IGPN - International Green Purchasing Network



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March 22, 2023

Cities invite market to drive zero-emission and circular construction

ICLEI Members are among the growing list of bodies that have signed two new key documents, both of which contain ambitions and commitments to leverage public procurement to make construction zero-emissions and circular. Organisations are invited to join the growing list of signatories of these two documents, namely the: Joint Statement of Demand of the Working Group on Zero Emission Construction Sites and the Joint Declaration of Intent of the Working Group on Circular Construction.

“Construction contributes massively to cities’ carbon emissions, and is a field where local governments spend a lot of public money,” explains Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director, Sustainable Economy and Procurement, ICLEI Europe. “Leveraging cities’ purchasing power thus has enormous potential both to push the industry to be greener, and to make large gains in emissions reductions to help Europe reach its climate goals.”

The Joint Statement of Demand contains a number of ambitions to move to fossil fuel free construction machinery by 2025 and to gradually increase the use of emission free machinery to at least 50% by 2030. This statement, which has been signed by ICLEI Members Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Helsinki (Finland) and Vantaa (Finland), is a clear signal to the market that there is a demand for emission free construction machinery, should it be made available by manufacturers. Signatories of the JSoD commit to:
Ÿ Require fossil-free construction machinery in own public projects from 2025, with at least 20% emission-free machinery, where available.
Ÿ Require fossil-free construction machinery in own public projects from 2030, with at least 50% emission-free machinery, where available.

For its part, the Joint Declaration of Intent demonstrates an unmet need in the field of road construction, in particular asphalt pavements. It aims to provide Public Buyers and the market with a recommended direction for investments in road construction, with a view to tendering approaches and to addressing ongoing challenges that require further analysis, such as identifying risks and potential for broader use of circular asphalt. ICLEI Members Haarlem (the Netherlands), Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Lisbon (Portugal), Vienna (Austria), Zürich (Switzerland), and Nantes Métropole (France) are among the public authorities who have signed this Declaration.

The aim of the Joint Statement and Joint Declaration is to make future demand predictable and help other public buyers across Europe use procurement to effectively support innovation, while ensuring sustainability and high quality.

These documents were composed and agreed upon by the members of Working Groups on Zero Emission Construction Sites and on Circular Construction, respectively. Both Working Groups are convened by the Big Buyers for Climate and Environment Initiative, coordinated by ICLEI Europe and Eurocities on behalf of the European Commission. The Big Buyers Initiative establishes such Working Groups of public purchasers to focus on unmet public procurement needs, in order to drive market demand for innovative and sustainable products and services in Europe.

To sign and learn more about the Joint Statement of Demand of the Working Group on Zero Emission Construction Sites, click here.

To sign and learn more about the Joint Statement of Demand of the Working Group on Circular Construction, click here.

Lear more from ICLEI Europe website.

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March 14, 2023

[SCP] Why India's new climate mission is focused on sustainable lifestyles

With a population of 1.4 billion, India is well positioned to drive meaningful climate action.
The Indian government's 'LiFE Mission' aims to harness the power of sustainable lifestyle changes.
Consumers can play a more significant role in driving sustainable production methods.

The Oxford Languages Word of the Year for 2022 has already been selected, but if a straw poll were held now among development and policy experts, a term unfamiliar to most of us at the beginning of the year – polycrisis – would likely surge ahead. It's a descriptive shorthand for the unhappy list of “cascading and interlinked crises” the United Nations Secretary-General warns are putting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in need of urgent rescue.

Among the mutually reinforcing crises we face, the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution threatens the greatest core potential for destruction, both now and in the foreseeable future. The past two decades have witnessed an incredible stream of record-breaking temperatures, with nine of the warmest years on record coming in the past decade alone. Catastrophic floods, record heat waves, and crop-destroying droughts have forced us to face the stark reality that the devastating impacts of climate change are no longer a distant prediction.

India's 'LiFE' climate action programme
Yet, it is said, every crisis brings opportunity. If there is a silver lining, it is in the growing recognition that these crises are existentially urgent and can’t be solved independently of each other, accelerating systems thinking and investment in innovation. A part of this sea-change, the global LiFE, or Lifestyle for Environment Mission, launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, together with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in October 2022, brings a fresh and much-needed perspective, that aligns the development and climate agendas.

The LiFE Mission, first proposed by Prime Minister Modi at COP26 in Glasgow, gives special focus to the impact individual behaviour and consumption habits can have on the planet, and encourages the adoption of environmentally sustainable lifestyles. As Prime Minister Modi explained, “the need of the hour is human-centric, collective efforts and robust actions that further sustainable development.”

“The LiFE Mission … gives special focus to the impact individual behaviour and consumption habits can have on the planet, and encourages the adoption of environmentally sustainable lifestyles.” — Shombi Sharp, Resident Coordinator, India, United Nations.

While LiFE seeks to mitigate both supply and demand-side factors, it sets off from the premise that the latter half of the equation has lagged in recent years with most attention paid to public policies and corporate regulation. Thus, transformational change requires renewed demand-side focus for a maximized global response. The goal, in short, is to scale climate change mitigation solutions based on behavioural and lifestyle changes that shift demand for goods and services towards those with significantly reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and polluting footprints.

In practical terms, this means encouraging actions such as: saving energy at home; cycling, using electric vehicles, or even better, taking public transport instead of driving; avoiding unnecessary flights; eating more plant-based foods and wasting less; and leveraging our position as customers and employees to demand climate-friendly choices. The list of potential actions is as limitless as the complexity of our modern lives.

Individual actions can have a positive effect
Many of the goals of LIFE can be achieved by deploying the “nudge” concept from behavioural economics: gentle persuasion signals which encourage positive behaviour. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) endorses proven nudge techniques such as discouraging food waste by offering smaller plates in cafeterias, encouraging recycling by making bin lids eye-catching, and promoting cycling and walking through urban design.

The potential of demand-side mitigation is enormous, and largely unrealized. The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Reportindicates that demand-side strategies could potentially reduce GHG emissions by 40-70% by 2050.

On the supply-side, demand, animated by the behaviour shifts of LiFE, can help create a virtuous cycle. Demand from individuals practising sustainability will send signals to the supply-side of the economy, the part that involves manufacturing technologies and energy generation, towards more climate and environmentally friendly designs, products and processes. At the same time, policy interventions can help incentivize a shift towards a circular economy, one where supply chains reuse materials and limit the extraction of new resources.

LiFE also recognises that an evaluation of climate action and our relationship with the planet through traditional, economic cost-benefit calculations such as GDP fail to capture how mitigation measures such as sustainable lifestyles interact with human well-being. For example, urban design solutions that encourage walking and cycling can have marginal benefits to health, well-being and social cohesion that are difficult or impossible to capture in terms of simple market costs. Instead, LiFE calls for the development of people-centric metrics, that recognize the social benefits of a nation’s stock of natural, human, and physical capital, and how these interact with the cost of human action or inaction.

And while LIFE is a global vision, India is an excellent place to start. With over 1.4 billion people, the largest youth generation in history, and the fastest growing major economy, the momentum generated by India alone can be enormous. India is also seeking to employ an array of bilateral and multilateral partnerships to build awareness and momentum towards a global ecosystem for sustainable lifestyles. As part of its G20 Presidency launched in December 2022 under the mantra of “One Earth, One Family, One Future”, India has made integrating the LiFE Mission into the powerful group’s agenda a priority.

The LIFE Mission also recognises that accountability is relative to contribution. Emissions across the poorest half of the world’s population combined still fall short of even 1% of the wealthiest. Those who consume the least, often the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society, will not be asked to consume less, but rather supported to participate in the green economy.

The same applies across countries. LiFE resonates with the just green transition the G77 and India have rightfully called for – highlighting enhanced obligations those in developed countries bear, to support climate adaptation and mitigation for those most affected, yet least responsible.

The energy crisis, and the coping responses of some high-income countries which have quickly turned back to coal and other fossil fuels, has been a reality check on the green transition. It is important to remember that for the Global South, while strengthening the link between sustainability and development is a priority, it remains far from given.

Socio-economic development and meeting basic human needs, driven by affordable and secure energy remains the ultimate priority, and for many developing countries, the mix available still includes significant amounts of coal and other fossil fuels. Development itself is non-negotiable. The energy crisis, which has forced many high-income countries to face the same trade-off between climate concerns and keeping the lights on, could be a catalyst for enhanced international solidarity and meaningful climate action.

And while we are all in this together and responsibilities are shared, it is only fair and common sense to call on developed countries, having gained their immense wealth via the vast majority of historical carbon emissions, to continue to make the most significant steps in helping ensure that the green energy transition is just and green, not “just” green.

As a founding UN Member State which bridges the worlds of the G20 and G77, and much in between and beyond, the good news is there has never been a better time for India’s growing leadership on climate action, at home and on the international stage. From the enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution targets announced under COP27 and massive bets on investment in renewables by Indian businesses, to core support for the International Solar Alliance, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and multiple South-South cooperation platforms, India brings a unique blend of scale, expertise, networks and legitimacy to the table.

As Mahatma Gandhi famously noted, “the world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” LiFE Mission now seeks to help each one of us live up to that truth in our daily lives.

Learn more at World Economic Forum website.

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March 7, 2023

WRAP Introduces their Extending Clothing Life Protocol

With the aim of helping clothes designers and manufacturers in creating longer lasting clothing, the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) has developed The Extending Clothing Life Protocol which corresponds to a set of guides and principles that serve as a template of good practice in increasing clothing life.

Find out at WRAP website.

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February 28, 2023

Baseline Report on Climate Action in Tourism

In 2021, the Global Survey on Climate Action in Tourism took on board the inputs of more than 1000 stakeholders including businesses, destinations, and other organisations. The objective? To better understand the ongoing climate action efforts of the tourism sector, including efforts at mitigation and adaptation, and the challenges and tradeoffs of each. This report synthesizes the inputs to pull out some clear lessons and recommendations moving forward.
Find out at One Planet Network knowledge center.

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February 24, 2023

LiFE - Lifestyle for the Environment

On the occasion of the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26), the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi introduced the mission of “LiFE (Lifestyle for the Environment)” to engage individuals in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.

This initiative encourages a lifestyle that focuses on mindful and deliberate utilization of resources and aims to change the prent ‘use and dispose of’ consumption habits. The idea behind is to encourage individuals to adopt simple changes in their daily life that can contribute to climate change.

The One Planet Network is proud to plug into this ambitious initiative, having a strategic focus on the linkages between our consumption patterns and huge global challenges such as climate change. The OPN stands ready to support these efforts through the amplification of hundreds of ready to go tools and solutions which the network has spent years bringing together.

Find about more about the LiFE Initiative.

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February 20, 2023

Product Lifetime Extension Infographics focused on the Electronics and Fashion Sector

These infographics summarizes insights of the implementation of Product Lifetime Extension (PLE) extracted from real-life initiatives. These infographics developed by Working Group 3 (WG3) of the One Planet network. The overall aim of the WG3 is to push progress towards product lifetime extension policies and practices worldwide, and to raise awareness and engage consumers on product lifetime extension.

Strengthening the implementation of Product lifetime extension as a formal business practice is an urgent action to move forward to a more sustainable consumer and production patterns. Specially, extending the lifetime of electronics and textiles products contributes to decreasing the use of natural resources and waste generation which is a fundamental factor to accelerate the transition of businesses towards circular economy.

UNEP and Akatu Institute have worked together on the development of 4 infographics that contribute to clarify concepts and definitions by providing concrete examples on PLE policies and practices. The infographics address PLE general concepts, highlight its relevance and provide insights on the role of at a consumer, business and government level.

The infographics are also focused on the application of PLE practices within the textiles and electronics which are two strategic sectors that can highly contribute to boost and strength a green-circular economy model. The infographics address real-life initiatives that have implement PLE strategies which seek to contribute to the shift of consumption patterns towards sustainability.

More in details at one planet network website.

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February 8, 2023

GTPI welcomes 21 new signatories

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is honored to disclose the list of 21 new signatories, bringing the total of signatories to 142.

7 new signatories from India's tourism industry joined the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative thanks to the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and UNEP's country office mobilizing the tourism businesses in India to commit to actions for integrating sustainability in the tourism sector. The national level CEO round table on sustainable tourism was held on 25th November 2022, and within this framework, three large hotel chains (Leela Palaces, CGH Earth Experience Hotels and ITC hotels), two tour operators (SITA, Travel Corporation India and Far Horizon Tours), Travel Agents Association of India and DTORR, a consultancy company working with tourism businesses signed the ambitious commitments for managing plastic pollution in the tourism sector.

In addition, 3 accommodation providers (Pariwana Hostels, Madama Hostel & Bistrot and La Posada del Viajero SAC) joined the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative thanks to the efforts of the Hostelworld Group, a booking platform for hostels that joined GTPI back in 2020 and has been promoting GTPI and its solutions among its partners since then.

Several supporting organizations have also joined the movement. Among them, a UK-based not-for-profit organization Common Seas, that just launched an online tool PlasTICK to measure the weight of plastics in operations of accommodation properties. The platforms’ approach is aligned with the GTPI measurement methodology and aims at supporting GTPI’s reporting process.

The breakdown per geographic region is quite diverse: 8 signatories have their headquarters in Europe, 3 are based in Latin America and Caribbean, 1 in Africa, 1 in Oceania and 8 in Asia-Pacific, among which 16 are businesses and 5 supporting organizations.

More details at one planet network website.

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February 1, 2023

GTPI issued the Plastics Measurement Methodology for Accommodation Providers

Beyond its harmful impact on marine ecosystems, the damage caused by plastic pollution extends to the travel and tourism sectors, causing estimated damage of 13 billion dollars each year. Plastics are cheap, lightweight, durable and adaptable: a perfect storm for the environment as they are present ubiquitously across objects in our daily life and in packaging we indirectly consume. The pervasive presence of plastic makes it especially difficult to track, reduce and eliminate.

To align and enhance the travel and tourism sector’s efforts in fighting plastic pollution and transition to a circular economy for plastics, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) gathers ambitious commitments from tourism industry stakeholders around the elimination of unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging and items, and the introduction of reusable alternatives and increase of recalled content and recycling rates.

In addition, GTPI signatories commit to “report annually and publicly on progress towards meeting these commitments, as well as on estimates of annual weights of plastics use”.

With a view to supporting the GTPI signatories to achieve this commitment, as well as other accommodation providers who are not signatories, a plastic measurement methodology was developed within the framework of a partnership agreement between UNEP and Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, with the financial support of the French Government, and in collaboration with UNWTO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The new methodology sets out a common framework for:
·Defining the different types of plastics to be included in the measurement;
·The metrics to be used;
·How to define organisational boundaries and scope;
·Extrapolating to fill data gaps.

The guidance is intended to be used by hotel operators or owners at the company level, but can also be applied at the single property level. Moreover, the creation of a common benchmark is the strength of the new methodology, which will allow for consistent year-on-year comparisons, both internally and externally.

Technical assistance was provided by Greenview within the framework of its collaboration with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and with contributions from GTPI signatories and Advisory Group members, as well as members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Discover the methodology and the calculation tools at One Planet Network knowledge center.

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January 28, 2023

WRAP Introduces their Extending Clothing Life Protocol

With the aim at helping clothes designers and manufacturers in creating longer lasting clothing, the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) has developed The Extending Clothing Life Protocol which corresponds to a set of guides and principles that serve as a template of good practice in increasing clothing life.

The Protocol seeks to support companies interested in develop and supply clothes designed and manufactured for a longer lifetime. To facilitate the access and understanding of the Protocol, WRAP(Waste & Resources Action Programme) developed a guide that explains in a simple and interactive manner how to implement the Protocol.

Through the Protocol, companies can learn about techniques and best practices to increase clothing life while ensuring best levels of performance for your products and practical regimes for quality testing.

The Protocol Guidelines and Interactive Guide to the Protocol can be accesed through the links provided.

More details at one planet network website.

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January 17, 2023

Sustainable Food Programme nominated for a Food Planet Prize

The One Planet Network Sustainable Food Systems Programme has been shortlisted as one of the 50 nominees to the Curt Bergfors Food Planet Prize, the largest monetary award in the global food arena. It rewards innovative solutions that can help us shift to sustainable food systems within a ten-year timeframe. The Prize is the Curt Bergfors Foundation’s primary tool to encourage agents of change and promote game-changing initiatives. In 2020, five change-making initiatives shared four US 1$ million prizes. For 2021 and onwards, the Curt Bergfors Foundation decided to double the award sum and give US $2 million to 2 winners. This means that the world's biggest environmental award is all about food. The SFS Programme is honored by this nomination and grateful for the generous collaboration and support from its members throughout these past years.

Read more about this prestigious prize at food planet prize.

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