Using innovation procurement and capacity building to promote Circular Economy

October 2017 -
March 2021

1. Innovation 1.3 Non-tech innovation

Circular PP

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.



Circular Economy

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.


Highlights by mid-term:

The partners collected and analysed 57 calls for tender from seven countries, and based on this created a baseline of circular procurement for the Baltic Sea region. The project also held state-of-the-art workshops designed to build capacity of project partners and establish a common understanding of circularity relevant across borders. Each pilot area made action plans for their potential pilots, detailing opportunities, challenges and implementation plans. Several awareness raising workshops, seminars and a master class (in cooperation with ECAP LIFE project) were organised across the Baltic Sea region to raise awareness of circular procurement among current procurers, while future procurers are targeted through lectures in Denmark, Latvia and Russia.

Increasing supplier awareness and understanding is also essential to successful circular procurement, and a 5-Step Plan on market dialogue has been developed. As part of this plan, Circular PP arranged a market engagement tour, awareness-raising workshop, and several meet-the-buyer meetings, such as at the FRUSH CE Event for Start-ups and Growth Enterprises in Kouvola, Finland. By now, the project has realised two pilot procurements.


€ 2.45
€ 1.80
Eni + Russia
€ 0.09
€ 0.00



Project manager

CIty of Aalborg (AAL)

Birgitte Krebs Schleemann

+45 25200798

Legal representative

City of Aalborg (AAL)

Jens Riise Dalgaard

+45 99312150

Financial manager

City of Aalborg

Birgitte Krebs Schleemann

+ 45 25200798

Communication manager

Rzeszow Regional Development Agency (RRDA)

Katarzyna Czop

48 17 86 76 237