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February 23, 2022

[Report] Public Food Procurement for Sustainable Food Systems and Healthy Diets

FAO's new publication on Public Food Procurement for Sustainable Food Systems and Healthy Diets.
This publication aims to contribute to the improved understanding, dissemination, and use of PFP as a development tool in particular in the case of school meals programmes.
In Volume 1, researchers, policymakers, and development partners can find evidence on how PFP can be used as a development tool and deliver multiple benefits for multiple beneficiaries. It argues that PFP can provide a market for local and smallholder farmers, promote the conservation and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity, and improve the nutrition and health of children and communities.
Volume 2 of this publication presents further analysis of the instruments, enablers and barriers for PFP implementation. It also provides case studies with local, regional and national experiences from Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America.

Download at here.

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February 11, 2022

[Report] A Global Procurement Partnership for Sustainable Development: An International Stocktaking of Developments in Public Procurement: Synthesis Report

Efficient procurement procedures save time and money, opening up much needed fiscal space, yet modern public procurement can also serve as a tool for achieving broader socioeconomic policy change. Government purchasing decisions, including more strategic use of technology, can be used to maximize value for money as defined by a concept of “value” that goes beyond fiscal savings to include broader policy goals such as environmental sustainability, support for small enterprises, or protection of vulnerable groups in society. This report outlines the key challenges and opportunities in moving toward modern procurement systems around the world and makes the case for a global procurement partnership to strengthen development effectiveness through better understanding and implementation of procurement reforms.

Download the report here.

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February 7, 2022

See how international networking can foster more sustainable tech supply chains

Improving the sustainability of information and communication technology (ICT) is critical, not only to face the climate emergency, but also due to the positive knock-on effects of doing so. For example, by considering sustainability across ICT, public buyers can build more sustainable procurement overall.
In a recent interview, Jo Versteven of the Belgian Federal Institute for Sustainable Development (FISD), explains how Sustainable ICT has become an important topic for Belgium’s (procurement) policy agenda, referring to how this has been supported by ICLEI.
The interview makes note of an achievement from June 2021, in which the Belgian Minister for Sustainable Development, Zakia Khattabi, signed the Circular and Fair ICT Pact, an international partnership to accelerate circularity, fairness and sustainability in the ICT sector with a focus on public procurement
Versteven notes that to translate these ambitions into concrete actions, Minister Khattabi asked the FISD to set up two working groups. He recalls that Minister Khattabi called for: “Firstly, a Belgian Buyers Group with about 80 local, regional and federal government buyers/procurers to exchange best practises and tender information on circular and fair ICT procurement. And secondly, a European working group on socially responsible ICT procurement with about 27 European buyers of ICT equipment, together with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. The second group was considered to be important because of potential negative side effects of (green) buying in the ICT mining, production and assembly facilities – for example, using child and/or forced labour. Both groups will deliver their reports and recommendations by the end of the year.”
In the interview, Versteven further discusses how the FISD is helping to integrate sustainability in the procurement portfolio of federal public buyers, how Belgium is building on the EU Clean Vehicles Directive to green its car fleets, and the importance of monitoring to better understand the success of sustainable interventions.
For more information, read the full interview in the Green Public Procurement (GPP) newsletter, accessible here.
Learn more at ICLEI Europe News Center.

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February 1, 2022

[HOUSING] Three in five households recycled regularly: NEA survey

SINGAPORE: While three in five households reported that they recycled regularly and that most knew what items could be placed in recycling bins, households were less aware of items that should not be deposited for recycling, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Friday (Jan 14).
In its latest survey on household recycling conducted last year, NEA said that it saw other positive findings, which come as the country aims for a 70 per cent overall recycling rate by 2030 under the Zero Waste Masterplan and the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
Eight out of 10 households were aware that recyclables collected from blue recycling bins and recycling chutes were sorted at central sorting facilities - this was an improvement from 57 per cent in 2018.
About 6 per cent of households had the misconception that recyclables were mixed with general waste and incinerated, down from 12 per cent in 2018.
Most households were aware that common recyclables generated at home, such as shampoo or detergent bottles, beverage cartons, glass bottles and plastic egg cartons could be placed into the blue recycling bins.
However, households were less aware of items that should not be deposited for recycling. For instance, about half of those surveyed thought that soft toys and Styrofoam items could be recycled.
The survey also found that 72 per cent were not aware that households did not need to sort their recyclables before depositing them into the blue recycling bins or recycling chutes.
"To make recycling more convenient for households, Singapore has a single-stream recyclables collection system where households can place four types of recyclables – paper, plastic, glass and metal – into recycling bins and recycling chutes," said NEA.
"This not only saves on the effort for households to segregate recyclables at home, but also reduces the carbon footprint of collecting recyclables, when compared to the multiple truck trips needed for the separate collection of different recyclable streams."
The agency noted that if Singapore does not reduce waste generation, Semakau Landfill is expected to be full by 2035 given the country's current rate of waste disposal.
"Through recycling, we can not only divert waste from Semakau Landfill, but can also turn trash into treasure and close the resource loop as part of a circular economy."
Currently, all HDB blocks have one recycling bin per block or a recycling chute, while landed houses each have a dedicated recycling bin.
At condominiums and private apartments, one recycling bin is also provided for each residential block. These bins, as well as the dedicated recyclables collection trucks, are all coloured blue to differentiate them from the general waste bins and the refuse collection trucks.
NEW RECYCLING MASCOT
This year's recycling campaign will introduce a new recycling mascot named Bloobin - a disgruntled blue recycling bin "frustrated by the years of contamination, and on a mission to educate the public on how to recycle right".
"20 years ago, Bloobin started out as a dreamer full of hope. He believed that when everyone banded together to recycle, we could create a greener Singapore with less waste sent to Semakau Landfill," reads Bloobin's origin story.
"Over the years, however, Bloobin felt that Singapore’s recycling rate showed insufficient improvement. And he became increasingly frustrated, due to constant bin contamination … and it was breaking his heart. People had been treating the blue recycling bins as trash bins and he has finally had enough of the years of abuse and misuse!
"So Bloobin is now on a mission to get everyone to recycle right, which will help increase recycling rates and extend the lifespan of Semakau Landfill."
Bloobin stickers at general waste and recycling chutes at public housing developments will serve as a "last-mile reminder" to nudge households to check their items before appropriately disposing of them as general waste or recyclables, said NEA.
To nurture proper recycling habits, interactive educational resources such as an e-activity book for pre-schoolers and e-games for older students will be made available.
An Inter-Institutes of Higher Learning challenge - Ready, Set, Recycle - will be launched to mobilise youth to take action for recycling and develop deeper and more meaningful engagement programmes.
NEA COLLABORATIONS
On Friday, NEA said it is collaborating with the community, non-Governmental organisations, corporate and industry partners to encourage the public to recycle more and recycle right, and to explore and implement new methods of making recycling convenient in neighbourhoods and homes.
It will also work with local Public Waste Collectors to distribute a recycling receptacle to each household in 2022 in a bid to nudge households to step up their recycling efforts.
More details will be announced at a later stage, said the agency.
NEA highlighted an ongoing trial of using transparent recycling bins at Hong Kah North Single Member Constituency and East Coast Group Representative Constituency to facilitate an intuitive and informed recycling process amongst the public.
"The establishment of a Producer Responsibility Scheme for regulated e-waste on Jul 1, 2021, resulted as well in the setting up of dedicated e-waste bins around the island and the scheduling of e-waste collection drives at housing estates, making the recycling of such waste more convenient," it said.
Learn more at Channel News Asia, 14 January 2022 By: Ian Cheng.

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