Criteria for suppliers

What does becoming a supplier to NS involve and what is subsequently expected of my company?


We see suppliers as our partners; they play an essential role in achieving our objectives and in our innovation programmes, and help us make our services and products more sustainable. Consequently, we like to collaborate closely with our suppliers and challenge them to put forward innovative and sustainable solutions.

A new initiative

Defined processes are followed for different threshold amounts. More information on this topic can be found on the Collaboration page. Even if you propose an innovation opportunity on your own initiative, NS has a duty to invite competitors to tender for this innovation. Obviously, this only applies if the purchase price exceeds one of the threshold amounts. Please note that NS will invite tender submissions in relation to the innovation’s functionality in this case. This ensures that your idea is not disclosed to other parties in advance via the tender.


We feel it vitally important that suppliers embrace their responsibility in terms of sustainability. Consequently, we apply the principles of EcoVadis and NS Suppliers’ Code of Conduct in European Tenders.

  • EcoVadis

The supplier who is awarded the order/contract must undergo EcoVadis assessment, unless this requirement has already been satisfied during the previous year, prior to the Expression of Interest. Other than in cases where the latter exception applies, the Bidder for a European Tender must undergo EcoVadis assessment immediately after being awarded the order. The Bidder will inform NS of the outcome of this assessment, or in the case of an EcoVadis assessment that was performed during the year prior to the Expression of Interest, the outcome of that assessment (“Previous Assessment”).

The results will be discussed by NS and the Bidder in order to determine and agree whether and how the Bidder can improve its performance in the area of CSR. If the outcome of the assessment report is a score of 45 points or less, the Bidder must, within three months of completing the assessment, or, in the case of a Previous Assessment, after being awarded the order, draw up an improvement plan in order to mitigate identified risks or shortfalls for the purpose of achieving a score of the least 45 points in a later assessment. The costs of the assessment(s) and drawing up and implementing an improvement plan will be borne by the Bidder.

  • NS Suppliers’ Code of Conduct

We feel it important that you take note of the contents of the NS Suppliers’ Code of Conduct and act accordingly.