North-Brabant Province

Circular procurement ‘low-waste office’

The background

The Province of North Brabant wants to play a pioneering role in the field of corporate social responsibility. With this in mind, the Province has been working for more than 10 years to minimize the amount of residual waste in the Provinciehuis – the Province’s administrative building. The effort has resulted in the proportion of residual (non-recyclable) waste being less than 17%. We supported the Province in designing an ambitious tendering process to select an appropriate waste service provider, in order to push their goal to become residual waste-free.


In 2008, the Province made a serious start by separating and reducing waste. Now, more than 10 years later, residual waste accounts for less than 17% of the total volume and the other waste streams consist of reusable materials. About 30 different streams of waste are collected within the Provinciehuis, and the Province aims to reduce the residual waste stream to a minimum (waste-free or low-waste).

The question

Support us in shaping and executing the tendering process with the goal of selecting a waste service provider that will realize our ambitious aims in relation to waste prevention and separation.

Current situation and future

Alongside the ambition to reduce residual waste, two aims were added: to reduce the total amount of waste and improve the sustainability of waste processing. Contrary to the usual approach, we worked with a fixed contract price per year, about 15% of which could be earned with bonuses paid when the pre-agreed sustainability performance is achieved.

The process

In order to develop an ambitious tender that connects well with the Province’s wishes, we identified all the requirements through a number of work sessions. These were then prioritized and made concrete. A public procedure was chosen, in which the tender would be awarded 100% on the basis of quality. Applicants submitted action plans for each of the three award criteria, and these were assessed by the Province.

The results

The Province selected EcoSmart, part of Renewi, to realize their waste reduction and waste-free office ambitions. Following the provisional award, the Province agreed with EcoSmart on sustainability goals that will be achieved in the coming years, and the development path they would take. The result should be a residual waste-free office with a lower total amount of waste.

“Copper8 has been outstanding in helping us with the ‘low-waste office’ tender. It was a trajectory in which people had to think outside the box and forget predefined methodologies and thoughts. After a number of previous attempts, we didn’t know how to solve this problem. Godard and Hendrik analyzed our issue and sparred with our project team to work out our requirements and wishes and take them to a higher level. They were the right partner for us to shape this project.” Brigit van Moergestel Contract Manager

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