Wageningen University & Research implemented a sustainable procurement policy in January 2008. The Executive Board continued this policy in the 2013 Wageningen University & Research Procurement Policy. In this new policy Wageningen University & Research conforms to the sustainability criteria of Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
Wageningen University & Research purchases 100% sustainable
In addition to following these criteria, Wageningen University & Research internally coordinates the procurement wishes and requirements in terms of sustainability. Wageningen University & Research makes use of a sustainability panel, which receives extensive employee input regarding sustainability in 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. The Procurement department evaluates the sustainability percentage of all purchases for a particular year by carrying out a sustainability scan. This scan is based on the sustainability criteria and product groups as prepared by RVO and as established by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. In 2013 Wageningen UR achieved again 100% sustainability in procurement.
Examples of sustainable procurement are the purchasing of 100% of copying paper in accordance with the EU Eco label and FSC Mixed & Controlled Wood, and awareness of the benefits of regional suppliers. Additionally, Wageningen University & Research discourages suppliers from sending unsolicited hard-copy catalogues and leaflets. These are regarded as an unjustifiable use of raw materials and energy.
The previous method of carrying out tenders and offers wasted large amounts of paper. In the preparatory phase, dozens of copies were made of the various draft project documents. Until recently, applicants were required to submit their offers in triplicate. This resulted in boxes and boxes of documents. The Procurement department now carries out purchasing and procurement procedures entirely digitally.
The ordering and invoicing procedures are being digitalised by means of the electronic ordering system proQme. Orders are sent out by e-mail. In addition, suppliers are encouraged to send their invoices by e-mail. 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.