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January 11, 2022

International Symposium on Green Public Procurement under Carbon Neutrality Vision & 15th Anniversary of Government Procurement on Environmental Labelling Products held in Beijing

Since 2006, Chinese government issued the policy of Government Procurement on Environmental Labelling Products, it has been implementing 15 years. For summarizing experience and explore GPP contribution for climate change, “The International Symposium on Green Public Procurement under Carbon Neutrality Vision & 15th Anniversary of Government Procurement of Environmental Labelling Products” was held in Beijing on November 30, 2021. This meeting was hosted by the Environmental Development Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (EDC) and organized by China Environmental United Certification Center (CEC). Government officials from Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), Ministry of Finance (MOF) and State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), as well as the representatives from international organizations such as UNEP, Delegation of the European Union to China, ICLEI, GEN and IGPN were invited to attend the meeting.

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Mr. Dong Xuhui, Chief Engineer of EDC and Chairman of CEC, addressed at the opening ceremony. He pointed out that with the practice of the past 15 years, government procurement on environmental labeling products has been expanded in scale, greatly supported the development of GPP in China and facilitated local innovative practice on GPP. At the same time, GPP has promoted green innovation and transition of enterprises at the demand side. Government procurement on environmental labeling products has reached 1.3 trillion Yuan RMB over the past decade. In 2020, the total sum of government procurement of environmental labeling products was 81.35 billion Yuan RMB, taking up 85.5% of the same type of products. And the amount of product models has increased from 856 in 2006 to 1 million now, covering over 90 categories of products compared with 14 categories in the beginning.

SPP expert from UNEP, Mr. Farid Yaker shared the contents and progress of the Declaration on Mitigating Climate Change through Low Carbon Procurement launched by COP21 and introduced Sustainable Development Goal Indicator 12.7.1 2021 data collection, analysis and outcome. Mr. Sébastien Paquot, Climate Action and Environment Counsellor of the Delegation of the European Union to China, expounded relevant GPP policies, standards and supporting instruments under EU Green New Deal. Ms. Josefine Hintz, specialist on sustainable economy and procurement from ICLEI, employed specific cases to expound the role of sustainable public procurement in meeting carbon neutrality target and presented the thinking on GPP combined with carbon reduction.

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Ms. Xiaodan ZHANG, General Manager of CEC, deeply analyzed positive role of Chinese government green procurement in helping to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality. In addition, the experts from university and research institute had heated discussions and given presentations on GPP and low carbon development from different perspectives.

The experts had reached consensus that as an important approach to regulate micro economy and protect the environment & climate, GPP with strong demonstration effect is conducive to guide and mobilize more policy and financial support to green and low carbon development in China. They presented the following suggestions for next work
1) accelerating the development of GPP policy system to contribute to carbon peak and carbon neutrality targets achievement;
2) comprehensively promoting the development of GPP criteria system, establishing “Carbon Labelling” system;
3) improving supporting measures and encouraging local government and special industries to establish synergy procurement mechanism as well as unified information platform;
4) making more efforts in publicity on GPP and strengthening international cooperation.

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category : Events

January 5, 2022

[SCP] Could moving meetings online significantly cut our workplace carbon emissions?

Scrapping in-person meetings and conventions could drastically cut our workplace carbon footprint, new research reveals.
The University of Cornell in the US has discovered that moving a professional conference online would cut emissions by 94 per cent and energy use by 90 per cent. A hybrid model, with no more than half of attendees online, would reduce them by 67 per cent.
“We all go to conferences. We fly, we drive, we check into a hotel, give a talk, meet people – and we’re done,” says senior author of the paper, Fengqi You.
“But we looked at this problem comprehensively and behind the scenes, conventions generate a lot of carbon, consume a lot of energy, print a lot of paper, offer a lot of food – not to mention create municipal solid waste.”
While online conferences still require energy and equipment, an in-person meeting is a lot more complicated. For each individual participant of a conference, 2,994kgs of CO2 equivalents are released. And in 2017 more than 1.5 billion people travelled from 180 countries to attend them.
“There is a lot of interest and attention on climate change, so moving from in-person conferences to hybrid or remote events would be beneficial,” says You.
Before the pandemic, Paul Miller, CEO of the Digital Workplace Group says the whole way of conferencing was “very traditional, very antiquated”.
“The idea of flying in, on an environmental and a human resource basis, if you're going to go to a two-day conference somewhere, that's going to cost you. It could take four days of your time, all the travel, all the taxis, the hotels - it's arduous and straining.
“I think there's going to be a lot more people that are going to be a lot more selective.”
Saving in-person meetings for something special
Not all meetings are better online, Miller explains, but quality over quantity is a philosophy that can be applied throughout your work life. By saving in-person gatherings for something special and doing everything else online, carbon emissions can easily be cut.
“If you're going to do that, you're going to factor in the financial, economic and environmental cost. Make sure it's something that matters,” Miller adds.
Last year, the Digital Workplace Group launched a scheme called the Work Miles Movement. It involves setting a “budget” for the distance people travel to and from work each day to keep emissions from transport down.
Like with financial budgets, you can’t spend money you don’t have - you only make the effort for what actually matters.
And workplace culture has changed a lot since the pandemic began. Instead of flying halfway across the world to attend a 30-minute meeting, we’re now more likely to look at a digital option.
“Think of it almost like reserving them, like you would a really nice outfit. They are something you use for special occasions,” Miller concludes.

Learn more at EuroNews, 20 December 2021.

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