The Province of Zeeland's name literally translates to "Land in the Sea". The Dutch province is characterised by islands, estuaries, sandbars and has a coastline of 650 km. Its specific location in the sea, the interplay between land and water, sweet and salt, ebb and flow, distinguishes Zeeland from all 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 meeting the many major challenges facing Zeeland: climate change, energy transition, the circular economy, mobility, spatial quality and increasing the 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, strengthening of the regional and knowledge-based economy, agriculture and fisheries, nature conservation and experience, liveability, provincial and cross-border cooperation, and 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 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.


    • Webinar collaboration with Procura+ Participant RESECO on 2 July 2020. The Province of Zeeland presented their tender for the application of biobased products in the widening of the Tractaagweg. See presentation (in French) here
    • Partner in Interreg 2 Seas – Circular Bio-based Construction Industry

    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).

    New Report

    In the CBCI project, the purchasing strategy is one of the main factors to accelerate circular innovation. Public procurement fills the gap between legislation at the one hand and innovative incentives at the other. 

    What is, in this context, the difference between a regular European tender and the purchasing strategy of a circular European tender?  To answer this question, we need to know what’s going on in Europe in the field of purchasing and tendering. Therefore EU law and policy centre “Europa decentraal” was commissioned by the Province of Zeeland to provide a comprehensive ‘state-of-the-art’ overview of EU law and policy in the area of circular and bio-based construction.

    This overview report consists three chapters that address different aspects of circular bio-based construction: procurement, building and product. Every chapter is split up into sections, which give information and insight into EU policy, legislation, guidance & reports and networks. It ends with an overview of new and announced initiatives for the coming year.

    An infographic offers summarised insights into the EU’s circular-biobased ambitions on the long term for all relevant stakeholders which are active in the building sector (constructors, architect/designers, public authorities, material producers, federations / NGO’s). Within the CBCI project we will use this information  to realize a whitepaper with recommendations for authorities and policymakers to adapt or change their procurement methods to ease the uptake of circular bio-based in construction projects.


    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


          The Province of Zeeland has adopted a Sustainable Public Procurement Action Plan for the years 2017 - 2020. The Province is currently preparing the next Action Plan for the period after 2020.

          The Province of Zeeland wants to take the social impact into account in its business operations and the procurement of projects and services. By asking questions, the chain becomes more transparent and can work together to improve the impact on people and the environment. Zeeland's procurement law gives room for dialogue, innovation and sustainability: innovation through innovation partnership and new contract forms. Zeeland's preference is for budget neutral, smart solutions. To this end, they work as much as possible with a life cycle approach based on life cycle costs.

          The Action Plan focuses on the following thematic areas:

          • Biobased procurement: Economic opportunities for new products, energy and raw material security and improvement of the agricultural economy by purchasing products from biobased (renewable) materials.
          • Circular procurement: The design of circular material loops to prevent waste and guarantee raw material security
          • Climate-conscious procurement: Climate neutral energy generation to prevent CO2 emissions and to combat climate change.
          • Social return on Investment: Creating employment for people with a distance to the labor market.
          • Sustainable wood: Sustainable forestry to increase biodiversity and increase forest area.
          • Fair working conditions: The application of international labour standards creates awareness and stimulates suppliers to improve working conditions in their supply chain.
          • Innovation procurement: Stimulating innovative sustainable solutions.
          • Social awareness in the supply chain: By making the way in which products are made transparent, all links in the chain gain insight into the risks and opportunities to achieve a positive impact on people, the environment and the economy.

          Zeeland's Action Plan establishes how sustainability considerations are integrated in the whole procurement life cycle.


          SPP TARGETS

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

          • 100% renewable energy by 2020, this goal has been achieved
          • 12 biobased tenders by 2020, this goal has been achieved and until now 17 biobased tenders have been awarded.
          • 12 tenders based on circular design by 2020, this goal has been achieved with a total of 13 circular design option investigated for tenders
          • Implement Social Return on Investment clauses in all tenders over 250,000€



          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



          For further information on the activities of Zeeland visit their website:


          or email 


          Interreg 2 Seas: Circular Bio-based Construction Industry

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