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We are pleased to send you the third edition of the InnProBio e-newsletter! Since the start of the project, the InnProBio team has been working to develop a community of public procurement practitioners interested in innovative bio-based products and services. Thanks for being part of it.
This newsletter provides an update of the progress so far, as well as some of the latest news on bio-based products and public procurement.
Your InnProBio team
The InnProBio team has issued two new factsheets clarifying concepts related to the procurement of bio-based products and services:
The factsheet on sustainability provides information on the different issues which come into play when the sustainability of bio-based products and services are considered. Issues associated with the choice of feedstock are addressed in the factsheet, as are issues regarding end-of-life questions (such as biodegradability and recyclability), measuring environmental impacts – Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Product Carbon Footprint (PCF). Information on the different sustainability certification schemes is also provided. Bio-based products can offer improved functionalities compared to their traditional fossil-fuel counterparts, however the different aspects covered in this factsheet must be considered in order to have a bio-based product which is also sustainable across its life cycle.
Factsheet #3 aims at addressing some of the confusion surrounding the topic of biodegradability. It presents and addresses four ‘myths’: the consideration that all biodegradable products are made from bio-based materials, the idea that all bio-based products are biodegradable, the common understanding that biodegradable products can be thrown into the environment as they will disappear, and the question of whether biodegradability is a quick solution. Included in the factsheet is also a table with the most important terms related to biodegradability.
All factsheets are available for download here.
With the aim of supporting public procurers interested in purchasing bio-based products, the InnProBio consortium has been mapping existing tools available to help facilitate the public purchase of bio-based products and services, and included them in a report that is available and downloadable from the Tools and resources area at the InnProBio website.
The publication is divided into three sections. The first one is focused on the methodology used to create this inventory of already existing tools. The second section contains a selection and a brief description of the tools included in the inventory that are relevant for the InnProBio Handbook and Decision Support Tool, both of which will be published by the end of 2017. The last part of the report presents some conclusions.
A total of 150-200 tools relevant for public procurement of bio-based products and services were identified during the mapping exercise.
For more information, click here
On 29-30 September, the InnProBio team took part in an international public procurement conference in Lodz (Poland), organised by the University of Lodz, one of the InnProBio project partners. InnProBio was presented to an audience of over 100 people from various European countries.
The event aimed to analyse the regulations of the new European public procurement directives and specifically discuss issues related to strategic procurement, amongst others, the relevance of green and innovation procurement, and the application of social requirements in public tenders. Presentations were delivered by representatives of the European Commission, universities, InnProBio project partners and various international legal practitioners. Questions around innovation procurement and the issue of procuring bio-based products and services were featured and discussed in different sessions.
The organisers are planning to launch a post-conference book featuring the most discussed topics around green and innovation procurement. Information on the book will be available on the website of the University of Lodz.
Image copyright: InnProBio project
The EU-funded Open-Bio project launched a database that provides relevant information about bio-based end products to assist public buyers in making purchasing decisions. The database - www.open-bio.eu/dabatase - presents various items which are relevant for public procurers and are sorted by application area, product type and Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) code.
Users can find information about the bio-based content of products, sustainability, functionality and end-of-life aspects, such as biodegradability. The database is a starting point for public purchasers to obtain information about the different products available on the European market. Suppliers of these types of products are invited to join the database.
The Open-Bio project, finalised in October 2016, investigated how markets could be opened for bio-based products through standardisation, labelling and procurement. Sustainability of the bio-based resources and potential testing methods for this criterion was one of the areas of focus.
In September 2016, the Dutch national government approved the programme “The Netherlands circular in 2050”. The programme aims to achieve an intermediate target of 50% less use of primary raw materials: mineral, fossil and metals.
The Dutch government wants to set an example in the field of socially responsible and circular procurement and it expects to benefit from the economic paybacks of a circular economy: avoiding waste of resources, and increasing the chances for innovation and new business models. On a national level, Rijkswaterstaat – the entity responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in The Netherlands – and The Central Government Real Estate Agency will procure more bio-based and circular solutions for buildings and construction. The national government will set up several pilot projects on adopting a circular approach for bio-based furniture, corporate clothing, IT hardware, waste, and raw materials and catering.
To find out more, click here (information in Dutch)
Image copyright: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain
In April, Utrecht (The Netherlands) hosted the fourth Bioeconomy Stakeholders’ Conference, under the auspices of the Dutch EU Presidency. The event was part of the European Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan.
With the objective of detecting the needs of the European bioeconomy, numerous initiatives were presented by speakers and entrepreneurs on the first day of the event. The second day saw companies, civil society and public authorities share their experiences, barriers and ideas on the topic. Contents of these two days were translated into a Manifesto on the European BioEconomy, on which the InnProBio team was approached for input. The Manifesto addresses different challenges and opportunities, and lists the guiding principles that should lead stakeholders’ work towards a prosperous and sustainable bioeconomy. The document also states an agenda for all actors involved, with a number of actions and steps that can initiated in cooperation. Strong leadership from the side of the EU and its Member States is also included in the Manifesto.
For more information, click here
Image copyright: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain
The BioSTEP project, aiming at engaging citizens and various stakeholder groups in discussions about the future development of Europe’s bioeconomy, hosts a virtual exhibition of different types of bio-based products in its website.
“Dresses made from milk or coffee, car tyres from dandelions, sneaker soles from rice husks or armchairs that are tanned with extracts from olive leaves” - this is how they present the virtual exhibition of bio-based products divided in four different categories: the garage, the bathroom, the kitchen and the living room. Each item shows information about the materials, the technologies and procedures used, and their sustainability effect.
For those interested in testing how much they know about bio-based products and about the bioeconomy, the project website also offers a quiz with ten questions, such as what material is an innovative replacement of the petroleum-based rubber content used for the outsoles of trainers, or what protein can be spun into textile fibres.
To find out more, visit the project website
The annual event of the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network (Procura+ Seminar) gathered over 100 procurement practitioners and policy makers in Rome (in mid-October) to discuss how sustainable and innovation-oriented public procurement could be used to meet the strategic objectives of an organisation in a cost effective way.
Vito Consoli, Director of the Regional Directorate for Environment and Natural Systems of the Lazio Region of Italy, opened the event. He said, “Sustainable procurement helps transform markets. By working together in sustainable procurement networks, we can engage with suppliers in a coordinated way and create a significant demand for sustainable products and services.” Attendees called on city and regional governments across Europe to share ideas and collaborate on sustainable and innovation procurement.
The event also saw the launch of the 3rd edition of the Procura+ Manual. This tailored guide to cost-effective sustainable public procurement includes the latest information on implementing the new procurement directives, addressing advanced sustainability aspects and introducing innovation into procurement processes.
For more information on the Procura+ Network, visit here
Image copyright: ICLEI European Secretariat
The 2016 edition of the European Bioplastics Conference will showcase the outstanding developments of our industry in ‘rethinking plastics’ in a sustainable and resource-efficient way. The programme dives into a wide range of important areas, including EU policy landscape, the latest technological innovations in materials and conversion of bioplastics, EU market development outlooks, end-of-life solutions, as well as the brand perspective.
29-30 November 2016
World Bio Markets (WBM) returns to facilitate growth and commercialisation across the global bio-economy for the 12th successive year. Over 650 senior-level decision makers from the entire bio-based value chain attend in search of the partnerships, biotech breakthroughs, investment opportunities and innovations that are poised to spearhead the bio-economy of tomorrow. WBM is designed to showcase the very latest projects and upcoming opportunities in the bio-based product world, as well as in the area of biofuels, bio-chemicals and biomass power.
27-30 March 2017
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Bringing together CEOs, sustainable professional brand marketing specialists and end users, this event aims to be a platform to bridge the gap between the lab and daily life, and help bio-based innovations be part of future sustainable strategies. Amongst the topics that will be covered, bio-based feedstock and process flows, and process efficiency and innovation to create competitive and sustainable bio-based products. The event will also look into green success stories, as well as define the advantages of bio-based.
1-2 June 2017
Amsterdam, The Netherlands