The City of Ghent, Belgium has won Sustainable Procurement of the Year Awards from the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement for its advancements in applying green procurement requirements using the Cradle to Cradle® certification.

With more than 250,000 inhabitants, Ghent is Belgium’s second largest municipality. Since 2008, the City of Ghent has had in place an action plan for sustainability. Ghent 2020 now includes more than 105 actions and initiatives to make Ghent a more sustainable city, including sustainable procurement activities. A first Procurement strategy with a focus on sustainability was launched in 2012, and in the decade since, this strategy was officially renewed. Due to its efforts, the city won the Sustainable Procurement activity of the Year Award in 2019.  The city requires Cradle to Cradle® certification for selected procurement contracts as part of its action plan for sustainability.

Ghent purchases products meeting the European Ecolabel criteria, as a minimum, and was the first city in Belgium to use Cradle-to-Cradle Certified products through their contracted services for maintenance, cleaning and catering for all of its buildings and facilities. There are 340 locations in the city (ranging from office buildings, schools, nurseries, museums, etc.) as well as approximately 350 external contractors that must abide by the procurement rules.

Part of the technical scoring criteria of the city’s procurement process addresses waste reduction. The city included criteria that waste should be prevented by limiting it as much as possible or through inclusion of reuse initiatives. For unavoidable waste, a sustainable process, with an emphasis on recycling is requested.  The supplier is responsible (at its own expense) to take back all packaging. If the supplier has intensified its efforts or innovative methods for further reducing waste in a feasible manner during the term of the contract, extra points are awarded.



The European Union (EU) project on Reducing Plastic Waste in Canada