Opportunities of Sustainable Procurement for the Public Sector
FAIR FRIENDS again invites buyers and decision-makers from municipalities, private and public institutions, churches, charities and companies to the ‘Trade Day for Sustainable Procurement’ on 5 September. The focus of this year’s programme will be on the following requirements fields: ‘Sustainable Fabrics’, ‘Food’, ‘Climate Change and Energy Management’, ‘Digitalisation’ and ‘Useful Knowledge’. The registration phase has already started. The entire programme detailing speakers and workshops can now be viewed at www.nachhaltige-beschaffung.org.
The ‘Trade Day for Sustainable Procurement’ will show, in theory and practice, how sustainable procurement can contribute to not only a fair and sustainable but also successful future at several levels.
Especially the public sector will have to play a major role because public-sector procurement can have a significant leverage effect, for example, to increase the demand for fair and sustainable products. About 30,000 public procurement authorities spend about 350 billion euros per year on products, services and construction projects. Municipalities and their municipal undertakings account for about 50 per cent of that spending. And the purchasing volume of the two large Christian denominations and their charities amounts to about 60 billion euros.
Rural district councils, town/city councils and municipal councils therefore have the opportunity of setting a good example and introducing ecological, social and innovative aspects into the market because buyers and decision-makers in municipalities, public institutions, churches, charities, kindergartens, hospitals, old-people’s homes and other facilities can contribute to climate protection and resource conservation by taking responsible action for sustainable procurement and acting on deficiencies in the production of goods to be procured.
Sustainable procurement not only contributes to the achievement of sociopolitical goals. It is generally known that the cheapest price is not necessarily the most economic option in the long run. Economic benefits can also be generated by taking into account life cycle costs and other factors like durability and repair-friendliness. The contract award process can thus be designed to save costs, be solution-oriented and be efficient in terms of energy and resources.
Interactive Format: Discussion with Experts
The ‘Trade Day for Sustainable Procurement’ is characterised by the impartation of knowledge during the workshops, round-table discussions and personal dialogues between all involved parties. Participants will also be given presentations of products and services and can talk directly with relevant vendors on site.
The presenter of the Trade Day will be Ulla Burchardt, retired MP and member of the Sustainable Development Council. The words of welcome will be given by the Lord Mayor of the City of Dortmund. A special highlight is that Prof. Dr. Günther Bachmann, Secretary-General of the Sustainable Development Council, will attend as a keynote speaker.
The importance of the Trade Day in a national and regional context is again emphasised by the strong co-operation partners and supporters. These include the Competence Centre for Sustainable Procurement of the Procurement Office of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (Kompetenzstelle für nachhaltige Beschaffung des Bundes - KNB), the Association of German Cities (Deutscher Städtetag), the Association of Towns and Municipalities in North Rhine Westphalia (Städte- und Gemeindebund NRW), the Association of Rural Districts in North Rhine Westphalia (Landkreistag NRW) and the Dortmund City Council (Stadt Dortmund), that also participate in the programme. Furthermore, experts from AWO (the Workers’ Welfare Association), DIAKONIE (the Protestant social welfare organisation), FEMNET (the African Women’s Development and Communication Network), the Engagement Global/SKEW Service Agencies for Development Aid Initiatives and Communities in One World , FABIDO (a municipal enterprise providing the kindergarten and nursery services throughout Dortmund), EnergieAgentur.NRW (the Energy Agency in North Rhine Westphalia) and the Jaro Services company will hold the workshops.
Programme: The Focus Will Be on the Following Main Topics
The ‘Sustainable Fabrics’ segment will offer workshops and expert lectures on the procurement of workwear garments like outerwear and shoes and the major topic area covering sheet fabrics, i.e. hand towels, tea towels, bed sheets, hospital supplies, etc.
The ‘Sustainable Food’ topic covers much more than just the procurement of food because the focus is on reusable crockery and cutlery as both an alternative to plastic products and a solution for active waste avoidance. Within the scope of a cooking show, experts will also be invited to participate in the cooking show and to exchange information on sustainable food catering in schools, kindergartens, old people’s homes, etc.
The ‘Climate Change and Energy Management’ segment will highlight topics like climate-friendly procurement in the energy sector and carbon-neutral nursing care. The Experiencing Electric Mobility roadshow will show how that concept is put into practice and invite the participants to test it.
The fourth main topic falls under the ‘Useful Knowledge of Sustainable Procurement’ motto. Experts will provide information on the applicable public procurement law and give an overview of recognised social and ecological labels. The functionality of the Sustainability Compass will also be discussed. Another exciting topic covers the core labour standards set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and aimed at the compliance with social standards within the scope of the World Trade Order, humane working conditions and adequate protection of labour rights.
The Digitalisation topic that will also be covered by a workshop is also indispensable for a modern procurement organisation. Technological innovations have the potential to develop into a significant leverage for sustainable economic management or to further intensify the current global challenges. Specific influencing strategies for sustainable procurement in IT hardware, third-party software, software development and IT services will be developed and discussed with the participants and direct implementation options will be presented.
FAIR FRIENDS – The New Trade Fair Concept
FAIR FRIENDS, Germany’s largest sustainability trade fair (5 to 8 September), is both a trade fair and consumer exhibition and conveys the important sustainability topic to mainstream society. For the first time separate from the consumer days (6 to 8 September), the trade fair will start with a Trade Day on 5 September. With the two main topics and well-established formats, i.e. ‘Sustainable Procurement’ and ‘Sustainable Investments’, decision-makers will get a condensed overview of the market situation and regulations on only one day and, with the help of demonstrations, presentations and lectures, fundamental practical tips for the daily work. The exhibition days for end consumers will then start on Friday.
Free-of-charge registration and further information: