Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and the second largest port in the world. The Rotterdam Sustainability Programme sets the ambition to become a clean, green and healthy city. The action plan encourages sustainable procurement practices to assist the transition to a more resource-efficient city and to shift markets onto a sustainable path SPP highlights.
The City of Rotterdam is strongly committed to focus on sustainable solutions in its solicitations to reduce the environmental impact, as well as to achieve other societal and economic benefits. According the Dutch central government’s policy and action plan on SPP, municipalities should comply with a 100% sustainable procurement by 2015. This implies a dedicated implementation of minimum sustainability requirements in certain procurement categories. These criteria are accessible through the PIANOo portal on SSP, the national association for public procurers. In addition, Rotterdam adopts a strategy to identify other categories of procurement that have high potential of environmental savings.
Rotterdam has an annual procurement budget of around €1,3 billion. It uses a centralised procurement system in most of its operating areas. There are two specialised procurement teams that assist budget holders to find the best goods and services in the fields of facility management (office supplies, social services etc.) and construction (materials, vehicles, etc.) The procurement of works is done by the engineering department.
Rotterdam’s principal is that leading by example starts with the budget holder, procurement official and sustainability specialist. All parties should take a deliberate approach to implementing green criteria by insisting on transparency and using acquisition methods that transcend the parochial lowest bid method. The Rotterdam approach for modelling SPP processes highlights responsibilities assigned to actors and organisational structures, shown in the figure.
Rotterdam is engaged in progressively implementing concepts of Life Cycle Analysis and Total Cost of Ownership and value engineering. Tenderers may be challenged to make a distinctive bid with a high sustainability content, including aspects like halftime, social return on investment and maximum emission levels.
The city requires ISO14001 certification or an equivalent like the Envirometer developed by the Stimular Foundation. This foundation was set up in 1990 by the business community and government agencies in the Rotterdam region. Now Stimular is successfully encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and similar organisations to adopt sustainable management practices in a growing number of regions in the Netherlands.
The City of Rotterdam, together with other government agencies, companies and municipalities in the Netherlands, signed the "Green Deal Circular Purchasing" agreement on 15 November 2013, in order to ensure that the purchased products and materials are reused optimally, preventing waste of materials and energy. According to calculations of a Dutch market research agency, the circular concept would save the Dutch economy 7 billion per year.
Social aspects are applied in every stage of the procurement process. An important aspect of the procurement policy on social return on investment is workforce participation of long term job queues. The requirement for the tendering contractor to spend 5% of the contractsum for local workforce participation applies to all contracts of more than €15,000.
Rotterdam keeps track of performances through a green spend analysis, which monitors the implementation of SPP criteria. Contracted suppliers are monitored by contract managers on how they perform in reality during the contract period. In some cases they do supplier audits, on aspects such as the mining of natural stone (child labour practices), wood (certification) and concrete pavement production (LCA validation). Rotterdam also works with NGO’s like SOMO (ICT procurement) and Max Havelaar (coffee).
The Municipality of Rotterdam identified the need to make cost, resource and energy savings in its €2 billion worth of real estate. It also has high CO₂ reduction targets.
An Energy Performance Contract (EPC) was awarded for a public swimming pool using the competitive dialogue procedure. The inclusion of maintenance responsibility and energy saving bonuses within this contract means that the contractor has a clear incentive for ensuring newly installed equipment is performing correctly and achieving energy savings.
Since 2007, the city has implemented minimum emission norms in all of its contracts for construction projects that involves the use of heavy duty vehicles and building equipment.
Rotterdam has successfully intermediated between suppliers of concrete bricks and recycling firms in order to increase the use of granulates. Awards criteria were developed that improved separate collection and waste handling of demolished bricks and other concrete elements. For PVC and asphalt, the city’s policy is to purchase secondary materials.
25% of the total vehicle fleet will be electric vehicles (EV’s) by 2018. The procurement department will collect the experiences from pilots to develop sustainability criteria and innovation procurement strategies to challenge the supply chain of clean transportation in the city. The so-called 'Green Deal 010 Zero Emission City Logistics' (ZES) sets the target to have an emission-free freight transport in the inner city by 2020, by means of electric, hybrid or bio-gas vehicles.