Inside this issue

1. SMART SPP news

-   Driving sustainable innovation through public procurement in your region – guidance now available!

-   Listen to what cities have to say about SMART procurement

-   Catch up on the latest news on SMART sustainable procurement

2. SMART SPP in your region

-   Barcelona charged up for greater action on sustainable procurement

-   Kolding lights up for big savings on energy bills

-   Lightening the impact of Cascais’ streets through sustainable procurement

-   Lighting up car parks and offices more efficiently in the UK

3. What’s next? Upcoming SMART SPP activities

-   SMART SPP draws to a close, but stay tuned for more good practice!

4. New resources

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

-   Encouraging innovative construction solutions

-   Keep up to date on green procurement news

5. Events

1. SMART SPP news

Driving sustainable innovation through public procurement in your region – guidance now available!

Public bodies across Europe today face the dual challenge of shrinking budgets and ever stricter CO2 reduction targets.

Many authorities are now recognising that to meet these challenges we need to change how and what we purchase – we need the market to provide us with new, innovative solutions which can help to cut lifetime costs whilst also lowering CO2 emissions and offering high performance.

Launched at the beginning of 2010 for piloting in real-life procurement actions by the SMART SPP partners – the cities of Barcelona (Spain), Kolding (Denmark), Cascais (Portugal), the London Borough of Bromley and the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (UK) - the SMART SPP guidance has been revised and is now available online in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Danish. To help public authorities who wish to procure the best the market has to offer SMART SPP has developed a:

  • Guide to procuring innovation, including different ways to engage with the market, and a
  •  Tool to calculate the life-cycle costs and CO2 emissions of products (LCC-CO2 tool) so that procurers can assess the true costs of a product throughout its lifetime and its related CO2 emissions.

The new guidance was officially launched at the project's final conference held at the end of June in Brussels. The event showcased the experiences from leading European cities in the field of sustainable procurement, with representatives from the European Parliament and the European Commission also present to take part in an interactive debate about developments at the EU policy level. Delegates 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 is an important driving force for greening the market.

Download your copies of the SMART SPP tools today at We’re interested in hearing about your experiences using the guidance (email Presentations, press release and photos from the conference are available at

Listen to what cities have to say about SMART procurement

Listen to some of the stories and see some of the highlights of sustainable procurement in practice by the partners in Barcelona, Kolding, Cascais, Bromley and the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation in a short video available online now.

Versions of the same video with subtitles in Portuguese, Danish, German and Spanish will be available at the end of August on the SMART SPP website.

Catch up on the latest news on SMART sustainable procurement

The SMART SPP online newsroom regularly features news on the latest policy and technological developments of interest for purchasing energy efficient products and services, such as LEDs, electric mobility and IT equipment.

News on the debate about the modernisation of the EU public procurement directives, the recently launched EU energy efficiency directive and the availability of new procurement criteria for personal computers are some of the most recently published articles in the newsroom.

Visit the newsroom by clicking here.

2. SMART SPP in your region

Barcelona charged up for greater action on sustainable procurement

Barcelona's sustainable procurement activities for electric vehicle (EV) charging points were  concluded this spring. These involved acquisition, installation, management of the service and maintenance for ten surface charging stations, bringing the total number of charging points available in the city to 198. There are currently 250 municipal owned electric vehicles in use.

In terms of environmental requirements included in the tendering process, these covered information requests on materials and energy consumption, an environmental plan and requirements for the maintenance service. Barcelona's Energy Agency and the municipal Environmental Department coordinated the activity, one which also saw active engagement of potential suppliers at a seminar held in November 2009, long before the procurement tendering process was launched. The seminar served to inform market actors (suppliers, associations of suppliers) of the City's upcoming procurement plans for EVs and pull together information for calculating the whole life costs of offers submitted. 

Running alongside the EV charging points activity, the City Council still continues its involvement in revamping its municipal vending machine services. Following the early market engagement activities (a seminar attended by interested suppliers held at the end of October 2010), a number of sustainability characteristics remain under consideration for the upcoming tender scheduled to be published at the end of this summer.

Barcelona aims to use the sustainable vending machines tender to pilot the new approach, and intends for it to be used as a model tender for contracting future vending machine services used by other municipal bodies. Mar Campanero i Sala from the Sustainable City Council Programme says that "the most important aspect for having joined the SMART SPP project is that Barcelona has increased cooperation and dialogue with the market." The City’s future plans for innovation focused sustainable procurement include participation in the 22@Urban Lab project. Here, products that are in the pre-commercial phase will be tested in a particular municipal district. A number of internal municipal training sessions will also be organised on how to use the LCC-CO2 tool developed in SMART SPP.

More information about Barcelona’s activities can be found here. Alternatively, please contact Helena Estevan from Ecoinstitut Barcelona.

Kolding lights up for big savings on energy bills

Led by the city's Environment Department, a call for tender was published at the end of January this year for the supply of highly energy efficient replacement light bulbs (such as light emitting diodes - LEDs). The tender was presented in cooperation with the Danish 12-City Purchasing Group. The 12-City Purchasing Group is comprised of the cities Esbjerg, Fredericia, Herning, Holstebro, Ikast-Brande, Kolding, Middelfart, Odense, Randers, Silkeborg, Svendborg , Sønderborg, Vejle and Århus.

The winning bid covered retrofitting LED replacement bulbs with longer lifespan, high energy efficiency and low lifetime costs ensuring also a short payback time and high saving potentials, compared to traditional lighting. In detail, this means:

  • Lifespan between 25,000 and 40,000 hours
  • Energy efficiency between 52 and 74 lumen per watt
  • Payback period between 3 and 20 months
  • Saving potentials between 50 and 250 euro per light bulb over the lifetime

Impressively, the replacement of some 20,000 units is expected to generate average savings of 125 euro per unit. Henrik J. Kiel from Kolding’s Sustainability Department explains that "there has been a lot of focus on price previously at the municipality. Looking at the life span of the product and looking at the CO2 emissions give us other factors to evaluate."

Interest in the tender and upcoming contract mostly stemmed from SMEs and companies with little or no experience in responding to public sector tenders - evidenced from the offers presented. Actions of a similar nature would benefit from a follow-up seminar with interested suppliers to inform them of the award procedures.

Kolding's pilot action for innovation driven procurement now serves as a major stepping stone for full-scale replacement of inefficient lighting in municipal buildings. The approach and tools developed through SMART SPP may also be used in the upcoming work of the Danish Green City Network.

To read more about the sustainability criteria used in Kolding’s tendering activities, please click here to download a short case study published by the European Commission. More information about the activities in Kolding can be found here. Alternatively, please contact Bente Møller Jessen from the City of Kolding (Denmark).

Lightening the impact of Cascais’ streets through sustainable procurement

Following the successful experience in an earlier public lighting project, where the Municipality of Cascais piloted a tender for energy efficient street lighting, the municipal council is ready to go at it again and this time with the replacement of conventional light bulbs for LED technology in several main streets in Cascais. The initial (pilot) tender was for the replacement of light bulbs in the surroundings of the Environmental Interpretation Centre of Pedra do Sal in Cascais - situated 30 kilometres west of Lisbon in Portugal. The municipality has recently applied for a regional supporting program, which finances energy efficiency measures up to a value of 200,000 euro. The proposed new lighting systems are expected to result in a reduction of indirect annual emissions of about 173,000 kilograms of CO2 and 25,000 euro in annual savings.

Cooperation between the municipal procurement and lighting departments during the last two years has enabled the development of a new vision for engaging the market at the early stage of the tender preparation process.

Alongside Cascais' innovation focused procurement activities, the Municipality of Torres Vedras have re-launched the tendering process to purchase an electric mini-bus for passenger transportation inside Torres Vedras' historical centre. The tender was published this last June, is still open for tenders and is available here.

The Portuguese partners' activities on SMART sustainable procurement have begun to draw to a close following the launch of the SMART SPP guidance and tools at a conference held in Cascais last 15 July. Representatives from public entities and companies supplying innovative solutions turned up to hear firsthand how the innovative approaches to procurement were put into practice in Cascais.

To read more about the sustainability criteria used in Cascais' tendering activities, please click here to download a short case study published by the European Commission. More information about the activities in Portugal can be found here. Alternatively, please contact Paula Trindade from LNEG (Portugal).

Lighting up car parks and offices more efficiently in the UK

On behalf of Cambridge City Council (CCC), the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) undertook a procurement this spring for the supply and installation of LED lighting to the Grand Arcade Annex Car Park in Cambridge. With the tendering procedure closed at the end of May, the contract was recently awarded to a company supplying a good quality LED solution at a competitive price.

Preparatory activities began as early as summer 2008 with a prior information notice (PIN) published in April 2009 by ESPO for "energy efficient products/equipment based on innovative low carbon emission technologies and integrated solutions". A number of formal advertisements were also placed on a variety of websites to gauge further interest in the contract from the market. Tender documents were then sent to companies that registered their interest with ESPO and a supplier seminar was held as a further market engagement activity to provide an open and transparent forum for companies to ask questions.

Interest in the area of highly energy efficient lighting technologies is currently very high among UK public authorities which is why ESPO, in partnership with Pro5 (five of the largest public sector buying organisations in the UK), will be launching a new framework contract this summer that will be available for the entire UK public sector to use. The London Borough of Bromley is expected to take part in the contract following their recent trials with LED indoor lighting.

Promotion of the newly launched SMART SPP guidance is now underway in the UK after a workshop hosted by ESPO in Leicester on July 13. Partner representatives, delegates from the Czech Republic and Hungary, UK local authority representatives and members of the lighting trade were among those present. Interesting presentations were made by Philips lighting and the Energy Saving Lighting Company explored the use of the latest LED technologies and the use of life-cycle costing and carbon foot-printing.

Please contact Peter Joyce from Global to Local (UK) for more information about the UK SMART SPP activities.

3. What’s next? Upcoming SMART SPP activities

SMART SPP draws to a close, but stay tuned for more good practice!

After nearly three years, the SMART SPP project will come to an end on 31 August. The SMART SPP project consortium partners would like to thank you for your interest in the project. Your contributions have been important in making the project a success.

However, before SMART SPP ends, two new resources will be available on the project website before the end of August:

  • Good practice case study collection providing more detailed information about the experiences from the public authority partners in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Danish, and
  • The main project results summarised in an easy to read brochure for easy promotion.

All tools, guidance and the experiences documented will remain available on the project website.

Goodbye and thank you from the SMART SPP team,

ICLEI, Ecoinstitut Barcelona, Global to Local, Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia (LNEG), Öko-Institut, German Federal Association of Eco-Counselling, Barcelona City Council, Eastern Shires Purchasing Council, London Borough of Bromley, Cascais Energy Agency and the Municipality of Kolding.

4. New resources

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.

Visit the Topten website or download the Topten Focus issue on LED here.

Encouraging innovative construction solutions

Every public construction project - whether renovation or new build - involves a multitude of different public and private actors, and complex procurement procedures. The path from wanting a sustainable outcome to achieving one is therefore equally complex.

The SCI-Network (Sustainable construction and innovation through procurement) has produced a series of preliminary reports and case studies which explore how sustainable innovations can best be encouraged within this process. Issues include, how to engage with the private sector before tendering for construction services, how to set up procedures to maximise expert involvement, how to assess the life-cycle costs of the construction in decision making.

All reports are available in the public SCI-Network Resource Centre. Publications are regularly added.

For further information, please contact

Keep up to date on green procurement news

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

The newsletter is free of charge, so why not sign up today!

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Read the latest edition of the GPP News-Alert.

5. Events

To keep up to date, plan your attendance and contribute to the various topics linked to the SMART SPP project, visit our online Events Calendar

Highlights of some upcoming events are:

CIPSA ECO-Buy National Sustainable Procurement Forum
7-8 September 2011, Melbourne, Australia

International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference in Malaysia (IGEM)
7-10 September 2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Cities in Europe 2020 - Enhance sustainability now!
12-14 September 2011, Brussels, Belgium


The Energy Event 2011
13-14 September 2011, Birmingham, UK


eWorld Purchasing & Supply
21 September 2011, London, United Kingdom


Beschaffungskonferenz 2011
22-23 September 2011, Berlin, Germany


Supported by:
Intelligent Energy Europe
An initiative of:
Procura Plus campaign

Intelligent Energy Europe Municipality of Kolding  LNEG - Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia Global to Local  Ecoinstitut Barcelona ICLEI European Secretariat Barcelona City Council  London Borough of Bromley  Cascais Energy Agency  Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation German Federal Association of Eco-Counselling  Öko-Institut e.V.

© 2011 ICLEI Europe