Using innovation procurement and capacity building to promote Circular Economy
A traditional procurement model does not consider re-use or recycling of purchased goods or services. The project promotes a circular procurement model, which takes into account the lifecycle of products throughout the supply chain. The development of tools, exchange of best practices, training and building capacity among procurers, suppliers and policy makers for circular products stimulates the development of new business models.
Throughout its evolution, our industrial economy has never moved beyond one fundamental characteristic: a linear model of resource consumption that follows a ‘take-make-dispose’ pattern. Companies extract materials, apply energy and labour to manufacture a product and sell it to a consumer—who then discards it when it no longer serves its purpose. A circular economy approach is an alternative to this model, which aims to keep products and materials in the value chain for a longer period and to recover raw materials after the lifetime of the products for their next use. One of the key observations from the growing European work on circular economy is the gap between opportunities identified at transnational and national level and common practice in public institutions.
The project’s approach
Circular PP improves the current knowledge on what is needed to encourage a higher uptake of circular procurement among public institutions. The main focus of this project is to use public procurement in the Baltic Sea region as a catalyst to enhance the market uptake of innovative circular products and services. To this end, the project builds capacity among all stakeholders of the value chain, namely procurers, suppliers and policy makers, and introduces the principles of circular economy thinking in calls for tenders in a close feedback dialog with small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The project team follows a four steps approach:
- Research the state of the art in circular procurement and its improvement potentials
- Build capacity on circular procurement among public procurers, SMEs, policy and decision makers;
- Deliver pilot circular procurements and practical capacity building material (e.g. training, guidance, future recommendations, etc.)
- Disseminate the project outcomes among public procurers and SMEs across Europe
Five pilot procurements are conducted throughout the project: two by the city of Aalborg, one by the city of Malmo and two by Latvian municipalities supported by the Latvian Environmental Investment Fund.