Wageningen University & Research pursues a sustainable procurement policy. In the Strategic Plan 2019-2022 a specific ambition for procurement is formulated:

In our procurement policies and practices, we push supply chains to be transparent, sustainable, circular and free from modern slavery

We conform to the sustainability criteria of Government of the Netherlands as publisched on Additional criteria, such as international social conditions, are also considered and where possible used for each tender. With a sustainability panel off staff and students extensive input regarding sustainability is gathered. From 2016, the MVI growth model method has been applied to measure the efforts related to Socially Responsible Procurement (SRI) and to achieve higher CSR awareness in the organization.

Examples of SRI in procurement

A vision on circularity was launched in early 2020. This marks the transition from a waste policy to a circular economy policy. The circularity strategies are the starting point for new contracts with suppliers. As experts in the field of circularity in the markets in which they operate, contractors will help WUR search for solutions to flesh out the circular economy policy.

From 2020 onwards, WUR will actively contribute to more inclusivity in tenders, aiming to employ more people at a distance from the labor market. An example is the tender for landscaping, in which six people with a distance to the labor market were hired.

Recently a contract was concluded for Mobility as a Service, MaaS for short. WUR has agreed with the service provider that within 2 years all business car travel (300,000 km / year) will be fully electric and that the service provider will make an effort to entice staff to use more public transport and the bicycle instead of the car.

Sustainable procurement processes

The Procurement department evaluates every procurement contract to see whether it is possible to purchase products and services which are even more sustainable and what that would cost. The purchasers also incorporate sustainability aspects into all project plans and state the results in the final reports. This policy of sustainable procurement applies to all products, from construction materials to coffee cups, and to services such as cleaning.

A contract manager is assigned to each contract that involved the WUR procurement department. During the contract phase, the contract manager will consult with the supplier about the agreements relating to sustainability and CSR. If a supplier does not comply with the agreements, the contract manager will issue a warning to them.

The Procurement department carries out purchasing and procurement procedures entirely digitally. Ordering and invoicing procedures are digitalised by means of the electronic ordering system proQme. In addition, suppliers are discouraged to send unsolicited hard-copy catalogues and leaflets. As Wageningen University & Research deals with large numbers of orders and invoices, the use of paper, toner cartridges and postal services has been drastically reduced.