Stedin and Alliander

The Fair Meter project

The background

Copper8 supported the Green Deal Fair Meter project, together with Alliander and Stedin. This is an initiative to purchase and develop a new generation of electricity and gas meters as responsibly and circularly as possible.


The Dutch network operators want sustainability and circularity to be reflected in the design, production, use and reuse of the smart meter. The meter is the most visible part of their service to customers.

The question

Alliander and Stedin had two requests:

  1. Give shape to the (value chain) collaboration within the Green Deal Fair Meter;
  2. Support us in the tender for the new generation of smart meters and ensure the sustainability and circularity (FAIR) of the final offers.

Current situation and future

We started by developing a Fair Performance Ladder and a Resources Identification Tool (RIT). The performance ladder had to provide insights into sustainable and circular – FAIR – performance. The RIT provided an insight into the use of raw materials, other materials and the sustainability impacts. In the procurement process, both developments had to be taken into account and the meter had to be purchased as sustainably and circularly (FAIR) as possible. What’s more, we were asked to achieve this within a tight framework: one of applicable objectives in terms of quality, technical specifications and ceiling price.

The process

We supported the Green Deal Fair Meter and the tender that ultimately led to the purchase of the new generation of smart meters. We started by defining FAIR. We did this for eight domains, including energy and value chain missions, responsible use of raw materials and fair working conditions. We wanted to know how the current meter performed in these domains and we defined improvement points. We then translated these domains into the tender, which formulated FAIR as one of the main objectives. During the tender, we guided the process and the dialogue, through which we achieved the desired FAIR results.

The results

Two suppliers scored the highest on the FAIR meter. They were able to supply the best and most durable meters at the start of the contract. They have committed themselves to continue the development of FAIR during the contract by conducting two pilot projects, among other things. The smart meter is now 50% lighter, the housing of the meter is made from recycled plastic and smart logistic solutions have been applied. In addition, a methodology was developed that shows exactly which organizations are involved in the production of the meter, whether they work responsibly and which raw materials and components they use.

“Without Copper8 we would never have been able to put our FAIR ambitions into practice. Their involvement resulted in a sharp focus on the original ambition. With their attentiveness and by always providing constructive guidance, they asked suppliers the right questions and set the right tone in conversations. Copper8 protected us from the most obvious pitfalls that can catch those getting started with circularity for the first time.” Reinout Wissenburg Advisor Sustainability

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