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31 March 2014  

Call for Contributions for the EcoProcura conference 2014

The EcoProcura conference 2014 has announced a call for contributions for the Market Lounge section of the conference programme. The EcoProcura conference series is a European-wide forum to promote exchange and dialogue amongst purchasers from all levels of governments, suppliers, policy-makers and multipliers on strategies and practical solutions to enhance Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP).

Each event attracts 250 - 350 participants. The Market Lounge allows participants to showcase their work, network, and benefit from in-depth discussions in small groups. The call is open to the following types of organisations: Local, national and regional governments; Public authorities such as universities, hospitals, schools, and emergency services; Businesses, suppliers, manufacturers; Scientific / research organisations; and other stakeholders.

Taking place in Ghent (Belgium), this is an excellent chance for participants to promote what they are doing, offer advice, seek input and directly engage with the procurement community. The deadline for submitting proposals is 24 April 2014. Please send proposals with a completed application form to ecoprocura2014@iclei.org.

For more information, click here.

24 March 2014  

Publication of the first INNOCAT Newsletter!

We are pleased to announce the publication of the first edition of the INNOCAT e-newsletter! The INNOCAT e-Newsletter will be published every six months with updates on project news.

The first edition comprises five sections which set out the main objectives of the INNOCAT project (section 1), the planned purchasing activities of the existing buyers group in the fields of sustainable vending machines (section 2), sustainable hospital catering (section 3) and sustainable school catering (section 4) as well as a call for sustainable catering experts (section 5).

To read the full newsletter please click here.

17 March 2014  

Greener fuel used in delivery of Arla Foods' products

The UK company Arla Foods has taken a major step to reduce the carbon emissions of its delivery truck fleet by opening a new bio-methane-fuelled filling station on its dairy farm. The dairy producer aims to run its entire truck fleet on a mix of biogas (LBM) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2020. The company is currently converting the first ten trucks to use dual fuel engines.

The filling station was installed by Gasrec, which has already installed 11 bio-LNG filling stations across the UK, amongst others for private companies such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Companies can choose the mix for their fuel individually. Arla for instance is opting for the standard 85 percent LNG. Companies do not pay for the installation of the filling station, as its cost is included in the price of gas.

With the support of EU funding, Gasrec is currently working on creating a pilot network of five public access bio-methane-fuelled filling stations across the UK. So far two open access plants have been built and another three will follow this year. At the moment LBN can still be slightly more expensive. However, in the long term the demand for low emission biogas is expected to rise, resulting in lower costs.

For more information, click here.

10 March 2014  

Eco-innovative farming technology launched in Slovakia

A new system of cultivating agricultural soils developed in Slovakia limits the use of heavy machinery, reducing air pollution and soil damage. Conventional farming methods are dependent on the use of heavy machinery such as tractors.

The AGROKRUH, Agro-circle, system is an electronically-controlled gantry that rotates around a central point, and can be fitted with different implements to break up and cultivate the soil and to water crops. The gantry control system cultivates the soil in spiral patterns, as the gantry circulates, while gradually moving towards its central point. Planting the crops, however, still needs to be done by hand. As the AGROKRUH is a very precise system, it achieves yields of about 30 tonnes of vegetables from two hectares.

While there is no full analysis of the environmental benefits of the system yet, a first calculation has shown that the production of 21 tonnes of vegetables requires an input of about 4000 kilowatts of electricity, which is significantly less than greenhouse production. If powered by renewable energy AGROKRUH is a zero-emissions solution. To reach a wider market audience, AGROKRUH is likely to need external investment. The system is currently only limitedly used in Slovakia.

For more information, click here.

3 March 2014  

Buyers' Group focuses on Sustainable Vending Machines, invites expressions of interest

The deadline for expressions of interest in the INNOCAT Vending Machines Buyers' Group is fast approaching. Those interested in joining should contact innocat@iclei.org by 4 March 2014.

Joining the buyers’ group does not entail a commitment to purchase anything, but rather is a declaration of interest in procuring cost effective, low carbon, energy efficient vending services. The Prior Information Notice will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in early March.

Other products or services likely to be procured by the Buyers' Groups include innovative packaging and waste disposal solutions; containers and packaging for hospital food; and school catering services.

For more information, contact innocat@iclei.org.