city of Amsterdam: sustainable and circular procurement

The City of Amsterdam has an ambitious sustainability policy and aims to accelerate sustainable procurement to give it substance. Copper8 examined five product groups and developed a ‘choice card’, on the basis of which buyers and internal clients can make choices that are as ambitious as possible.

One of Copper8’s mottos is that a better world starts by asking a better question; a procurement or tendering process brings the opportunity to ask such a question. Purchasers therefore have a very important role in achieving an impact on sustainability. Copper8 has guided the City of Amsterdam in making its ambitious procurement targets, simply by asking better questions.

The city wants to make its sustainability policy even more concrete and accelerate sustainable procurement. The points of interest through which the city is directing itself towards sustainable procurement over the next few years are air quality, energy conservation and circularity. The city has given Copper8 the following task: ‘Research the potential forms of tender and assessment methodologies that accelerate sustainability and circular procurement, and document these findings in a practical report for both buyers and internal clients of the City of Amsterdam. ”

Five distinct product groups are further examined, in order to extract different lessons. The five product groups examined are infrastructure, real estate, uniforms, ICT and hot beverage vending machines. An image of opportunities and challenges is formed with input from stakeholders and experts from the city within the five product groups. This image is then sharpened with input from market leaders. Because ultimately the right question must be put to those parties. The manner of questioning that works best for sustainable results was discussed with them, as well as the possible procurement procedures that work well in their view. Finally, the various means of measurement for sustainability of each product group were also discussed.

On the basis of input from the research, Copper8 has developed a ‘choice card’, based on which buyers and internal customers can make choices. These choices are, of course, dependent on the type of product that the city intends to purchase and the characteristics of that product. The choice card must give buyers guidance in making choices that are as ambitious as possible and direct the formulation of the question that will provoke the market to make an offer that is as sustainable as possible.

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