LANDMARK Conference: "Moving Towards Socially-responsible Public Procurement", March 27, 2014 in Bremen
What challenges do procurers face when purchasing socially responsible products? How can social procurement be successfully implemented in public administration? Where do future-orientated models already exist and how is there any systematic proof for the verification of supply chains? What risks and opportunities are associated with on-site audits?
These and other questions marked the closure of the EU-wide LANDMARK project and were discussed in workshops, debates and contributions by experts.
With over 140 participants from more than 20 countries, the final ‘LANDMARK Conference – Moving Towards Socially Responsible Public Procurement’ was a real success. The conference stimulated active dialogue among the participants from all different societal domains (academia, public procurers, NGOs as well as suppliers) and revealed the major outcomes of the three year project collaboration. In several presentations and workshops the participants addressed pressing issues surrounding the topic of socially responsible public procurement (SRPP). The conference was organised in cooperation with the ‘Cotton on to fair trade procurement’ project and also saw the launch of the Fair Cotton Procurement Awards ceremony.
One thing became clear during the conference: the transition from conventional public procurement to SRPP cannot happen overnight, as it is a challenging and complex process that requires commitment and collaboration between many different actors. However, the conference stimulated dialogue and revealed different ways of how to overcome the challenges that public procurers currently face when trying to purchase more sustainably. Problems of intransparency, time and money intensity, lack of knowledge, unreliability or even non-existence of labels, require a close collaboration between different actors involved, including public procurers, NGOs, market actors and researchers. The conference has shown that Europe is on a good way to overcome these challenges and to put SRPP into practice.
In his final statement, LANDMARK project coordinator Philipp Tepper made it clear that reconciling environmental, social and economic aspects in the procurement process, both locally and globally, requires a holistic view and a high level of expertise. He closed the conference encouraging further collaboration and dialogue in the field to allow for a transition towards socially responsible public procurement. The LANDMARK project was a crucial step to refine this transition, as it raised awareness about the topic, fostered dialogue and allowed for sharing experiences thus leaving all participants with “a rich basket of experiences”.
The conference took place on March 27th 2014 from 09:00 to 18:00 at Haus der Wissenschaft (House of Science) in Bremen. It was organised in cooperation with the project ''Cotton on to Fairtrade procurement'' (www.fairprocurement.info).
LANDMARK Conference Video:
The final LANDMARK Conference Video contains Philipp Tepper's introductory speech to the Conference, Kirsten Wiese's presentation about Bremen's approach to socially responsible public procurement (SRPP), the conference's plenary discussion about future challenges in and solutions to SRPP as well as concluding remarks by Philipp Tepper.
The plenary discussion involves key speakers Anna Lipkin (European Working Group on Ethical Public Procurement), Matthias Goost (Managing Director, Bierbaum-Proenen Textiles, Germany), Carsten Schulz (Head of Central Purchasing Body, Immobilien Bremen), Jim Cranshaw (People & Planet) and Solobamady Keita (Cotton Producer, Mali).
The video contains English, German and French contributions with English subtitles.