GHENT & SPP
Located in the Flemish region of Belgium, Ghent is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province. With more than 250,000 inhabitants, Ghent is Belgium's second largest municipality.
Since 2008, the City of Ghent has in place an action plan for sustainability, “Ghent 2020”, which includes more than 105 actions and initiatives to make Ghent a more sustainable city, including sustainable procurement activities. In 2014, Ghent was the host of the EcoProcura conference, a unique meeting point to share knowledge on sustainable procurement (SPP) and procurement of innovation (PPI).
As a firm believer in SPP, these are Ghent’s principle: leading by example, using purchasing power as a leverage for sustainability, making procurement a strategic partner, cost-efficient use of public money, and raise the maturity standard of the procurement organization.
The Sustainable Procurement Strategy of the City of Ghent focuses on:
- Minimizing the ecological footprint throughout the entire life-cycle with a focus on rational use of energy and independence of non-renewable energy, minimizing the impact of local air quality through efficient and environmentally friendly transportation and deliveries, and avoiding waste.
- Encouraging sustainable employment of disadvantaged groups with a focus on increasing the opportunities on the labor market for job seekers from disadvantaged groups - with specific attention for youth unemployment -, and strengthening the sustainable growth of the social economy sector.
- Promoting sustainable innovations.
- Fostering local economic growth with special attention for start-ups and innovative companies.
- Integrating and assuring international labor's standards and fair trade principles throughout the supply chain.
- Encouraging sustainable entrepreneurship among suppliers.
- Increasing the maturity of the procurement function and striving towards excellence in procurement.
Digipolis Ghent will allocate 10% of the budget for ICT - to procure innovative products and services or innovative procurement. Digipolis Ghent will organize networking meetings between suppliers and innovative ICT solutions and representatives of the city, police, social services department, agencies and associations of the city of Ghent.
SPP IN ACTION
Social and environmental innovation in cleaning services
Ghent is responsible for cleaning 340 premises, a service which employs 450 people. The City was interested in introducing cleaning products with a lower impact on the environment and human health and so set up a controlled trial of products offering lower life-cycle impacts at several of its locations. Based on the results it decided to promote probiotic cleaning products within its current contract. The contract also included a condition relating to the role of social economy enterprises in carrying out the cleaning services, creating employment and training opportunities for long-term unemployed and disabled people.
The full case study can be found here.