Circular tender for office furniture

The background

The governmental procurement department for office furnishings has the ambition to make their procurement completely circular. The first tender completed in this context was put on the market in 2017. In 2017, Copper8 helped Rijkswaterstaat – the department responsible for all government furniture supplies – to design the procurement strategy and translate it into guidelines for tendering.


In 2017, new framework agreements had to be put out to tender for the supply and maintenance of furniture for about 100,000 workplaces. Based on a study by Turntoo, the government decided that priority should be given to extending the life of the existing furniture. Copper8 supported Rijkswaterstaat in helping this ambition take the best shape possible in the tendering process.

The question

Support us in developing an appropriate circular tender strategy, then translate it into guidelines for tendering and an award methodology in which circularity and circular use are guaranteed.

Current situation and future

Due to the pressure of expiring contracts, Copper8 had limited time to support Rijkswaterstaat with this assignment. We also had to actively consider how ‘circular use’ could be guaranteed during the contract phase.

The process

We first developed an appropriate procurement strategy, in which results were maximized and risks well managed. Then we organized a number of meetings with the tender team, in which we discussed selecting the correct circular award criteria and choosing a suitable assessment method. We then took Rijkswaterstaat through the consequences of certain contract forms and how circular agreements could best be assured. The tender guidelines were drawn up on the basis of the recommendations. Finally, we trained the evaluation committee on the topic of circular furniture.

The results

Despite the time pressure, on the basis of our advice the decision was made to include the maintenance of the existing furniture in the tender. The most important conclusion of the Turntoo research was the importance of extending the life of the existing furniture. However, this wasn’t yet a problem the market had needed to solve regularly – and certainly not bundled together in an assignment. Deploying the CircularIQ platform helped the tender team make the circularity of new furniture easily measurable. In the end, the four parts of the assignment were awarded to two parties, giving the market the opportunity to develop more broadly rather than letting one party build up a lead as a result of this project.

“Thanks to the circular knowledge that Copper8 applied to this assignment, we succeeded in translating our circular ambition even better into the tender strategy and in the assessment and award criteria.” Sabien van der Leij Government Category Manager

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