Circular linen and work clothing

ZORG Leuven integrates circularity into framework agreement for linen and workwear

ZORG Leuven wants to focus even more on sustainable purchasing and innovation. Our ultimate goal is a purchasing strategy that generates as little waste as possible. We want to buy products with a long life span that are easy to recycle, and we want to opt for production that uses sustainable energy sources and raw materials that are extracted in an environmentally friendly and socially just manner.

During this project, we want to analyse how we can build circularity into our framework agreement for rental and maintenance of our business textiles. In concrete terms, this concerns flat linen and the working clothes of care providers, cleaners and logistics and technical employees, and the maintenance of the personal linen of care centre residents.

For this, we entered into a dialogue with the sector and our existing suppliers. After all, good cooperation throughout the chain is crucial to achieving good, circular solutions.

The study included an analysis of the purchasing procedure from the preparatory phase with market prospection, legality and feasibility assessment, preparation of the tender, evaluation of the applications and tenders and conformity assessment at start-up.

Zorgbedrijf Leuven

Partners OCMW Leuven, The Global Picture





  1. Our objectives were largely achieved: we analysed the chain, worked together with existing partners and investigated how we could stimulate circular innovation, while maintaining previously realised sustainability gains.
  2. The primary objectives of the purchase, such as a fair price and appropriate quality, were also maintained. The internal customers are offered at least an equal level of comfort. Our user panel was very satisfied with the quality of the chosen fabric.
  3. The project resulted in an applicable project plan for our purchasers with an appropriate purchasing strategy, a matrix of objectives and specifications and a well-tuned assessment method. This methodology is also applicable in other procurement procedures.
  4. In order to realise added value in a broader context, we have shared the knowledge and experience gained with, among others, the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities, the Flemish Association of Purchasing Managers in Care Institutions, the participants in the European project GPP4 Growth, etc.


  1. Good cooperation throughout the sector is crucial. The laundry and the landlord are important actors in the chain. Their purchasing strategy, business processes and sustainability policy have a major impact. In addition, innovation also comes from producers and processors. All these different angles were questioned during the survey.
  2. A more sustainable purchasing strategy requires pioneers who are open to change, also within the organisation. Management has an important role in this: by making their approval visible, they ensure empowerment throughout the company. And where willingness and enthusiasm are high, there are no obstacles, only challenges.