Modify current contracts, or adjust our ambitions? 

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Purchasing environmentally friendly products saves you having to balance out the impact on the environment afterwards. It also gives your suppliers an incentive to be innovative. That is the underlying vision of the Purchasing pillar within our sustainability programme.

This past year, sustainability has become a fundamental feature of a number of new and renewed contracts with ArenA suppliers. In 2013, we developed a structurally sustainable purchasing policy. From now on sustainability will be a key condition in all new and renewed contracts. A good example is the procurement of sustainable energy from Nuon.

In Dialogue

At a quick glance, purchasing sustainable products seems to be one of the quickest and easiest methods to work towards our own CO2 reduction goals. As is often the case, the reality can be more of a challenge. The ArenA generally has long-term contracts with suppliers, which cannot be unilaterally modified with other (more sustainable) delivery conditions. That is why we have started dialogues with our suppliers, to find a way to work together on making the procurement more sustainable within the current contracts. Sustainability is a fundamental feature of both new and renewed contracts.

Sustainability Dilemma

Don’t change the rules during the game

Can you modify a contract mid-term to make sustainability a more prominent aspect? Take the sale of organic fries and hamburgers during events, for instance. Hendrik Jan de Mari, Commercial Director Amsterdam ArenA, is clear about this: “Changing the rules during the game does not work. You have to pause the game first. But you can always work together to come to a mutual agreement.”

“If we want to make changes, our tenants, but also the catering company for example, have to agree to this,” De Mari continues. “It often comes down to a lot of lobbying and proving that it is in everybody’s interest to make the changes.”
An ArenA partner we are regularly in dialogue with is ID&T, the organiser of dance events like Sensation. A partner who is serious about corporate social responsibility. “Last year during Sensation, many organic products were offered, like organic fries, hamburgers and sandwiches. A win-win for everybody. However, these are quick wins; it is much harder to find organic soft drinks.”

A Complicated Puzzle

Implementing changes is a complicated puzzle, according to De Mari. “One of our tenants would prefer to replace bottled water with normal tap water from the ‘tap water dunes’ near Amsterdam.

In their opinion, the tap water is just as good. However, if we start serving tap water, we let down a major sponsor with whom we already have an agreement. You also have to consider how to compensate for the drop in bar sales. These are not simple challenges: if you move one piece of the puzzle, you have to adjust all the other pieces.”

Short-Term Contract Adaptability

When asked about the duration of the contracts with suppliers and tenants, De Mari answers: “We believe in long-term partnerships, but the duration of a contract should be limited to three or four years. That keeps you focused. In the past few years, insight into sustainability changed tremendously. Long-term contracts allow very little room to adapt to these changes.”

BAM Provides Sustainable Advice

BAM Provides Sustainable Advice

Since the construction of the ArenA in 1996, BAM Techniek has been responsible for the maintenance, modifications and renovations of all electrical and mechanical installations in the ArenA. Being the first Green Deal partner, BAM is committed to the ArenA’s sustainable objectives. Offering solicited and unsolicited advice on sustainability.

The contract with BAM, which was extended on 1 July 2013, contains a concrete sustainability clause. Every year, Green Deal partner BAM makes three feasible propositions to help the ArenA save energy. BAM also offers advice on improvements to the building management system. In particular the new main building, that has been in use since June 2013, will contribute towards significant energy savings in the coming years.

The contract is drawn up on the basis of eight KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and fits into the Amsterdam ArenA strategy to motivate partners to work on sustainability. To date, the cooperation has resulted in a list of 25 energy saving initiatives. BAM also has an important role in the research relating to the installation of solar panels on the roof of the ArenA.

Electrical Scooters and Hybrid Cars for ArenA Staff

Electrical Scooters and Hybrid Cars for ArenA Staff

Amsterdam ArenA not only encourages visitors to choose sustainable transport, but also its own staff. This policy is put into practice for instance by having the lease drivers switch to hybrid cars.

“For a number of years we have been exploring opportunities to make employee mobility more sustainable,” says Sandra van Kooten, HR Manager at the Amsterdam ArenA. “We have also had research done on the subject. The results showed that due to the flexible working hours, it is not practical to have everybody using public transport. Most staff members would have a much longer commuting time or could not combine it with their family commitments.”

Electric and Hybrid

Electric and hybrid transport offers more opportunities. “In a six month pilot we ran five electric scooters for commuting. Two staff members continued using their scooter after the pilot ended. In the area of car mobility, four of our six lease drivers have switched to hybrid cars. The parking deck of the ArenA features a number of charging points, where they can recharge their cars. We will increase the number of charging points shortly and aspire to take more concrete steps in the near future. To this end, we are keeping an eye on developments in sustainable mobility.”

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