Municipality of Leiden

Circular procurement of loose furniture

The background

The Municipality of Leiden wanted to purchase its office furniture circularly, but the purchase had to tie in with the upcoming renovations of the City Hall and city office. In order to cover this time gap, we looked for a temporary solution that consisted of ergonomic office chairs and a limited number of desks that comply with the principles of the circular economy. Copper8 guided the municipality in drafting a business case, choosing a revenue model and drafting the award framework for the limited tender.


The Municipality of Leiden will be facing a major housing challenge in the coming years. A tender for the large-scale renovation of its office furniture is therefore being postponed to a later stage. But because a number of office chairs no longer meet the health and safety standards, the municipality needed a temporary solution for furniture that needs to be replaced immediately. They also needed a number of height-adjustable desks, to get familiar with the flex work approach. Because of the need and the temporary nature of the project, the circular economy was an important ambition.

The question

Support us in the tender for our office furniture, resulting in a temporary solution (for a maximum period of three years), with a high degree of circularity.

Current situation and future

The maximum budget for this temporary solution was determined by calculating various revenue models – purchase, purchase-repurchase, rent and lease – for both new and ‘experienced’ furniture. The circular business case was positive when compared to a traditional request, which further strengthened the circular ambitions. In the request, parties were challenged on the technical circularity of their proposals, the process-based assurance of this circularity, and the circular revenue model they applied. The request also included flexibility in both the number of desks and chairs and the length of time they could be used.

The process

To select the right partner, a multiple closed tender was carried out. Together with the Municipality of Leiden, we determined the circular ambitions for this assignment. On the basis of various circular revenue models, a business case was built; the Municipality of Leiden was able to use this to demonstrate that the circular ambition could be realized within budget. Finally, a guideline and award framework was developed, in which three parties were asked to make proposals.

The results

The Municipality of Leiden found a partner – ZSEN – to fulfil their furniture needs for a period of three years. This is done in collaboration with Alvero, a company that rents out office furniture. We opted for a rental approach, including the management and maintenance of the furniture; the office chairs and desks selected have been used previously by others. During the rental period, the number of office chairs and desks being rented is flexible. After three years, the supplier takes back the furniture.

“For the transition period before moving into the new accommodation, the Municipality of Leiden has found a high-quality, financially attractive and circular solution for office furniture. Good advice from Copper8 served as the foundation for this circular procurement.” Esther van Drongelen Project Manager Facility Affairs

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