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A new tool will allow city councils to choose sustainable urban furniture

AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre has set off as coordinator a European project whose main objective is the development of a tool to boost the sustainability in cities. It is the GUF TOOL, a platform that will allow city councils to acquire those products that are more sustainable.

This tool is aimed to the staff responsible for public purchasing of urban furniture and it will guide them during the tender process, from the generation of environmental requirements to be included in their demands to the comparative environmental assessment of the different products offered by suppliers, in order to achieve a “green” public procurement.

The impact of its use will be directly beneficial to the environment. It has been calculated that the incorporation of this kind of sustainable products can reduce up to 26.5% the impact on the global warming, 15.5 % the energy consumption and 10.8 % the volume of waste generated. Furthermore, it will benefit indirectly the European furniture sector, because it will expand the market for environmentally friendly products, thus boosting the competitiveness by means of the eco-innovation.

Valencia and Koprivnika: testing areas

During the phase of product validation, real public purchases of at least 200 urban furniture products will be made. It is expected that during the five years after the end of the project an overall acquisition of 17,500 products is carried out. Using the results of this validation, a “green guide” will be prepared, which will be incorporated to the urban furniture acquisition processes of the city councils. The tool will be accessible both to the public administrations purchasing this kind of products and to the suppliers.

The project is framed within the European Union programme LIFE. It is coordinated by AIMPLAS and counts on the participation of the Toy Technology Centre (AIJU), the University Jaime I of Castellón (UJI), the Valencia City Council through the Foundation INNDEA, the Koprivnika City Council and finally the ACR+, the association of cities and regions who promote sustainable resource management, located in Belgium.