On the 18th of January 2018, NEN and PIANOo have organised a roundtable to discuss how 'standards' can support bio-based public procurement. The event was organised as part of the InnProBio project.
Participants, mainly from national and local Dutch public authorities, were invited to share their knowledge, experiences and ideas on the topic. Different certification schemes were discussed and procurers concluded it should be up to the procuring entity to apply the most appropriate criteria, for example, based on percentage of bio-based content, sustainability of biomass, a product’s biodegradability.
Building on the Province of Zeeland’s experience of purchasing biobased products , particular attention was given to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Technical specifications, such as the EN 16785-1:2015, relating to methods for determining bio-based content and EN 16575, defining common terminology to biobased products. Participants felt these standards can help set up criteria for biobased products. On the other hand, some participants raised the issue of using these standards for new materials. They also raised that they find it challenging to apply existing standards and regulations to newly developed materials.
The results of the roundtable/dialogue will form part of the recommendations of the InnProBio project to the European commission to further stimulate bio-based procurement.