The initiative is supported by at least four provinces. All Dutch producers of biobased materials and products will be invited to have their products included in the database. An independent editorial board will compile the criteria and characteristics that the supply must meet. This database will help purchasers to make socially responsible purchases.
National, regional and local governments together purchase more than all other organisations in the Netherlands put together. The national government’s socially responsible procurement objectives require a major increase in the sustainability of these authorities’ procurement policies in the short term. In practice, however, it is not always easy to set goals for sustainable or socially responsible procurement and then achieve them. According to the four provinces taking the initiative (Zeeland, Overijssel, Brabant and Noord-Holland), an independent database in which the supply of recognised sustainable, bio-based products, with their characteristics, can be found, will help in this.
Up-to-date and reliable
In the past, there have been more projects and initiatives aiming for a similar overview for purchasers, only the resulting databases failed for various reasons. The new partners will learn from these initiatives. They are now looking for a management and earnings model to ensure that the database remains up-to-date and reliable in the long term.
To give buyers a valuable tool for their purchasing process, the range of materials and products must be of sufficient quantity and quality. The quality is guaranteed by setting up an independent ‘editorial board’ in which experts from Dutch universities of applied sciences and the NEN are represented together with independent content experts for each product category. They ensure that the information provided by the companies is clear and recognisable and complies with international definitions and standards.
Comparing biobased products and materials
The new database answers many questions from purchasers. When is a product biobased? What is it made of? What is available in the specific purchasing categories? How much more sustainable are these products than their fossil alternatives? How can I compare different products and materials in terms of their sustainability characteristics?
In addition to the actual database, a digital environment will be set up where buyers can find background information on, for example, developments in bio-based applications and the process of sustainable purchasing. For this purpose, the company cooperates with the Expertise Centre for Procurement PIANOo, among others.
Until the summer of this year, the parties will work on the technical development of the medium and functionalities will be set up in consultation with buyers and producers. The launch will take place after the summer.