Sustainable procurement

Socially Responsible Procurement (MVI)

TU/e wants to rank among the most sustainable universities in the Netherlands, so it has decided on an integral approach that aims at sustainability in education and research, both on the TU/e Campus and within its business operations. The TU/e motto in the area of sustainability is: “Practice what you teach”. In line with TU/e’s mission and profile as a university of technology strong in innovation, the focus in the procurement process is on sustainable, innovative solutions. Wherever possible, social aspects of responsible procurement will be taken into account.

In order to achieve its sustainable objectives TU/e emphatically expects its suppliers to make a contribution as well. The criteria for sustainable procurement established by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) are applied within purchasing processes, if they are present for the relevant items. In addition, in all stages of a purchasing process opportunities for sustainable, innovative solutions are sought, if possible in consultation with the business community. If possible, sustainability aspects are taken into account in the specification stage in particular. For instance, options such as reuse of materials, alternative possibilities and sustainable innovations are considered. While product and market analysis are factors in this process, so is know-how available at TU/e itself. Moreover, sustainability is regularly incorporated as one of the selection or award criteria. It is monitored as part of contract management whether the agreements made are actually complied with during the term of the contracts concluded. Growth models are agreed regularly with suppliers. TU/e has concluded approximately 120 agreements for a wide array of subjects. A number of these (framework) agreements can be used by all departments and services.

Check out the overview of procurement of goods and services.

Below a number of purchasing processes in which sustainability has been or is a prominent factor are explained briefly:

  • Paper:All RVO criteria have been included as minimum requirements (including sustainable forest management and the EU Ecolabel).
  • Building and mechanical engineering maintenance: Sustainability had been included as one of the 4 selection criteria. Also, one of the 4 award criteria was focused on sustainable procedure/business operations and on the contribution to making buildings sustainable (including energy conservation).
  • Renovation Atlas building: Obtaining BREEAM Outstanding has been established as an objective for the building. In the invitation to tender for the renovation it was stated clearly what the contractor’s contribution in this respect is.
  • Vending machine catering: The vending machines must satisfy certain sustainability characteristics and all coffee must have a sustainability certificate (delivery of coffee bearing a Rainforest Alliance hallmark). In addition, the contractor’s contribution to the TU/e sustainability vision during the term of the contract is included in the award criteria.
  • IT service provision:In a call for tenders relating to IT service provision, scope has been left for enterprises with a social objective. In the end the order was actually awarded to such a company and the activities will be carried out largely by people with social impairments.
  • PV Panels Sports Center and Spectrum: TU/e wishes to make its Campus more sustainable by having PV installations placed on the roofs of the TU/e Sports Center and Spectrum buildings. The placement of these installations will contribute to the ambition of TU/e to generate a portion of its energy itself.