Wageningen University: Material Flow Management: a different view on resources and waste collection

With an innovative tender for Material Flow Management, Wageningen University & Research is taking the next step towards circular operational management. As experts in the field of circularity, the new partner will help WUR find solutions to give concrete form to circular ideas in general and waste policy in particular. The tender started on Monday 22 March.

What is Material Flow Management?
WUR aims to halve the use of resources in its own operational management by 2030 compared to 2014. Achieving this ambition requires a new perspective on how to deal with waste and raw materials. A perspective that not only pays attention to the end-of-life phase of products and materials, but that focuses on the entire life cycle and the entire chain. WUR wants to broaden waste management to Material Flow Management for this purpose. In addition to the existing waste monitoring, the usage of resources will also be monitored intensively. By getting a grip on the resources that flow into the organization through purchasing, the outflow of resources (waste) can be made more sustainable by reuse, refurbishment or recycling.

Innovative tender: working together in partnership
Traditional collaborations with suppliers are aimed at having them carry out a predefined assignment on the basis of previously agreed conditions.

But this form of collaboration is not suitable for the implementation of Material Flow Management. This is a complex task, which is not yet common in the Netherlands (nor worldwide) and for which there are no ready-made solutions. There will have to be a flexible response to changing circumstances. WUR cannot do this on its own and therefore requires external expertise. WUR is therefore looking for a partner who will shape this new perspective together with it. A partner who, with knowledge of the market and the subject matter, is able to act as a reliable advisor, can use its network in the circularity market and participate in projects that contribute to the realization of our ambition. This Material Flow Manager is also asked to take over the services of the current waste collectors and processors, possibly in collaboration with other organizations. This means that we do not specify our precise requirements in the tender, but that we create a vision with ambition, which we want to work towards in mutual cooperation within the set timeframe.

The partnership will start from 1 January 2022. Plenty of time will be taken for the tendering procedure, due to the innovative way of tendering and the importance we attach to finding the right partner. A partner with a vision and an approach that matches WUR’s ambitions.

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