IWR2021: Procurement of Workplace Hardware in The Netherlands

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy is responsible for the government-wide procurement contracts for person- and facility related ICT provisions that make up the ICT work environment of the Dutch government.

Five separate tenders were prepared under the government-wide procurement contract IWR2021 for appliances such as monitors, laptops and ICT workstations, iOS and MacOS devices, Android devices and accessories and services. During the strategy phase a wide range of sustainability goals were defined, including a market consultation to test the feasibility of the ambitious goals. The tenders offered a 50/50% ratio for price versus quality, of which 87% of quality was dedicated to preferences within sustainability. All the sustainability wishes were validated by contractors.

The sustainability goals were defined using an ambition web to give the tenders a clear direction. The ambition web offers insights into the impact the commodity has on people and the environment showing which areas of concern can be targeted. Based on the level of scoring of impact, the areas of concern can be identified. The highest level of impact went to climate and energy, materials, natural resources and circular economy, nature and environment. Social costs and benefits rated an intermediate impact and a lower impact went to social aspects and health and wellbeing. Based on the levels of impact subsequent sustainability goals were developed for the tenders.

The project has set a precedential example for future tenders within the Dutch government on how to challenge the market on various sustainability aspects. It has illustrated the ability of public procurement to raise the bar on the standards the market upholds when it comes to delivering workplace hardware.