Children in Finland are attending the first eco-labeled nursery

Approximately 200 children in Hyvinkää (Finland) attend the first Nordic Swan eco-labeled pre-school building in Finland. Building this nursery took one year and cost about 6,5 million euros. Inkeri Kontiola, procurement specialist in Hyvinkää City municipality, is convinced that this experience will make similar procurements much easier.

EU citizens are concerned about being exposed to hazardous chemicals

The latest report of Eurobarometer chemical safety survey reveals that 65% of respondents are concerned about being exposed to hazardous chemicals in their daily life, this include a quarter (26%) who are very concerned. At the same time, less than half of the citizens feel well informed about the potential dangers of the chemicals contained in consumer products.

NonHazCity event becomes a part of the Estonian Presidency programme

A public event will be held in Pärnu, Estonia during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union to promote the topic of hazardous substances and to demonstrate how international co-operation, as in NonHazCity, can help tackling complex environmental problems.

Using the power of procurement for a haz-free environment

The deputy manager of the NonHazCity project, Heidrun Fammler gave an interview to the European Commission’s Green Public Procurement monthly News Alert. She talked about using public procurement to get rid of hazardous substances. Of course, the NonHazCity project came up as a topic as well.

Hit the Worst First – a way to reduce usage of hazardous substances

Talking to businesses about hazardous substances can be a difficult task. The topic is often too complex and detailed and it is hard to find a way to get the ball rolling. Johan Galster, a chemical engineer and inspector at the Environmental Department in the City of Copenhagen, found a way of dealing with hazardous substances. He shares his experiences on how to make the dangers of hazardous substances more understandable for people of all occupations and abilities.

Awareness raising campaign on correct disposal of pharmaceuticals in Hamburg

Formerly common practice to bring unused pharmaceuticals to the local pharmacy is not the case in Germany anymore, as since 2009 the pharmacies are no longer obliged to accept the medicaments back. Each Federal State in Germany has own strategy how to dispose the expired or unused pharmaceuticals. Different disposal practices confuse in the population and lead to the typical mistakes like throwing the medicaments to the sewer.

Knowing what is possible – a dialogue with the market

It is impossible for an end user or procurement officer to know all the latest market developments. Similarly, no company can have a complete understanding of municipal purchasing requirements. Information sharing and other forms of cooperation can be beneficial for both the market and municipalities. This can send a clear message that there is a market for products free of hazardous substances, and that there are good business opportunities in meeting this demand.

Focus on function, not material

Hazardous substances should be included in the decision-making process when municipal organisations, such as kindergartens, school, hospitals etc., define what kind of products or services they want to buy. During the first step of the procurement process when specifications are written, we have the biggest influence on the potential to reduce hazardous substances in products and services.

Procurement as a pathway for hazardous substances to the city

The news is full of reports of hazardous substances in children’s toys, toxic materials in office furniture and unhealthy cleaning products. We all want workplaces, kindergartens, schools and hospitals that are as free as possible from dangerous chemicals, but it can be challenging knowing where to start. One place to begin in the quest to reduce hazardous substances is our municipality.

Hamburg on its way to green business

On February 15th Baltic Environmental Forum (BEF) Germany got a chance to attend the Ökoprofit Club meeting and present the activities of the NonHazCity project. The presentation was followed by a long discussion, where many participants gave feedback, asked questions and shared opinions. Meeting resulted in several organizations being interested in further cooperation.