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A new economy for procurement officers

on March 05, 2020  in Zakelijk

In business there are a lot of choices to be made by procurement officers. It doesn't matter if they need to find desks, notebooks or new monitors - sustainability and circularity will play a certain role in the decision making proces. Did you know that 45% of all energy is used for producing products? Fourty-five procent! The main question: How can we reduce this 45% to create a cleaner world and better future for the next generation?

MVO Nederland won't hide their ambition from the public; “We are heading in the right direction, but we are not there yet." This shows in the 'Nieuwe Economie Index', the percentage of new circulair and low impact items on the Dutch market, is currently at 12,1%. This will eventually have to go to 25%.

Nieuwe Economie Index

For example, if we look at the theme 'Nieuwe Rijkdom (9.9%)' we see a number of entrepreneurs that contribute to social-cultural-goals. 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs are still only focused on making profit. Not the greatest number. According to the index we could also gain ground on the sections circularity and green-energy.

When buying a product in the past, most procurement officers only looked at the price they would pay for a product and based their decision on that number. Nowadays most of these buyingstrategies are obsolete. The 'new economy' tries to focus on the future and tries to buy better, sustainable and inovative products. They focus on thevalue of the chain. But what is this value? And how does this impact a procurement officer's decision?

An example - well known by now - of a circulair initiative is De Triodos Bank: one of the most sustainable buildings in the Netherlands. Other examples are the arrival of sonarpannels and the usage of electric cars. These are not only a positive influence on climate change, but are also very efficient on the long run. A product that's 3 times more expensive may look like a waste of investment, but if it will last 13 times longer than the cheaper option, then it seems like the better and financial-benefitial option out of the two. Small companys also put this to their advantage. I-did makes laptopcovers and bags from worn working clothes and Kaffeeform makes coffeecups of coffee-waste - pretty awesome right?


The first step for a procurement officer to achieve their goals is to ask the right questions. Who made the product and how is it fabricated? Is it reuseable and how long will it last? What if it breaks or its wears-out? Where does the waste go?

Anyway, it is important in 2020 to focus on doing the 'right' investements. Doing this is the only way for business to archieve their sustainable-goals in 2050, or even 2030. A procurement officer should look futher then the cheap option and search for circulair goods and a long-term solution. Also the functionality of certain products should be looked at on a high level, this will reduce buying unnecessary goods and prevent waste. Only if we follow these guidelines we can contribute to a better world!

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