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Addressing climate change through procurement: 3rd High Level Event of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement at COP 23

13 November 2017 00:00 - Freiburg, Germany

Eight ambitious cities from across the globe came together on Saturday 11 November at COP23 to reaffirm their commitments to use their procurement activities as a means of tackling climate change.

Mayors, Deputy Mayors and other political representatives from the cities of Auckland (New Zealand), Budapest (Hungary), Cape Town (South Africa), Denver (USA), Ghent (Belgium), Oslo (Norway), Seoul (South Korea) and Tshwane (South Africa) were speaking at the 3rd annual High Level Assembly of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement. The Network is a joint initiative of Seoul Metropolitan Government and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability which aims to demonstrate the power public procurement can have in addressing climate change and other sustainability goals, and the key role that cities play.

At the event the cities presented their sustainable procurement commitments and achievements, and shared their knowledge and experience. In leading by example, participants of the Network aim to accelerate the implementation of sustainable purchasing worldwide.

Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Government and chair of the GLCN on SP said: “Leaders of cities around the world convened in Seoul in April 2015 and agreed to launch a network of cities committed to 100 percent sustainable procurement. Much progress has been made since then and our interactions today will be the foundation on which we strive for a better, brighter, and more sustainable future.”

Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo, explained how the capital of Norway is addressing climate change through the city’s new procurement strategy. He said: “By launching our new Procurement Strategy, the City of Oslo wants to ensure that our spending contributes to more sustainable economies and societies. As part of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement, we want to influence other cities in doing the same.”

Solly Msimanga, Executive Mayor of Tshwane, announced that 40% of the city’s bus fleet will be green by 2020. Tine Heyse, Vice Mayor of Ghent, stressed the city’s commitment to an annual increase of 10% in contracts awarded to the social economy sector.

Johannes van der Merwe, Councillor of the City of Cape Town, explained the city’s Green Economy Strategy, including a target for 20% renewable energy in city buildings by 2020. Penny Hulse, Councillor of Auckland, outlined the city achievements, which include the procurement of a new underground rail link that involves zero waste and low emission construction and is creating job and training opportunities in the city.

Jerry Tinianow, Chief Sustainability Officer of Denver, said that by 2020, 25% of food purchases will originate from the State of Colorado (USA) and Péter Szegvári, Chief Advisor of the Mayor of Budapest, confirmed that 100% of the city’s procurement processes will integrate sustainability and green aspects by 2020.

With a unified voice, they highlighted the power of local authorities to increase sustainable procurement activities in order to improve their citizens’ lives and achieve other social, economic and environmental benefits. The GLCN on SP website – – provides a wealth of information about the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement goals and activities, as well as information about the participating cities and their sustainable procurement activities.

All fourteen cities share their commitments within the GLCN on SP, to continue championing sustainable public procurement and public procurement of innovation to make their societies resource efficient, low carbon and socially responsible. All their commitments are also featured in the GLCN on SP website.