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ICLEI in Europe News
September 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. UN includes specific Urban Sustainable Development Goal in post-2015 agenda
    3. ICLEI Europe publishes annual sustainability report
    4. ICLEI and WBCSD announce collaborative partnership
    5. Public Procurement of Innovation Award jury selects six finalists
    6. Water PiPP invites cities to join project working group
    7. Deadline extended for Earth Hour City Challenge
    8. German Sustainability Prize invites applications
    9. European Commission releases new multi-lingual SUMP guidelines
    10. Event News
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      1. ICLEI Member News

      Birmingham City Council completes 25 new eco-homes

      Selected council tenants in ICLEI member city Birmingham (UK) will soon be living in eco-housing thanks to the completion of 25 sustainable houses. The new properties form part of a broader plan to increase the council stock of affordable and sustainable homes and have been built to meet high insulation standards.

      These include cavity, loft and under-floor insulation, high efficiency boilers, double-glazed windows and photo voltaic panels to assist residents in reducing energy bills. They are suitable for families of all sizes, with a mix of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes.

      Councillor Tahir Ali, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Development, Transport and the Economy, said: “The handover of another phase of our eco-homes can now be added to the 2,025 houses already completed, or in various stages of construction under the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust banner.”

      For more information, click here.

      City of Helsingborg impresses in Swedish conservation survey

      ICLEI member city Helsingborg (Sweden) has come second in a national conservation survey by the Swedish Conservation Association. The survey analysed the policies and practices of 208 Swedish municipalities, giving each responding authority marks out of a possible total of 45. Questions covered a variety of topics, including knowledge of natural assets and protected areas, level of shoreline protection, access to nature for schools and preschools, and number and quality of conservation services within the municipality.

      Results were varied, with a large proportion of municipalities scoring below 50 percent. More densely populated urban areas tended to fare better, with many scoring higher than the national average. Helsingborg achieved an impressive 39.5 points, placing it joint second alongside the Lomma region.

      For more information, visit the Helsingborg city homepage.

      Hamburg fills the summer break with climate-related activities

      A range of activities took place in the centre of Hamburg (Germany) from 24 – 30 August, as the ICLEI member city held its sixth annual “Climate Week”. Hamburg Climate Week forms part of UNESCO’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Previous iterations have welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors over the last five years.

      Through a series of public talks, workshops and exhibitions, the city council encouraged the public to explore this year’s theme of ‘Mastering the energy transition together’. The week provided participants with a better understanding of the various dimensions of climate change and showcased positive examples of what can be achieved at a municipal and a personal level. As part of the festivities, the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bonn Beethoven Orchestra performed a series of works from Bach, Britten, Morricone und Vivaldi, evoking the mysterious forces of nature.

      For more information, visit the Hamburg Climate Week website [in German].

      2. UN includes specific Urban Sustainable Development Goal in post-2015 agenda

      The United Nations Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has concluded its negotiations and forwarded a proposal to the General Assembly. A specific urban SDG, “Goal 11: Make Cities and Human Settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, was included in the final document.

      Building on the success of the Millennium Development goals, the Committee has attempted to make the new SDGs more measurable and impact-focused. The outcome document contains 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues. The inclusion of cities highlights their importance as vital actors in building a more sustainable future.

      UN Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo said: “The proposal of the Open Working Group brings together a breadth of economic, social and environmental issues in a single set of goals like never before. All those involved in crafting these 17 goals can be proud of themselves. Member States have shown a determination and willingness to work together for people and planet that bodes well for the General Assembly's negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.”

      For more information, visit the UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

      3. ICLEI Europe publishes annual sustainability report

      ICLEI Europe recently published its third annual EMAS report, describing the organisation’s progress and future goals for integrating sustainable management practices into its day to day operations. The report shows a 32 percent decrease in water use and a 5 percent decrease in electricity consumption against baseline measurements.

      ICLEI takes a holistic approach to creating a more sustainable workplace, integrating sustainability principles into staff welfare, resource consumption, waste disposal and so on. A range of measures have been introduced to improve the organisation’s ecological footprint, including formal and informal training, the purchase of more efficient technology and a transition to web-based communications including webinars and teleconferences.

      Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director of ICLEI Europe, said: “As an organisation that promotes integrated sustainability management and has written numerous publications on this, such as the most recent EMAS reference document for local authorities to the European Commission, it is important that we ensure our own management system meets EMAS standards. It is important to emphasise that this is not just about figures and processes but also a lived culture that must be kept alive, an aspect that is too often forgotten.”

      For more information, visit the EMAS at ICLEI Europe webpage.

      4. ICLEI and WBCSD announce collaborative partnership

      Advanced technology and innovation are urgently needed to ensure sustainable urban development. Sustainable and efficient solutions for urban transport and mobility can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise, improve air quality, and help to create high-quality public spaces. Technological solutions can contribute to enhancing and sustaining healthy ecosystems and ecosystem services, such as through reducing water consumption.

      Business is a key provider of solutions to these complex urban sustainability challenges. The main infrastructure, technology, services and financing solutions that will support the sustainable visions and strategies of cities are predominantly developed, designed and implemented by the private sector. It is crucial that cites and business develop new models for strategic engagement to realise the full capability of business to deliver innovative solutions. However, institutional and perception barriers can limit city-business engagement where it is most critical - early in the planning process.

      ICLEI and the WBCSD – the leading global business organisation promoting action for sustainability – have been working together to overcome these barriers and demonstrate in practice the real value of early strategic collaboration. Key examples of this collaboration include the WBCSD’s Urban Infrastructure Initiative (UII), the ICLEI Global Town Hall in Hanover (Germany) and a global survey of city leaders in early 2014, exploring barriers and opportunities for scaling up city collaboration with private sector solutions providers.

      For more information, see ICLEI and WBCSD’s Collaboration Statement.

      5. Public Procurement of Innovation Award jury selects six finalists

      The shortlist for the Procurement of Innovation Award has been narrowed to six finalists, representing the most innovative and impressive public procurement activities carried out in Europe. The Award is presented as part of the Procurement of Innovation Platform project, an online hub that helps public authorities, procurers, policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders harness the power of innovation procurement.

      An in-depth profile of each finalist, detailing their organisation, procured innovation and supplier, is available online. The finalists and their suppliers will be invited to an award ceremony at the EcoProcura conference, taking place in Ghent (Belgium) from 24 – 26 September 2014. “These finalists exemplify the best examples of procurement of innovation in Europe. Their dedication to finding new and creative solutions to everyday problems within the procurement process is highly impressive. Each of the six organisations are to be congratulated; selecting a final winner will not be an easy feat.” said jury member Wouter Stolwijk, Director of PIANOo.

      The judging panel also comprises Bonifacio Garcia Porras of the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry; David Golding, Head of Strategy with the Technology Strategy Board; and Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI Europe and Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre. The winning entry will receive a trophy for innovation procurement excellence, together with the title “European innovation procurement of the year”.

      For more information, visit the Procurement of Innovation Award webpage.

      6. Water PiPP invites cities to join project working group

      The Water PiPP project aims to stimulate demand for sustainable water solutions through innovative and pre-commercial procurement. The advice and guidance of public procurers will be instrumental in making the outcomes of Water PiPP relevant for local administrations. Those with expertise in public procurement are warmly invited to join the project working group.

      Benefits of joining the working group include the chance to test ideas on innovative procurement procedures with a group of public procurement specialists from across Europe; the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how to access solutions in water technologies and services for your own city; and the ability to contribute to future European policies for procurement in the field of urban water management.

      Those who join the project working group will be asked to contribute their expert opinion to the project's overall strategy; participate in the WIP Group, the project's discussion forum on innovative public procurement procedures; and spread the word on the project outcomes. The Cities Working Group will be composed of up to eight procurement specialists from local governments in Europe, and will be active until the end of 2016.

      To register your interest, contact

      7. Deadline extended for Earth Hour City Challenge

      Registration for the Earth Hour City Challenge has been extended to 15 September, allowing interested cities ten extra days to confirm their involvement. Run by WWF in collaboration with ICLEI and the Swedish Postcode Lottery, the EHCC initiative celebrates cities and towns that are taking actions to create a greener, cleaner and more sustainable urban environment, while inspiring other cities to do the same.

      Cities can register for EHCC online on the carbonn® Cities Climate Registry (cCCR) reporting platform or by filling in and sending the offline reporting sheet to Within Europe, the competition is open to cities from Finland, France, Serbia, Spain, and Sweden. Once a city has submitted their data, an international jury of experts will conduct an evaluation, nominating one Earth Hour Capital per participating country.

      For more information, visit the carbonn website.

      8. German Sustainability Prize invites applications

      Applications are now open for the sixth annual German Sustainability prize, celebrating corporate social responsibility in the German public and private sector. Companies and business institutions active in the German market are invited to submit their examples of best practice to by 20 November 2014.

      Reflecting the broad spectrum of activities that fall under the umbrella of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the prize will be awarded in a number of different categories. These include biodiversity management, CO2 reduction, gender diversity, cultural engagement, cooperation with non-profit organisations, CSR in the supply chain and sustainable urban development.

      All entries will be considered by a panel of judges before the winner is announced at next year’s German CSR forum, taking place in Ludwigsburg on 20 April. The jury is made up of prominent figures from across Germany, including Dr. Michael Inacker, from the Board of WMP EuroCom, Berlin, Holger Steltzner, editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurt, and Roland Tichy, Editor in Chief of WirtschaftsWoche, Dusseldorf.

      For more information, visit the sustainability prize website [in German].

      9. European Commission releases new multi-lingual SUMP guidelines

      Guidelines that explain the essential steps involved in developing a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) have been published by the European Commission in a further six languages. Available now in Bulgarian, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian and Spanish, the guidelines include good practice examples, tools and references that illustrate each step to help urban mobility and transport practitioners prepare, develop and implement SUMPs.

      The Commission is publishing these guidelines to support its Action Plan on Urban Mobility, which calls for an increase in the take-up of SUMPs in Europe. A SUMP is an integrated transport plan based on the principles of sustainable development. Rather than just building transport infrastructure, SUMPs are orientated to reduce pollution, boost social inclusion and improve the economic well-being of European citizens.

      The new translated guidelines were produced by the EU co-funded BUMP project, which supports nine European countries with the development of their SUMPs. They are available to download on the Eltis urban mobility portal.

      For more information, visit the BUMP website.

      10. Event News

      Surge in registrations as EcoProcura start date nears

      With three weeks left until the EcoProcura 2014 conference, the number of participants is increasing daily, with many attracted by the combination of varied topics, high-profile speakers and experts, networking opportunities and social events. Taking place from 24-26 September 2014, the conference programme provides a full overview of the opportunities on offer.

      Highlights include plenaries, sub-plenaries and parallel sessions focusing on specific procurement topics, as well as the Market Lounge, which provides a place for informal networking related to sustainable and innovation procurement topics. At the Meet Your Buyer session, delegates will take part in a unique sustainability networking event, at which public procurement experts can meet with over 200 public buyers committed to sustainability and innovation.

      To register, click here.

      Mayors in Action tutoring scheme offers training and networking opportunities

      The Mayors in Action project is offering in-depth training on the monitoring and implementation of sustainable energy action plans (SEAPs) to project coordinators and supporters. The training, which kicks off the Mayors in Action tutoring scheme, will take place from 2-3 October in Barcelona (Spain).

      The first day will cover topics including funding mechanisms, tutoring and learning from current projects, as well as providing participants with a chance to build links with each other and share their own experiences and expertise. The second day will consist of a technical visit to the Local Energy Agency of Osona, which aims to help municipalities manage energy consumption, promote renewable energy sources and improve energy efficiency.

      The Agency also manages public lighting, develops and cooperates on energy-related campaigns with other agencies, and gives technical support to local authorities on the introduction of renewable energy. Participants are asked to confirm that they wish to attend the technical visit as places are limited. Coordinators and supporters entering the tutoring schemes will be given priority.

      For more information, click Mayors in Action events page.

      Local Renewables 2014 offers expert advice on district energy

      The Local Renewables Conference 2014, taking place in Freiburg and Lörrach (Germany) from 22-24 October, provides an opportunity for participants to discuss the key role of the local level in fighting energy instability through shifting to more sustainable means of energy production. Local government representatives, local decision-makers, urban planners and energy experts will have the chance to learn more about innovative approaches to embracing clean energy.

      The RESCUE Project (REnewable Smart Cooling for Urban Europe) will hold a workshop on district energy at Local Renewables, which will explore best practice examples of district heating and cooling, useful methods of conducting feasibility studies, and garner input from relevant experts. Early bird fees are still available and places are limited, so early registration is recommended to ensure a ticket.

      For more information, read the conference programme or contact

      11. Event Calendar

      Free training on the Clean Vehicles Directive
      9 September 2014 - Sofia (Bulgaria)

      CIVITAS Forum 2014
      23 - 26 September 2014 - Casablanca (Morocco)

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

      Mayors in Action training for Covenant of Mayors Coordinators and Supporters
      2 - 3 October 2014 - Barcelona (Spain)

      RESCUE project Final Conference
      7 October - 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 2014 - Gangwon Province (Republic of Korea)

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

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

      Sustainable Brands 2014 London
      3 - 5 November 2014 - London (UK)

      Community-energy- Empowering local authorities and their communities to guide local sustainable energy roll-out
      20 November 2014 - Dublin (Ireland)

      European Climate Change Adaptation Conference 2015
      12 - 14 May 2015 - Copenhagen (Denmark)

      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.