The Dutch Province of Zeeland's name literally translates to "Land in the Sea". This Dutch province is characterised by islands, estuaries and sandbars. It has a coastline of 650 km. Its specific location on the sea, the interplay between land and water, sweet and salt, ebb and flow, distinguishes Zeeland from all the other regions in this part of Europe. It offers entrepreneurs and residents innovative opportunities and room to pioneer. The Provincial Government of Zeeland is committed to meet the many major challenges facing Zeeland: climate change, energy transition, the circular economy, mobility, spatial quality and the increasing visibility of Zeeland. The Provincial Government is also committed to 'living' together with the Municipalities. The Province ensures the right balance of supply and demand in the housing market, the strengthening of the regional and knowledge-based economy, agriculture and fisheries, nature conservation and experience, liveability, provincial and cross-border cooperation, culture and sport.

The Province of Zeeland is committed to sustainable economic development, growth and innovation. Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) is part of the economic stimulus policy. The commitment to SPP means that Zeeland immediately stimulates the local economy and thus sets a good example through adopting a 'practise what you preach' attitude.

Zeeland also wants to create a bio-based economy and it is committed to sustainable economic development in which, a significant proportion of fossil fuels, such as petroleum, natural gas and coal, is replaced by renewable alternatives from biomass. An important part of the circular economy for Zeeland is the emergence of the ‘sharing economy’: the sharing of capital goods by producers and consumers.


    The EU-funded project 'Circular Bio-based Construction Industry (CBCI)' is conducting research into how we can make more efficient use of raw materials in the construction industry and thereby reduce carbon emissions. This not only concerns the construction phase but also the entire life cycle of a building. To make the transition to a circular economy, an integrated approach for circular and bio-based construction is being developed, which will form the basis for the construction industry. This approach will guarantee cohesion within the procurement playing field, namely the technical, legal and social aspects. For procurement, we are looking at the possibilities and opportunities for applying bio-based/circular products in the construction industry for the market exploration, procurement procedure and contract management phases. Purpose: what 'procurement' develops within the CBCI will be widely applied within the Interreg2Seas region. Circular Bio-based Construction Industry has received funding from the Interreg 2 Seas Programme 2014-2020, the European territorial cooperation program with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

    It started with a desk research on rules and regulations related to the procurement process in the 4 countries, (Belgium, The Netherlands, France and the UK) followed by an extensive period of interviews with so-called frontrunners. These are all parties which successfully translated their ambitions into circular buildings and the use of bio-based materials. Their learnings, experiments and expertise were used to set up a procurement framework. This framework provides a practical guideline throughout the full building (and use) phase of a project, with accents on where and how to integrate and safeguard the circular biobased ambitions in each step of the process.

    The framework and the necessary steps in the approach for circular biobased procurement were validated by experts in several workshops.

    Another important role is for the CBCI Living Labs at the KU Leuven (BE) and Emergis (NL). These living labs tested the framework in practice and gave the project team valuable insights in bottlenecks and opportunities. Their lessons learned are the redlines within the White Paper; bringing all research, input and efforts together in a practical guide. Not only interesting for those active in the tender process, but for all actors interested and curious about how ambitions on circular and bio-based solutions can be integrated in their building projects.

    In this magazine you will find many of the outcomes (white paper Procurement and Rules & Regulations) of the project CBCI from 2019 till 2022.

    • Webinar collaboration with Procura+ Participant RESECO from the 2th July 2020.

    The Province of Zeeland presented their tender for the application of biobased products in the widening of the Tractaatweg. See presentation (in French) here.

    The Provincial Government Building in the Province of Zeeland is located in Middelburg and dates from 1127. The Provincial Government has been established here since 1574. In 2018, the Province of Zeeland concluded a framework agreement for the supply of individual pieces of furniture for the Abbey complex in Middleburg. The delivery included desks, office chairs, conference tables and chairs, lounge workstations, cabinets and seating areas. A flexible office concept was chosen for the layout of the building to encourage cooperation and bring people together with the ultimate aim of stimulating and supporting task-oriented work.

    The facilitating role of the Province of Zeeland is not limited to enabling progressive pilot projects. The Province of Zeeland was part of the development team of Emergis through the Senior Procurement Policy specialist who made the building of this clinic possible. Role: supply and development of circular procurement and tendering knowledge as well as establishing learning experiences (in terms of content and process). This is how the Province of Zeeland actively disseminates the acquired knowledge, thereby increasing the upscaling of pilot projects.




          100 mil




          Date joined


          Martin Scherpenisse

          Senior Procurement Policy Specialist



          More information? Email  

          IN ACTION


          First Sustainable Procurement Plan 2021-2024 with structural positive SDG impact established with an active co-creation role for stakeholders.

          With the development of our new sustainable procurement plan, we defined clear goals and ambitions to create concrete impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We used multiple SDG dialogues online to connect the programs of policymakers, community initiatives and sustainable solutions in the market with SDG relevant indicators. Our plan contains the fundamental principles, methodology, roles and responsibilities, knowledge sharing, transparency and visualisation of results.

          The SDGs are the compass for each procurement and each step in the process. Making the 17 SDGs a starting point for dialogues, to make concrete impact during our sustainable purchasing process. With this solution we connect multiple organizations goals, combine initiatives and creating support from all stakeholders to accelerate the transition towards the SDG goals and EU green deal ambitions. Our politicians take leadership by giving a good example at embedding the SDG impact level at the start of each procurement. The last four years we aimed at the number of projects to gain experience. This is a big step forward.

          To focus on our impact, for the next 4 years we selected 7 SDG’s (based on relations with policy goals, monitor SDG/broad prosperity and alignment with local initiatives) to define the ambition level (basic, significant or ambitious) and measure impact field at an early stage.

          SPP TARGETS

          All SPP targets and their monitoring can be found on Zeeland's SPP website.

          • We contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals: SDGs are our compass.
          • We achieve impact on sustainable development goals through procurement; we apply SP so we do not need to justify every purchase.
          • We choose our procurement ambitions at an early stage: prioritising on the basis of policy plans and innovation needs.
          • We make opportunities and risks visible at an early stage: SDG dialogues with local stakeholders for a livable environment and world.
          • We reduce and reuse materials where possible: for new materials, preference will be given to reusable and/or biobased materials to prevent the depletion of raw materials.
          • We use 100% renewable energy to avoid CO2 and nitrogen deposition from fossil fuels.
          • We store fresh water and plant native trees in the fight against climate change.
          • We involve people with poor job prospects in projects and offer them work experience.
          • We are transparent about the considerations and results of projects.
          • We work collaboratively with the market and other public authorities to stimulate the local economy by involving local suppliers and SMEs.


          In 2019, the Province of Zeeland decided to construct a roundabout on the N253 near Sint Anna Ter Muiden.

          The N253 connects the Netherlands and Belgium and is an important approach road for visitors to Sluis and for freight traffic on the Terneuzen – Zeebrugge route. The purpose of the roundabout is to improve road safety and traffic flow. 

          The sustainable award criteria had to be made smart for the Environmental Cost Indicator (ECI) in terms of the choice of materials and method of working in the realisation phase.


          In 2017, the Province of Zeeland decided to expand the N62 ‘Tractaatweg’ (100 km/h) in Zeeuws‑Vlaanderen (Zeeland Flanders) from 1 lane to 2 lanes in both directions. This also included the construction of four new viaducts. The N62 is an important trunk road connecting the seaports and the industrial zone in Ghent (Belgium), and Terneuzen and Vlissingen (the Netherlands). The purpose of the expansion was to improve traffic flow and road safety. The procurement of the road included circular criteria and biobased materials.


          One of the projects completed recently concerns a call for tenders, together with eight provinces (the Collective Energy Procurement Provinces, CEP), for a supply agreement for 100% sustainably generated electricity from the Netherlands for a period of 5 years (2020-2024) and a supply agreement for green gas for a period of 4 years (2020-2023).

          The result

          Sustainable electricity: from 1 January 2020 the members of the CEP will be supplied with 100% renewable energy generated in the Netherlands. Total volume/year: 81 million kWh. Furthermore, from 1 January 2023, the supplier guarantees that the provincial application for the generation of additionality will be fulfilled by new projects in the Netherlands that will start after 1 January 2020.

          Renewable gas: from 1 January 2020, members of the CEP will receive green gas produced in the Netherlands. Total volume/year 1.3 million m3. The impact is that the members of the CEP will no longer use natural gas from 1 January. The contract has been awarded for a period of four years (up to and including 31 December 2023).

          SPP SECTORS

          The Province of Zeeland is active in many different sectors, such as personnel-related matters, office furniture and supplies, automation and telecommunication, flexible working, advice and research, transport, drive systems & packaging, buildings and building-related matters, and Civil and Hydraulic Engineering (GWW). In addition, the Province of Zeeland has a partnership for circular paper. In 2018, the Province of Zeeland decided to start up a pilot together with WEPA Nederland, the supplier of hygienic paper. The aim of this pilot is to collect paper hand towels that are used in the washrooms and use them as raw material for toilet paper for the Province of Zeeland.

          EXPLORE MORE


          Interreg 2 Seas: Circular Bio-based Construction Industry

          Making more efficient use of raw materials in the construction industry and reducing carbing emissions. 



          The Province of Zeeland assigned the construction of a field station to replace the Summer House of Het Zeeuwse Landschap that was demolished last year to a construction team in 2020.