Review EcoProcura 2018: Plenty of international interest in the CO2 Performance Ladder

From Wednesday 3 till Friday the 5th of October, the EcoProcura took place in the Dutch city of Nijmegen. During this international conference on sustainable procurement, SKAO has done several presentations on the CO2 Performance Ladder. There was plenty of interest from international parties to make use of the instrument for sustainable procurement.

Interest in sustainable procurement and certification with the Ladder

On the first day of the international conference, the plenary session was opened by Dr. Bertrand Piccard, initiator of the Solar Impulse Foundation. In 2016 Piccard flew 40.000 kilometers around the world in an airplane on solar batteries. “This is all possible with the technology of today. The rest of the world lives with technology from the past century, such as cars on fossil fuels and poorly insulated housing. We need to change this and start today”, says Piccard during the opening of the 10th edition of the EcoProcura.

After attending various sessions on sustainable procurement, visitors of the EcoProcura were able to visit SKAO for more information on the CO2 Performance Ladder. Both international as well as local parties showed interest in sustainable procurement with the CO2 Performance Ladder and obtaining a certificate on the Ladder.

Green Deal for sustainable civil engineering

During the session ‘The Green Deal for sustainable civil engineering: a key driver for circular translation’, Gijs Termeer, manager of SKAO, spoke about how the CO2 Performance Ladder can play a central role in realizing sustainable civil engineering and infrastructure in the Netherlands. Speakers of this session also included Meinke Schouten, manager at the Dutch Water Authorities, Niels van Amstel manager at the Dutch Association of Civil Engineering Companies, and Madeleine Schenk, manager at the Dutch Association of Building & Dredging Companies. The speakers focused on the subject of the circular economy in civil engineering and how the Green Deal for sustainable civil engineering has stimulated the market to take initiative by means of sustainable procurement. With the signature of the Green Deal, 91 Dutch organisations actively involved in the civil engineering industry have taken the initiative to realize sustainability in the entire procurement process and during projects. The CO2 Performance Ladder plays an important part therein. By implementing the Ladder as an award criterion, commissioning parties can stimulate their contractors to actively strive for the highest ambitions when it comes to sustainability and CO2 reduction in both the organisation as well as during projects.

Attendants of the session found that circular economy was becoming more and more important to achieve climate goals. However, measuring the effect of the circular economy and whether it leads to actual reduction of carbon emissions are still challenging according to the attendants.

Cutting back carbon emissions by means of sustainable procurement

On the third and last day of the EcoProcura, SKAO presented the ‘Market Lounge 2: The CO2 Performance Ladder, low carbon procurement made easy’. During this session, SKAO-manager Gijs Termeer spoke with various international parties who have shown interest in implementing the CO2 Performance Ladder in their own countries to stimulate sustainable procurement.

Each country has its own policy on procurement. Moreover, local markets have different sets of rules and practices. Therefore, local and national governments that want to implement the CO2 Performance Ladder as an instrument for sustainable procurement are advised to make a thorough analysis of the markets in which they operate. Based on this analysis, it should be clear whether the Ladder is suitable for the market and whether it can be successfully implemented. Naturally, SKAO is more than willing to offer assistance in developing such an analysis.

Termeer: “We noticed that there are many international parties that know and acknowledge the CO2 Performance Ladder. It is time for them to implement the system. The CO2 Performance Ladder is also aligned with an important theme of the EcoProcura 2018, namely Using Procurement Strategically.”