Procurement team takes next step towards more sustainable purchasing

Procurement team EUR 2022
Procurement team EUR 2022

How do you embed sustainability in the EUR's procurement? That was the pivotal question at the kick-off session of the procurement team of Erasmus University Rotterdam. In a creative workshop, the procurement team - consisting of Michèle Belgraver, Delphine Gabriel, Carlo Kraak, Vanna Stoffels, Ellen Reints and Rowena van Wijngaarden - got to work to brainstorm about more sustainable procurement.

On the sunny terrace of restaurant De Schone Lei, with a panoramic view of the Kralingse Plas and the skyline of Rotterdam, the team split into two groups. Supported by Geerke Versteeg of consultancy organization PHI Factory, they gave free rein to their creativity by assembling digital 'magazine covers' to visualize their vision of sustainable procurement. This kick-off session is an important step in a broader process to make purchasing within the EUR more sustainable.

Why sustainable procurement?

Sustainable policy is one of Erasmus University Rotterdam's strategic priorities for 2024. In line with this strategic objective, the Purchasing and Contract Management Department translates this into guidelines and practical handles for more sustainable purchasing. Important, because sustainable procurement of goods and services can make a big difference. Buying products from a local company that works with reusable packaging, for example, can significantly reduce CO2 emissions. And obtaining services from a company that hires employees with a distance to the labor market, ensures more diversity and inclusiveness. In short, sustainable procurement can result in more circularity, less CO2 emission and better job opportunities.

Workshop sustainable procurement EUR Workshop sustainable purchasing EUR

Procurement with positive impact

With the plan for more sustainable procurement, the team aims to increase, accelerate, and measure their positive social impact. This is based on the Triple Top Line approach, which focuses on maximizing the positive impact of economic activities on the environment and society. 

To make the switch to more sustainable procurement, the procurement team has called in reinforcements from various disciplines at the EUR. For example, Delphine Gabriel, a Supply Chain Management student at RSM, is currently doing her internship at Purchasing and Contract Management. She is mapping out how the social impact can be optimized for various procurement categories. The procurement team was also represented at the event 'Let's Talk Sustainability: Buying BetterOpens external', organized by the Design Impact Transition Platform and the EUR Sustainability Programme. As part of the expert panel, Michèle Belgraver (Head of Purchasing and Contract Management) talked to the audience about sustainable procurement at the EUR. 

What’s next?

Now that the kick-off session has taken place, the procurement team is inspired to continue with the action plan. Next steps in this process are analyzing existing information, defining ambitions together with stakeholders within the EUR and determining concrete actions. Once the plan is complete, the team can start implementing it. An important part of this is to create more awareness about sustainability among contract owners in the organization. The procurement team wants to advise, activate, and inspire contract owners so that they are able to make the best choices for a sustainable future. Together, let’s move towards more positive impact! 

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