Circular Procurement of Vehicles

Vehicles have significant environmental impacts, both through emissions and production of fuel and vehicles themselves. Electric, natural gas and hydrogen vehicles improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions and noise in the short term. Car industry causes 10% of industrial emissions; decarbonisation is crucial for Paris agreement. Electrification is step, but not only path to decarbonisation. Circular approach, including sharing, smart charging, refurbishment, reuse and recycling, reduces environmental impact and costs. Discover practical tools and examples for circular vehicle procurement here.

Circular strategies Vehicles

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  • Leasing and part programmes: Consider using leasing or sub-programmes for vehicles. This maximises vehicle utilisation and reduces the overall demand for new vehicles and their associated non-renewable inputs. In doing so, ensure a good reservation and monitoring system. Consider public transport and eco-driving training for fuel savings.
  • Regular maintenance and repair can extend the life of vehicles. Invest in electric driving for less usage impact. Discarded batteries can be given second life. 
  • Reuse: Take responsibility after end of use. If cars that no longer meet LEZ standards are put on the second-hand market, the negative impact of emissions remains. This is where better efforts are made to reuse parts and recycle materials. For example, when leasing, ask for transparency on what happens to vehicles or parts (such as tyres) after the leasing period.

  • Reusable and refurbished parts: Opt for vehicles that use reusable and refurbished parts. This reduces the need for new parts sourced from non-renewable sources
  • Remanufacturing: Consider vehicles built on the remanufacturing principle. In remanufacturing, used parts are reconditioned to near-new condition, which both minimises waste and reduces the need for new parts.
  • Recycled materials: Opt for vehicles that use recycled materials instead of non-renewable raw materials. This reduces direct reliance on virgin new materials.

  • Modular designs: Go for vehicles with modular designs so that specific parts can be easily replaced without replacing the whole vehicle. This extends the life of the vehicle and reduces the need for new production.
  • Increase warranties: contractually increasing warranties for used vehicles and parts will boost the second-hand market which will have a positive impact on quality. 
  • Repairability and maintainability: instead of traditional methods such as welding and gluing, attention is paid to designing vehicles in a way that makes repairs and maintenance easier. A concrete example is the use of fasteners such as screws or bolts instead of permanent locking methods.

  • Standardised design: Standardised design, especially with regard to batteries in vehicles, can offer significant benefits within a circular approach. When batteries are standardised, it means they have a uniform format and specifications that are widely accepted.

  • Contractual take-back and reuse commitments: for example, requiring in the contract that the supplier take back the vehicles at the end of their useful life ensures that the vehicles are disposed of in a responsible and sustainable manner. This inclusion of take-back obligations can encourage suppliers to invest in developing effective methods for reuse, recycling and waste reduction.

Project vans in focus