The workshop about “Reduction of Hazardous Substances from urban sources – strategies, tools and incentives municipalities can implement” took place in Turku, Finland and gathered ca. 70 participants from the states around the Baltic Sea to discuss procurement policies in cities.
The growing awareness and evidence about occurrence of hazardous substances in the urban environment and related adverse health and environmental impacts is fostering cities to act and to reduce pollution.
The participants of the workshop - mainly municipalities, but also other stakeholders such as NGOs and industrial companies, discussed the procurement as a powerful tool to reduce such an undesired pollution.
Many cities have already adopted incentives to have stronger criteria in their procurements of goods and services excluding very hazardous substances, for example, Stockholm or Vienna. Municipalities not only welcome businesses to offer products emitting less hazardous substances, but also offer assistance to enterprises for improvements, for example, EcoBusiness Vienna. Participants valued eco-labels as a good tool for municipalities to choose environmentally friendly products.
Participants of the workshop discussed that dialogue among municipalities and companies helps to understand the needs of clients and possibilities of the suppliers and service providers, and encouraged municipalities for more dialogue with market as a tool to improve the procurement process and to reduce pollution. Participants also encouraged companies to participate in pre-procurement market consultations.
The discussion at the workshop also radiated a message for industrial companies – the interest, also the knowledge of consumers and how to choose hazardous substance free goods and services.
Are companies ready to meet this challenge?!
If you wish to find out more, please see HERE.