Located in the Flemish region of Belgium, Ghent is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province, with about 250,000 inhabitants. The City of Ghent introduced an action plan for sustainability - "Ghent 2020" - in 2008, which sets out an ambition to implement more than 105 actions and projects including sustainable procurement.
The sustainable procurement strategy sets the priority on strategic purchasing with emphasis on sustainable return on investment. Ghent updated its Sustainable Procurement Strategy in 2014.
In 2014 the decision was made to implement an eProcurement module SRM, as an interface to the enterprise software SAP. This eProcurement system allows a more structural approach to purchasing policies and enables centralised reporting on the basic spend analysis questions (when is what being bought by who from which supplier?). These analyses will be the basis for further grouping of contracts and dealing with maverick buying.
Combined with the new operational model for the city of Ghent, developing a closer link in operations between City of Ghent and its partners (OCMW Ghent, non-profit organizations, Cultural organizations, etc), the opportunity is explored for all new contracts to broaden the scope of customers to all partners within the Group Ghent. This creates significant opportunities with regards to economies of scale and achieving better prices for products, as well as freeing up procurement expertise resources by combining contracts and thus reducing overhead costs.
In order to realise its strategic goals, Ghent has pursued the integration of sustainable criteria in contracts, and the development of innovative processes and methodologies in order to realise strategic goals. At the EcoProcura 2014 conference, which Ghent hosted, the city signed a SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT STRATEGY and a Charter that obliges the city to spend 10 percent of its ICT budget on innovative solutions.
In order to introduce sustainable procurement on a structural level into all contracts, a strategic roadmap was developed. This roadmap lists all the planned contracts for the near future (year+1) and enables the discussion with all relevant stakeholders in order to set individual targets for each contract taking the market maturity into account. By allowing the relevant policy advisors to engage in conversation with the respective procurers it is made sure that the contracts contribute optimally to the strategic goals of all parties involved.
Construction: passive buildings, 100% renewable electricity, FSC-certified wood and low energy renovations (also for historic buildings)
Consumable goods: fair trade food, FSC-certified paper
Services: environmentally conscious cleaning services
Mobility: hybrid cars, increased bicycle use
Ghent highlighted fair trade, fair fashion and sustainable procurement by hosting the 2nd edition of the Fair Fashion Fest on 9 October 2016, in collaboration with Oxfam. Over 3,700 visitors participated in workshops, talks, fashion shows and more. Ghent leads by example as a pilot city for social procurement of uniforms and protective equipment, seeking fairly-priced suppliers that are engaged in fair trade, sustainable textile procurement and process transparency while limiting waste and carbon emissions.