The supply of ecofriendly office supplies to the central administration and provincial services and institutions.
The Province of Antwerp wants a catalogue contract which makes it easy for all its entities (central services, musea, schools, …) to order sustainable office supplies (notebooks, envelopes, folders, pencils, tape, …) online at a nice price, delivered to all entities. Criteria had already been developed in consultation with the Logistics Department and the Environment Department and were included in the technical requirements of the framework tender. A 'green list' of common office supplies was included in the inventory. The inventory lists all requirements for a product. If not all requirements could be met, this should be indicated in the 'comments' column.
Award criteria: price, catalogue, possibility to pick ecological products, possibilities and quality of the online consulting and ordering options, size and diversity of the offered range, delivery terms and possibilities.
2 big suppliers responded to the tender. The winner introduced the ‘green list’ (in mutual consultation) of office supplies into the dashboard for every provincial procurer, easily accessible when he logs in to the webshop.

Resources needed

time and skilled staff.

Evidence of success

For all common office supplies the province buys qualitative products, made from renewable, recycled or at least less invasive ressources creating less waste and environmental impact. Reducing prices for environmental technologies.

Difficulties encountered

To find the products with the best quality/price/sustainability balance in the wide range of office supplies.
To follow up on sustainability of the products that were effectively bought.

Potential for learning or transfer

This is easily transferable to other organisations. Needs addressed are common among sectors, organisations and different regions/countries. Low implementation risks and low risk of organizational resistance even though with many the conviction persists that more sustainable options are more expensive, despite the proof of the opposite.
Key enablers: a clear definition of green criteria, private sector’s environmental culture and availability of ecoproducts, long term contract award (48 months), competent public procurement officers to carry out the tendering process.
Internal communication on how to order from the catalogue of the framework contract is important. Internal audits in the frame of the ISO14001-certificate showed that not everybody was aware of the green lists.
Main institution
Provincie Antwerpen
Prov. Antwerpen, Belgium (Belgique-België)
Start Date
April 2014
End Date
April 2018


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Good Practices being followed by

Monika Zielińska

Lodzkie Region