidance for public procurement practitioners on approaches such as 'early market engagement', and how to capture innovation, are available on OGC's website.

With its tremendous purchasing power, the public sector can provide a powerful incentive for business to develop innovative products, processes and services, achieve better value for money and drive forward improvements in the quality of public services. >>more

(source: OGC)

17.07.09 Businesses urged to embrace 'green innovation'

European companies risk missing out on 'green growth' by adopting a wait-and-see attitude, EU officials and business leaders have warned.

Karl Falkenberg, Director-General for Environment at the European Commission, said that Europe can no longer wait to accelerate the 'greening' of its economy.

Approaching the issue from the demand side, through green public procurement, by eliminating the worst-performing products from the market is one of the most viable solutions. >>more

(source: EurActiv)

14.07.09 Government rules spur race for energy-efficient incandescent lighting

Sales of incandescent light bulbs will be banned in the European Union and in the U.S starting in 2012. The British government has gone a step further by asking retailers to stop selling 75- and 100-watt bulbs as of 1 January this year. Lighting researchers are now racing to breathe new life into Thomas Edison's light bulb by improving the technology to make them more efficient. While on the other hand, researchers are also developing other lighting technologies, such as LEDs, for indoor lighting use. >>more

(source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development / International Herald Tribune)

08.07.09 Comment on the draft SMART SPP guidance

A draft guidance document on driving sustainable innovation through procurement, together with a combined life-cycle costing and CO2 emissions assessment tool for procurement are now available for consultation.

If you are interested in providing feedback and comments on the guidance document or tool please write to procurement@iclei.org

The consultation round is open until 20 July.

03.07.09 Batteries included: Are eco-friendly cars any good?

The UK government has started to roll out a scheme to encourage British drivers to switch over to environmentally-friendly vehicles. From the Smart Electric Drive to the Expert Eurobus (formerly the Teepee), The Independent's John Walsh reports on his test drive of eco-friendly vehicles. >>more

(source: The Independent)

June 2009

29.06.09 Innovative solutions to high emissions from the ICT sector

The ICT industry is now responsible for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, putting it on par with the aviation industry. Given the expansion of the sector, it is expected that this figure will double by 2020. In an interview with the European Technologies Action Plan (ETA), Marc Benowitz, Director of Eco-Environmental Engineering at Alcatel-Lucent, speaks about the company's plans to improve the the impact on the environment through product design and energy-efficient networks. >>more

(source: European Commission, ETAP)

23.06.09 Future looks bright for LED lighting

According to an article published in the New York Times, the future of light emitting diodes (LED) lighting is looking, well, bright. The declining cost and dramatically superior energy efficiency of LED lighting is bringing it out of the shadows and into mainstream use.

Several North American cities, including Toronto, already use LEDs in outdoor settings such as streetlights and parking garages. Three major cities in the state of California - Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose-are also making the conversion.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, converting to LED lighting is potentially the most cost effective of a number of simple approaches for using existing technology to cut emissions. >>more

(source: Responsible Purchasing Network / New York Times)

16.06.09  LED technologies shine through in German competition on energy efficiency

Approximately one third of the street lighting technologies used in Germany have been in use for over 20 years. With more than two tons of CO2 emissions annually and an average energy consumption that equates the energy consumption of 1.2 million German households there is a real need for improvement in this field. In 2008 the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the KfW Banking Consortium initiated a two-step competition to promote the use of energy efficient lighting technologies for streets.

Suppliers and manufacturers of such technologies were invited to present their most efficient and high-quality energy technology, as a first step. The most efficient of these technologies were included in a report, which saw the LED technologies scoring particularly well. Some scoring higher (than the average) on energy efficiency than the other competing technologies.

The report was then made available to communities which then competed in developing new energy efficient street lighting concepts, resulting in 18 winners across the country. The results of this competition demonstrate that a variety of energy efficient technologies are readily available for street lighting – good news for the early market engagement activities in the SMART SPP project. >>more (in German)

(source: Bundeswettbewerb Energieeffiziente Stadtbeleuchtung)

15.06.09 Torres Vedras joins piloting actions in SMART SPP

In Portugal, lighting systems and highly energy efficient electric vehicles (particularly passenger cars) have been identified as the most interesting products for pre-procurement activities through the SMART SPP project.

The Municipality of Torres Vedras has now become an associated public authority in the SMART SPP project, joining the other Portuguese partners, INETI and the Municipality of Cascais, in regional activities.

Contacts with the company Energia Viva/Exporlux, an LED lighting producer that offers financial services for initial investment costs and maintenance, were made at the start of 2009 and co-operation in pre-procurement actions is envisaged, namely via the trial of LED lighting in the streets of Cascais or Torres Vedras.

04.06.09 Tackling climate change through sustainable procurement, 22-23 October, Zürich

This year's international Procura+ Seminar - being held on 22-23 October in Zürich - will focus on how sustainable procurement can be used as a means for addressing climate change in the global and local environment. The programme will build on the key conclusions from the EcoProcura conference held in Reykjavik this March, by going into more detail about the following:


  • Approaches for embedding life-cycle costing and assessing CO2 emissions in procurement processes
  • Market availability of highly energy efficient products
  • Harmonisation of sustainability criteria, including energy efficiency standards
  • Promoting low-emission new buildings and renovation

For more information and to register for the event, please visit the Procura+ Campaign website. >>more

May 2009

29.05.09 What do companies and public authorities need to drive innovative technologies?

Knowing about the obstacles hindering the procurement of innovative technologies - that is, highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies - is an essential step towards facilitating their procurement in the future. Within the framework of the SMART SPP project a needs assessment was conducted to find out what public authorities and companies perceive to be the barriers to the procurement of such technologies. The findings of this assessment were compiled and evaluated in the report “Needs assessment to encourage innovation through procurement”, which is now available online. 

The report analyses the necessary conditions for public authorities to enter into dialogues with the market and prepare well for procuring innovative technologies. Companies share their point of view on necessary adaptations to current tendering procedures to drive innovative technologies. Furthermore, the report includes information on how to successfully implement life-cycle costing and CO2 assessment approaches – all of which can contribute to facilitating the procurement of innovative technologies. >>Download [pdf file]

20.05.09 Innovative emerging technologies providing high savings in energy

The latest report from the SMART SPP project providing in-depth information on innovative “emerging” technologies, that is, products and services not yet widely available on the market, is now available online. 

An assessment was made to identify and assess emerging technologies that will provide high energy savings and can be seen as new and innovative. Four different product groups are presented in more detail in the report – these are: lighting solutions for traffic, street and office lighting (LED and OLED technology), electric and hybrid vehicles, heating and cooling systems using renewable energies and ICT solutions. The report highlights the advantages and disadvantages of the presented technologies, the product availability and timeframe for further R&D in the next 2-3 years, as well as the current and estimated future energy performance in relation to the current best available technology.

The assessment is based on extensive research, interviews with key manufacturers and suppliers, information gathered from expert seminars as well as feedback from the public authorities partnering in SMART SPP.
>> more

15.05.09 Break-through in OLED Technology

Researchers from the “Institut für Angewandte Photophysik” at the University of Dresden achieved a break-through in OLED technology. In the journal “Nature” the scientists reported how they succeeded in reaching the new efficiency record of 90 Lumen/Watt with the OLED technology. Comparatively, energy saving light bulbs reach 60 Lumen/ Watt and conventional light bulbs only 15 Lumen/Watt.

Their milestone result will be taken up by the industry. Companies such as Philips and Osram will most likely integrate the results in their own research aiming at improving stability and enhancing the life-time of the OLED diodes. 
>>more  (in German)

April 2009

28.04.09 Companies invited to respond to Prior Information Notice

The European project “SMART SPP – innovation through sustainable procurement” has issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN). It is available online at Tenders Electronic Daily (TED).

Interested suppliers and manufacturers of innovative highly energy efficient technologies are invited to contact the issuer of the PIN to register their interest in participating in the next stage i.e. market engagement. Technologies in focus include:

  • LED solutions for traffic lights, LED solutions for street lighting and (O)LED solutions for office lighting, including retrofitting solutions
  • Full EV solutions, including passenger cars and duty vehicles used in public authorities as well as complete system solutions, including plug-in EV and refilling stations
  • RES heating cooling solutions, including solar adsorption chiller for municipal buildings and other technology solutions currently in the end R&D phases
  • Solid State Technology based ICT equipment

Furthermore, the first SMART SPP technical report “Existing approaches to encourage innovation through procurement” has been published, reviewing early market engagement, risk management, life cycle costing and CO2eq monitoring tools and approaches, and concluding how best to drive innovation through sustainable procurement. >>Download [pdf file]

23.04.09 Significant environmental improvements by purchasing green ICT

Information and communication technologies can help curb global warming, but the sector is also coming under growing pressure from the EU to lead by example by cutting its own emissions, which are now comparable to that of the aviation sector.

According to the results of European research into the potential of green public procurement, the purchasing of more energy efficient desktop computers by European public authorities could result in savings of over 830,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. >>more

(source: EurActiv)

21.04.09 SMEs highlighted as 'quick path to market' for innovation

A leading French expert in technology transfer has highlighted research partnerships with SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) as an efficient way to bring innovative new products to market. In an interview with EurActiv, Dr Bruno Sportisse, from the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA), said working with SMEs may be challenging but can have a major impact. >>more

(source: EurActiv)

16.04.09 Guide from the Spanish Government for the procurement of innovative ICT

The Spanish national Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade - specifically the State Secretariat for Telecommunications and Information Society (SETSI) - and the Spanish Foundation Cotec for technological innovation published in 2008 a report on the "public procurement of innovative information and communication technologies (ICT)".

The report aims at facilitating the use of public sector purchasing as a tool to improve the efficiency of public services and foster innovation by analysing public procurement as a tool for innovation, the legal framework as well as the management and procedures for the procurement of innovative ICT (market engagement, contract procedures, buyers training).

The importance of public procurement of innovative ICT is, according to the report, based on the improvement of public administrations’ efficiency through more advanced solutions which ensure better services are provided to citizens.

>>Download (report in Spanish) [pdf file]

March 2009

23.03.09 MEP: Use procurement process to 'leverage innovation'

Public authorities should back innovative SMEs from the beginning of the procurement process, regardless of whether their product or service ultimately wins a public contract, MEP Malcolm Harbour (EPP-ED, UK) told EurActiv in an interview. >>more

(source: EurActiv)