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The barcelona more sustainability city council programme

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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One of the priorities of the Barcelona City Council in terms of areas for action is the environmental and social improvement within its own activities. The internal initiatives are included in the More Sustainable City Council (+SCC) Programme, which is part of the Local Agenda 21 (LA21) and constitutes an example of the Council’s local and global commitment to sustainability. Over the past 10 years, the City Council has proved its responsibility and power as a consumer (as emphasised in EC COM/2008/200 and COM/2008/397), and therefore it has undertaken decisive actions to improve its internal environmental management. In 2001, the Green Office Programme was approved to set an example by promoting green procurement and applying good environmental practices to the City Council’s internal operations. After this positive experience, in 2006 the +SCC Programme was implemented in order to extend the Office initiative to the whole City Council, integrating ethical and social criteria that would allow the transition from ‘green’ to ‘sustainable’. The Barcelona City Council has more than 2000 buildings and employs around 12,000 workers in a large number of departments and divisions that manage a decentralised procurement budget. The coordination and the dispersion of the strategy to the whole organisation is one of the main challenges of the +SCC Programme. The concepts of ‘learning in process’, ‘empowerment’, ‘co-responsibility’ and ‘governance’ are the basis of the strategy.

Some of the main achievements of the programme are as follows:

  • €43 million spent in 2009 on green products and services, as well as €92 million on large economic ‘greened’ contracts (such as waste collection or lighting);
  • €11 million spent on products and services from social insertion enterprises in 2009 and 2010;
  • a reduction of €3.7 million kwh and 380 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, thanks to the increased efficiency of streetlights;
  • a 58% reduction in drinking water consumption by municipal services, thanks to the increase in the use of subsoil water;
  • a great increase in the rate of selective waste collection, reaching 67.6% (in weight) and 57.9% (in volume) of the total municipal office waste in the central buildings;
  • the participation of at least 150 civil servants in permanent working groups, covering specific issues such as sustainable timber procurement, building and responsible procurement, amongst others;
  • the participation of 271 civil servants in the +SCC Convention final event.

According to the +SCC Convention, Barcelona’s efforts towards ‘greening’ its own organisation will focus on short term actions, such as achieving a 100% recycled paper usage, improving the waste collection or positioning the +SCC Programme at the highest level of the organisation. The priorities for the period 2016-2020 will be to deal with energy and water consumption by implementing the Municipal Buildings Energy Efficiency Plan or by reinforcing the installation of water saving systems. Other specific objectives for every department, district and autonomous municipal agency will also be defined for this period.

Award info
Award category: going green
Award type: diploma
Award year: 2011
Project type
Sector: Environment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fishery
Type of activity:
Keywords: Sustainable public procurement, greening local economy, leading by example, Barcelona, LA21, learning in process, innovation through procurement, global commitment, life cycle approach, shared responsibility, transversality, participatory approach
Short English description: The priorities for the period 2016-2020 will be to deal with energy and water consumption by implementing the Municipal Buildings Energy Efficiency Plan or by reinforcing the installation of water saving systems. Other specific objectives for every department, district and autonomous municipal agency will also be defined for this period.
Further information
Organisation: Barcelona City Council
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.bcn.cat/agenda21/ajuntamentsostenible
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Spain
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:
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The barcelona more sustainability city council programme (41.4062377, 2.1525889)
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