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Knowledge category: Papers and reports

Public procurement for a circular economy. Good practice and guidance

Updated on 26.06.2023

To support public purchasers to leverage support for a transition to a circular economy, in October 2017 the European Commission published 'Public procurement for a circular economy'. This brochure contains a range of good practice case studies as well as guidance on integrating circular economy principles into procurement.

Author: European Commission
Year of publication: 2017

More information

Circular procurement sets out an approach to green public procurement, which pays special attention to the ‘purchase of works, goods or services that seek to contribute to the closed energy and material loops within supply chains, whilst minimising, and in the best case avoiding, negative environmental impacts and waste creation across the whole life-cycle.’ Circular procurement approaches have the potential to deliver multiple benefits. For example, as well as allowing purchasers to focus on need fulfilment and consider lifetime costs with potential for savings, circular procurement also provides a framework for more holistic consideration of environmental impacts and waste creation across the whole life-cycle of goods and services.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

The report provides practical approaches to embed circularity into the procurement process. First, the report provides models for different types of levels in circular procurement such as system level, supplier level and product level. Second, the report provides an overview of what policies should contain. Furthermore, the report provides the critical points that should be considered in a procurement process and what kind of circular procurement principles and practices make sense. Also, when a tender is being designed the report provides ideas on what should be taken into account. The report contains practical examples and case studies from European cities. These practical approaches can act as an inspiration for public authorities to address current barriers in public procurement and use it as a tool to further advance the uptake of local Circular Systemic Solutions.


CEAP2 key product value chain

CEAP2 key product value chain

CEAP2 key product value chain

CEAP2 key product value chain

built environment, CEAP2 key product value chain

CEAP2 key product value chain

CEAP2 key product value chain

CEAP2 key product value chain

e.g. chemicals, cosmetics, bio-based industries

e.g. electrical engineering, furniture and interior, textile and fashion

e.g. B2B services

e.g. healthcare

including bio-based economy

e.g. re-use of public spaces and facilities in urban areas

digital tools facilitating CE transition

Territories involved

large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000

large metropolitan area >1.5 million, metropolitan area 1.5 million-500 000

predominantly urban regions, intermediate and predominantly rural regions, refer to TERCET typology NUTS 3 region