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ICLEI in Europe News
July 2014

Dear Members, Partners and Friends of ICLEI,

We are pleased to send you the latest news on ICLEI in Europe and our partners for urban sustainability!

You can also read these news articles and find more information on the topics at

Don't hesitate to send your news and information to

    1. ICLEI Member News
    2. UNFCCC recognises central role of cities in climate action
    3. Renewable energy increasing globally despite economic slow-down
    4. Local leaders discuss the future of community renewable energy during EUSEW event
    5. ICLEI signs joint declaration on enhancing European energy security
    6. ECOLISE network combines the potential of community-led initiatives
    7. New procurement guide helps public authorities unlock the benefits of innovation
    8. 11 nominees chosen for Procurement of Innovation Award
    9. Ljubljana announced as European Green Capital 2016
    10. ICLEI, UNEP and Keiti role in supporting sustainable procurement highlighted by The Guardian
    11. Electric vehicles take centre stage at Stockholm workshop
    12. Event News
    13. Events Calendarmso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";

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      1. ICLEI Member News

      Heidelberg wins award for pioneering Passive House development

      Heidelberg Environmental Agency (Germany) has received the 2014 Passive House Award for its pioneering work on energy efficient housing. The ICLEI member city has put sustainability first during each stage of the new Bahnstadt City District development, which demonstrates the value of applying the Passive House standard to extensive development schemes.

      Bahnstadt is the largest Passive House development in the world, combining a mix of residential, business, research and commercial buildings. A 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions is expected in the area by 2015, thanks to the buildings' ultra-low energy consumption. In the longer term, the Council hopes to supply Bahnstadt entirely from renewable energy sources.

      “The Award is an emphatic reminder of Bahnstadt’s importance as a lighthouse project[…]Our youngest district shows what is possible when you apply technology intelligently,” said Dr. Eckart Würzner, Mayor of Heidelberg, speaking at the Awards ceremony.

      For more information, click here [in German].

      Glasgow 2014 awarded ISO standard for sustainability

      The 2014 Commonwealth Games, hosted by ICLEI member city Glasgow (UK), has achieved ISO 20121, the international standard for Sustainable Event Management. Organisers have incorporated sustainability into the planning, implementation and legacy of the event. The standard recognises that the Games is demonstrating an awareness of economic, environmental and social impacts in all decisions.

      All ticket holders and workers at the Games have been provided with free public transport around the city, and the car and bus fleet have been upgraded to ensure minimum emissions. Other initiatives include an energy efficient Athletes’ Village, with photovoltaic panels on all structures. A zero waste to landfill policy throughout the event includes a commitment to compost all food waste and disposable cutlery generated.

      Lord Chris Smith, Chairman of Glasgow 2014, said: "Sustainability is at the core of all our decisions and not an added extra or bolted on strategy; it is about making positive and lasting changes in the way we use natural and human resources to improve quality of life for all, now and in the future."

      For more information, click here.

      Angers exceeds waste reduction targets

      In 2005, ICLEI member Angers (France) set itself the target of reducing annual household waste across the city, with a 7 percent reduction target in waste production overall by 2013. For each citizen, this meant an annual decline in household waste to 285kg. In figures published on 19 June, the city was able to announce that it had surpassed the 285kg target, with the average Angers resident producing just 282kg of waste each year, 87kg of which was recycled.

      The city council combined awareness raising activities by ‘recycling champions’ with schemes to reduce packaging in supermarkets, distribution of more than 12,000 individual household composters and guides to reducing, reusing and recycling waste products.

      Angers’ experience shows that by getting local residents on board and supporting their individual efforts, the cumulative impact can be significant.

      For more information, click here [in French].

      2. UNFCCC recognises central role of cities in climate action

      The importance of cities as catalysts of change was recognised at the last round of UNFCCC climate talks, which took place in Bonn (Germany) from 4 - 15 June. National governments from France, Germany, Poland, Austria, Sweden and Georgia pledged their support for empowering and enabling cities to further act on pressing climate change issues.

      Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC believed the talks might represent a historic turning point, saying: “The meetings here in Bonn this June may perhaps go down as a point in time where governments showed new and higher levels of cooperation and positivity towards a meaningful agreement in Paris and the goal of limiting a global temperature rise to under 2 degrees Celsius.”

      The carbonn Cities Climate Registry Report (cCCR), which was launched during the talks, shows a growing number of local and regional governments committed to being transparent and accountable in their climate policies.

      For more information, click here.

      3. Renewable energy increasing globally despite economic slow-down

      More than 22 percent of the world’s power production now comes from renewable sources, according to the latest edition of the annual Renewables Global Status Report. ICLEI is a contributor to the 2014 report, which credits support policies with playing a central role in driving global renewable energy capacity to a record level last year — 1,560 gigawatts (GW), up 8.3 percent from 2012.

      In the European Union, renewable power installations made up 72 percent of new electric capacity in 2012. This is an impressive transformation from a decade before, when conventional fossil-based power generation accounted for 80 percent of new capacity in the EU-27 plus Norway and Switzerland. Globally, renewable electricity capacity accounts for more than 56 percent of net additions to global power capacity.

      For more information, click here.

      4. Local leaders discuss the future of community renewable energy during EUSEW event

      City leaders can shape policies to promote renewable energy projects at local level, heard delegates at the "Community energy: accelerating sustainable energy roll-out" event, held during the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2014 High Level Policy Conference in Brussels (Belgium). The event, organised by ICLEI, focused on the potential of community-led and owned Renewable Energy Sources (RES) for local and regional development.

      Cities spoke on the importance of local ownership as a means of gaining support for renewable energy, before discussing future perspectives in the context of the EU's 2020 and 2030 energy and climate frameworks. Jens Bartholmes of the Directorate-General for Energy (European Commission) outlined the EU’s position, saying: "We [the European Commission] have earmarked €200 million to push forward the role of smart city technologies and solutions at city level, with a focus on communities. We want to push projects that have a high replication potential. These solutions, especially at local level, are very high on our agenda."

      For more information, click here.

      5. ICLEI signs joint declaration on enhancing European energy security through local action

      ICLEI was amongst six major EU local and regional authority networks to co-sign the joint declaration "Local actions are key to European energy security". The declaration pledges to undertake five strategic sets of actions in support of member cities and regions’ contribution to energy security in the EU.

      The declaration welcomes the European Commission’s recent recognition of the Covenant of Mayors (CoM) as a “key action” of its Energy Security Strategy. The CoM brings together close to 6,000 local authorities, working with the private sector, NGOs, regions, national bodies and citizens to meet and exceed EU climate and energy objectives.

      Through short term actions to help moderate energy demand and accelerating the implementation of Sustainable Energy Action Plans, local authorities can make a crucial contribution to Europe’s energy security. In addition to ICLEI, the declaration is signed by Climate Alliance, CEMR, Energy Cities, EUROCITIES, and FEDARENE.

      To view the declaration, click here.

      6. ECOLISE network combines the potential of community-led initiatives

      ECOLISE, the new European network to support community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability, recently marked an important milestone, with its official registration as an international association (AISBL) under Belgian law. ICLEI is proud to be among the founding members of the initiative.

      The members of ECOLISE believe that community-based initiatives can help to bring about a societal transition towards sustainability. As well as ICLEI, the ECOLISE network includes the Transition Network, the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN-Europe), Permaculture UK, GAIA Education, Lisbon University Science Faculty Foundation and more.

      “Governments can’t do it alone and communities can’t do it alone,” says Eamon O’Hara, co-founder and current Acting President of ECOLISE. “We need to work together, recognising the important contribution that each level has to make. ECOLISE is an attempt to bridge this gap and create this kind of joined-up approach that has been missing to date.”

      For more information, click here.

      7. New procurement guide helps public authorities unlock the benefits of innovation

      A comprehensive guide launched by the EU-funded Public Procurement of Innovation Platform project aims to reduce the existing knowledge gap on public procurement of innovation (PPI). Available online and in print, the guide offers explanations of procedures, definitions and answers to common questions, a selection of case studies, and useful resources for further reading. Particular emphasis is placed on the latest EU procurement directives, as well as ways to facilitate greater innovation through procurement procedures.

      “In a time of decreasing public budgets, innovation can facilitate the delivery of vital infrastructure and services. It is of the utmost importance, therefore, that public procurers can effectively engage in PPI. This guide will empower procurers to create a more efficient, sustainable and modern Europe.” said Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission. The total value of public procurement in the EU is estimated at €2 trillion per year – or about 19 percent of European GDP.

      To view the guide, click here.

      8. 11 nominees chosen for Procurement of Innovation Award

      The Public Procurement of Innovation Platform consortium has announced the nominations for the Public Procurement of Innovation Award , which recognises the very best innovation procurement in Europe. The nominees reflect the geographic diversity of entrants, with Spanish, Dutch, French, Norwegian and Austrian contracting authorities represented.

      The winner will be revealed at the EcoProcura conference in Ghent (Belgium) on 24-26 September 2014. "The quality of all applications was extremely high, making the jury’s evaluation a difficult task. We congratulate all those selected, and look forward to announcing a final winner." said Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre.

      The winning entry will receive an award for innovation procurement excellence, together with the title “European innovation procurement of the year”, and a case study published on the Procurement of Innovation Platform.

      To view the list of nominees, click here.

      9. Ljubljana announced as European Green Capital 2016

      Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, has been selected as European Green Capital for 2016. The European Green Capital Award is an annual event that promotes and rewards the efforts of cities committed to improving the urban environment. The city received particular praise for its sustainability strategy, which follows an integrated approach to environmental management. Ljubljana has also shown its commitment to sustainable and green procurement, which has been implemented for 70 percent of all city purchases.

      Janez Potočnik, EU Commissioner for the Environment, presented the award at a ceremony in current Green Capital Copenhagen (Denmark). Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Potočnik said: “I very much look forward to [Ljubljana’s] year as the 2016 European Green Capital. All of the finalists of this award provide us with valuable real-life examples of how respect for the environment, excellent quality of life and economic growth can all be successfully combined.”

      For more information, click here.

      10. ICLEI, UNEP and Keiti role in supporting sustainable procurement highlighted by The Guardian

      The work of ICLEI, UNEP and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (Keiti) in launching the Sustainable Public Procurement Programme has been highlighted by The Guardian newspaper. Author Erica Gies argues that through procurement, governments have the power to mainstream sustainable products and services, pointing to recent success stories as evidence.

      The article explains how "Europe has benefited from a close collaboration with ICLEI, a 20-year expert on sustainable procurement. In 2004 ICLEI launched the European-focused Procura+ campaign to […] help European authorities to implement SPP in six product groups... Thanks in part to ICLEI’s work, SPP in Europe now has agreed-upon criteria for 21 product and service groups."

      Speaking on the Procurement of Innovation Platform project, Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI Europe said: “It encourages innovation through procurement, bringing new products and services onto the market that meet the needs of users, public authorities, and societies.”

      To read the article, click here.

      11. Electric vehicles take centre stage at Stockholm workshop

      The expansion of public and private electric vehicle use is a key part of many councils’ strategies to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. Electric vehicles provide an attractive alternative to traditional petrol and diesel powered vehicles, but are often seen as impractical due to a lack of charging infrastructure.

      At a recent Clean Fleets workshop in Stockholm (Sweden), public authorities from across Europe shared their different approaches to expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure and use. Presentations looked at key lessons learned and applied in procuring electric vehicles and charging equipment, and explored the impact of different national frameworks and levels of engagement with governments and the energy sector.

      Experts and officials from across Europe discussed how price incentives combined with improvements in public infrastructure had led a switch to electric car use across the region. Videos and handouts from key presentations are now available on the Clean Fleets website.

      For more information, click here.

      12. Event News

      ICLEI European Membership Assembly 2014: Global Strategies – European Cities (ICLEI members only)

      The ICLEI European Membership Assembly 2014 will take place on 9 October 2014. Generously hosted by the Basque Country EU office in Brussels (Belgium), the meeting presents an excellent opportunity for ICLEI members to engage in strategic developments in the context of the global and European processes ICLEI is involved in.

      In addition to discussing ICLEI’s involvement in global sustainability processes, this exclusive member gathering will also look at the latest developments in EU urban policy. ICLEI members have recently received an invitation to the Assembly and more information will follow soon.

      For more information and to register (no fee), contact

      Local Renewables 2014: empowering cities and regions through energy transition

      The EU Energy 2020 strategy focuses on alternative energy sources to reduce European dependence on oil, gas and other fossil fuels. As well as providing energy security, competitiveness and affordability, a transition to renewable energy can boost local economies and help cities move from consumption to replenishment and even surplus production of sustainable energy for export.

      This transition is at the heart of ICLEI’s emerging ‘Productive City’ concept, where regional resources flows are (re)created, intensified and more efficiently combined with each other to establish sustainable, resource efficient communities with a high quality of life for everyone.

      Local Renewables 2014, taking place in Freiburg and Lörrach (Germany) on 22-24 October, will invite participants to discuss options towards a ‘Productive City’ which organises regional and urban resources. Experts will analyse cost-benefits, financing options and ways of developing meaningful financial partnerships, and offer advice and support to evaluate the potential of technological innovations and integration including (solar) cooling, waste-to-energy, and water-food-energy nexus.

      For more information and to register, click here.

      Sustainability, innovation and cost efficiency: taking procurement forward

      The EcoProcura 2014 conference is just a few months away, taking place over 3 days from 24 - 26 September 2014. A detailed programme was released recently, with all the latest information about the conference programme, including details of the sessions, confirmed speakers and much more.

      Highlights of the updated programme include parallel sessions focusing on specific procurement topics; a Market Lounge for informal networking, discussing ideas and sharing experiences on good practice; Meet Your Buyer - a unique sustainability networking event where public procurement experts can meet and exchange information on sustainable products & services, innovations and business models.

      The combination of varied topics, knowledgeable and experienced speakers and experts, numerous networking opportunities and exciting tours of Ghent (Belgium) will inspire you to join us at the EcoProcura 2014 conference! Spaces are filling up fast, so register soon to secure your place.

      For more information, click here.

      13. Event Calendar

      EcoProcura 2014
      24 – 26 September 2014 – Ghent (Belgium)

      Mayors Adapt Signature Ceremony
      7 October 2014 - Brussels (Belgium)

      ICLEI Europe Membership Assembly (ICLEI members only)
      9 October 2014 - Brussels (Belgium)

      Biodiversity Summit for cities and sub-national governments
      12 - 14 October - Gangwon Province (Republic of Korea)

      Local Renewables 2014
      22 – 24 October 2014 – Freiburg im Breisgau and Lörrach (Germany)

      Feedback? Questions? Let us know! If you have any further questions, would like to give feedback on ICLEI's work in Europe or would like to be taken off this mailing list, contact us at:

      The ICLEI in Europe newsletter is produced by the European Secretariat of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Copies are available on request. Editor: Sean Carroll.

      Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Sean Carroll at, Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany,Tel: +49-761/36 89 2-0,

      ICLEI is a membership organisation of local governments and their associations. To date more than 1,000 municipalities and municipal associations of all sizes from around the world have made a unique commitment to sustainable development by joining ICLEI. They support the work of ICLEI through their membership fees as well as through their experience and creativity in the development and implementation of projects and campaigns to address the globe's biggest problems. Within the organisation they are part of a network of peers that can profit from each other's knowledge. For membership information please have a look at our website or contact:

      Copyright 2014 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.