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Knowledge category: Tools and methods

Circular Procurement in 8 Steps

Updated on 09.12.2022

Increasingly, circular procurement is seen as a way to promote a circular economy. This book provides a practical approach to integrating circular economy principles into the procurement process. Starting with the question 'circular procurement: why and what?’, it follows steps including internal collaboration, procurement procedures, criteria development and contract management.

Author: Cécile van Oppen, Godard Croon, Dirk Bijl de Vroe
Year of update: 2018

More information

In this book, the authors refer to procurement in its broadest sense, neither limiting it to the moment of purchase itself (i.e. the transaction), nor to the moment at which demand is specified. Procurement starts when one initially formulates their needs and ends when the product in question is reused or its components or materials are given a new application.


Procurement is the process in which:
 

  1. The client formulates a functional demand for the realisation of a project or the delivery of a product or a service.
  2. The client and supplier collaborate to fulfil the demand.
  3. The supplier provides the product, project or service for a specified contract term, based on agreed upon conditions.
  4. The product is given a new purpose following its operational life. For circular procurement processes, a new application for the product is determined, potentially with a secondary value chain according to agreements made up front.


The book details the following eight steps towards implementing circular procurement: circular procurement (why and what); internal organisation and alignment; formulating your question; collaboration; tendering procedure; measuring and assessing circularity; securing circularity; managing circular contracts.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

This book provides a practical approach to combining the procurement process with principles that are typically used in a circular economy. It explains why circularity is needed, then focuses on collaboration between stakeholders, different procedures in the procurement process, criteria for development, and contract management.
 

The book is relevant for cities and regions that aim to develop their procurement processes with the aim to move towards a circular economy. Furthermore, circular public procurement can be a powerful tool to support and promote the adoption of a Circular Systemic Solution among different stakeholders in local systems.

How to use this tool or method

This guide can be used by cities, regions and organisations to achieve a practical approach to implementing circular procurement principles. The reader can follow the steps in the book in a linear order or jump directly to the steps they are most interested in.This guide can be used by cities, regions and organisations to achieve a practical approach to implementing circular procurement principles. The reader can follow the steps in the book in a linear order or jump directly to the steps they are most interested in.

Type of tool or method

Circular economy procurement

Impacts

Environmental pollution and land use

Increased recycling rates

Dematerialisation

Stakeholder and citizens mobilisation, engagement and participation

Material savings

Innovation

Competitiveness and innovation

Social aspects

Training/reskilling/capacity building, including vocational education and training, continuous training

e.g. for public administrations, SMEs, start-up

Awareness raising and education

all actors

Stakeholder mobilisation

including citizens

Stakeholder participation

including citizens

Behavioural changes

Employment policies

analysis of future skills needs, alignment with social partners