Day 1 - Wednesday 24 September 2014

12:00Registration opens
12:30Lunch
14:00Welcome

Participants were warmly welcomed to EcoProcura 2014, the ninth edition of the EcoProcura Conference series. Watch the introduction video here.

  • Peter Woodward, Facilitator, Quest Associates Ltd, United Kingdom

  • Martine De Regge, Deputy Mayor of Human Resources, Facility Management and Administrative Simplification, City of Ghent, Belgium

  • Mark Hidson, Global Director, Sustainable Procurement Capacity Centre, ICLEI, Germany - Presentation [PDF]

14:20Putting procurement at the heart of strategic decision-making – a success story from Ghent 

Aline de Tremerie, Procurement Director, Procurement Management Services, City of Ghent - Presentation [PDF] and Mieke Pieters, Strategic Procurement expert, Procurement Management Services, City of Ghent Presentation [PDF]

Procurement has long been recognised as a key driver of change and a mechanism to achieve the broader strategic goals set out by political leaders. The City of Ghent has been rethinking the importance of procurement and has resolved to put procurement at the heart of strategic decision making to achieve sustainability and innovation goals. By doing this Ghent is demonstrating that it is fully committed to employing procurement to create a more sustainable city. This strategic approach to sustainable procurement and procurement of innovation is an inspiring showcase for other public authorities.

14:40The opportunities and challenges of using procurement strategically

The City of Ghent has demonstrated that it is possible to use procurement strategically in order to achieve sustainable development goals. Is this a common approach across Europe? Is there the potential to adopt Ghent’s approach in other European cities? 

  • Dr Lutz Preuss, Reader in Corporate Social Responsibility, Royal Holloway University of London

This session looked at:

  • What the impact would be if this approach was adapted more widely? 

  • What the key factors for adopting this approach and what are the possible barriers to making this change?

  • How effective are current policies and initiatives in encouraging / achieving a wider adoption of this approach?

  • How can procurers, policy makers and managers be convinced that they can make a strategic contribution to the sustainability and innovation goals of an organisation through procurement?

15:30Break
16:00Talk, learn, act!
Market Lounge – Round 1

The Market Lounge provided a place for networking, discussing ideas and sharing experiences on sustainable procurement and procurement of innovation in a more personal setting. Good practice examples, procurement processes, projects and initiatives will be featured. See a full list of table hosts here.

17:30The professionalisation of procurement

The professionalisation of public procurement is about recognising and developing the right skills and know-how necessary for professional procurers. It involves establishing the appropriate frameworks, which will in turn establish public procurement as a co-ordinated, well equipped and informed profession.

This plenary took a look at how the Scottish Government has achieved this by working to improve the quality and performance of its procurement professionals. In particular, the plenary addressed what professionalisation of public procurement is, how it works in practice and how it can both impact and support sustainability and innovation within public procurement.

  • Paul McNulty, Deputy Director, Scottish Procurement Directorate, Scotland - Presentation [PDF]

18:00Welcome reception and tours of Ghent  

Participants were invited to network while enjoying wine and canapés at the end of the first day, following which they headed out to experience the city of Ghent. Participants could choose from one of three tours: an Architecture and culinary tour, a Boat tour to the Design Museum Ghent or a Historical tour.