For immediate release

Global Lead Cities Network on sustainable public procurement launched

Seoul, Republic of Korea, April 2015 - Seoul Metropolitan Government and ICLEI have joined forces to establish a Global Lead Cities Network on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP). The aim is to create a worldwide network of leading cities that share and develop their capabilities to implement sustainable and innovation procurement, driving a transition to sustainable production and consumption. The network was launched at the ICLEI World Congress in Seoul (Republic of Korea) on 11 April 2015.

The network marks a recent growth in international interest and understanding of the importance of procurement in the fight against climate change. It has been set up to raise awareness of the benefits of sustainable and innovation procurement, and to help develop a supportive political framework.

Procurement makes up a significant proportion of public expenditure. According to the United Nations Office for Project Services, an average of 15 percent of global gross domestic product is spent through public procurement systems each year, amounting to over $10 trillion. This level of purchasing power is what makes the transition to sustainable public procurement so powerful. Public authority spending has real potential to change the future, achieve significant value for organisations and provide tangible benefits to the environment and the well-being of our society.

Committing to SPP enables local authorities to invest in the future of their cities and can actively encourage local innovation and entrepreneurship. It is a vital tool in ensuring the quality of life in towns and cities by, for example, improving air quality and reducing levels of waste. Sustainable public procurement also has the potential to improve cost efficiency and effectiveness of public services.

Cities including Seoul (Republic of Korea), Cape Town (South Africa), Helsinki (Finland), Ghent (Belgium) and Rotterdam (The Netherlands) are amongst the founding participants. They commit to take an exemplary role globally by putting SPP into action through setting ambitious, quantified targets for its implementation, developing a clear implementation strategy and undertaking an evaluation of performance.

The cities will act as global and regional champions of SPP, committing to promote and accelerate its wide-scale adoption by other cities.

Recent examples of such leadership include pledges by ICLEI member Helsinki (Finland) to achieve 100 percent sustainable public procurement by 2020 and a public call for action launched by the French capital Paris in the run-up to the COP21 summit. Cities are uniquely placed to develop and showcase practical solutions, which can then be replicated and adapted to other urban environments.

Key pillars of the network are target setting, implementation and monitoring of measures. To this end ICLEI will look to develop a standard monitoring mechanism for participants to calculate the environmental and financial benefits of SPP related to their individual targets. This ability to quantify savings will provide convincing evidence to others of the impact more sustainable procurement practices can have.

For more information on the lead cities network contact the Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Capacity Centre: mark.hidson@iclei.org.

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ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is the world´s leading association of cities and local governments dedicated to sustainable development. ICLEI is a powerful movement of 12 mega-cities, 100 super-cities, 450 large cities and urban regions as well as 450 small and medium-sized cities and towns in 83 countries. ICLEI promotes local action for global sustainability and supports cities to become sustainable, resilient, resource-efficient, biodiverse, low-carbon; to build a smart infrastructure; and to develop an inclusive, green urban economy with the ultimate aim to achieve healthy and happy communities.

The triennial ICLEI World Congress is the foremost assembly of local governments, and their partners, committed to sustainable urban development. The 2015 ICLEI World Congress convened over 3,000 delegates, more than half of whom are mayors, elected officials, and city representatives. The Congress showcased the most innovative practices and pioneering solutions of ICLEI Members and partners with a view to demonstrating that a transition to a globally sustainable future is possible.

More information:

ICLEI World Congress 2015: www.worldcongress2015.iclei.org

ICLEI Europe: www.iclei-europe.org/topics/sustainable-procurement


Sean Carroll
ICLEI European Secretariat
Tel: +49-761 / 3 68 92-0
E-mail: sean.carroll@iclei.org