Companies in the Amsterdam region are tackling ‘hidden emissions’

At the initiative of the Amsterdam Economic Board, seven organizations from the Amsterdam metropolis are actively working on identifying and reducing their indirect CO2 emissions, or 'hidden emissions'. By participating in the initiative, called 'Purchasing with Impact', they gain insight into their hidden impact on the most commonly used facility purchasing categories 'catering', 'hot drinks', 'ICT', 'cleaning' and 'work environment', and they can choose the fairer and more conscious purchasing alternative. The participating organizations want to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions and thus stimulate affordable and local supply and demand of products and services, and reduce the demand for non-sustainable items. This must make a substantial contribution to a fairer, more sustainable and more conscious purchasing playing field, with which sustainable purchasing must develop from a niche activity to a 'standard'.

Participation in the initiative ties in seamlessly with the commitment of all Board members to purchase 100% of the facility services, products and supplies within the Amsterdam metropolis in a fully sustainable manner by 2030 on the way to the donut economy. Before the summer months, the seven participating organizations will publish their joint potentially reducing amount of indirect CO2 emissions and the way in which this will be implemented.

Hidden emissions: q uickscan provides insight

The Amsterdam metropolis emits 5,000 kilotons of CO2 annually. The seven participating organizations ( Alliander , Nova College , Port of Amsterdam , Randstad Group Netherlands , Tata Steel , VU and AUAS / UvA ) will be the first group to work with the ‘Impact Quickscan’ specifically designed for this purpose. A purchasing impact calculator that provides insight into hidden emissions of facility product categories commonly used in organizations. The tool will be offered to all 140 organizations affiliated to the Amsterdam Economic Board in the coming months. In this way, more and more organizations are gaining insight into how sustainable their facility operations in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area are, so that they can compare themselves, but also nationally and internationally, and take steps to reduce hidden emissions.

Sustainable purchasing works

In practice, breaking through existing patterns and systems and replacing them with more sustainable alternatives appears to be difficult. The ‘Purchasing with Impact tool’ provides insight, based on data, into the positive impact that an organization is already making, but also into products and services with the greatest hidden CO2 emissions and the more sustainable choices that the organization can make. Because the impact of such a more sustainable alternative is also immediately transparent, the organization can more easily opt for potential sustainable profit for the organization and the environment. The ease with which sustainable purchasing choices can be made should entice other organizations to actively participate, in order to subsequently join forces, learn from each other and accelerate the impact.

“With every euro that an organization spends on things that are needed – such as people, materials and products, energy or services – they can opt for the sustainable, fair or innovative alternative. On the one hand, this stimulates the demand and thus the supply of things that contribute to a smart, green and healthy future. On the other hand, it reduces the demand for things we actually want to say goodbye to, such as fossil energy. With this measurable sustainable procurement track, we want to show, together with the participating organizations, that sustainable procurement is accessible to everyone, from start-ups and SMEs to corporate, everyone can choose the sustainable alternative ”, says Claire Teurlings, Lead Circular Economy at the Amsterdam Economic Board.

Upscaling initiatives achieve circular goals for 2050

The aim of the ‘Purchasing with Impact’ initiative is that by the end of this year, seventy-five percent of the 25 Board members and 25 percent of the 140 Network Council members will actively purchase with impact. During the year, the Amsterdam Economic Board organizes four ‘impact tracks’, in which five to ten large organizations get to work on their own purchasing process, deepen their knowledge and strengthen their network. In addition, there are two ‘impact labs’ in which innovative chain initiatives are set up for specific product categories. The results of this are shared with the board network for inspiration and activation. A study is also being started into purchasing barriers and innovations for sustainable ICT hardware. These initiatives are in line with the commitment to purchase 100% of the facility services, products and supplies within the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area with impact by 2030, on the way to a fully circular economy by 2050.

Invitation to collaboration

Do you also want to gain insight into the impact of your organization? And then make a visible impact? Contact .

7 April 2021

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