Circular Procurement

Circular Procurement

Public Procurement is the process used by public authorities – including government departments and local authorities - to buy goods, services, and construction works.  It is governed by rules set at the European and national level which aim to ensure fair competition for public contracts and transparency in the use of public funds. In order to buy circular goods and services – and achieve all their related environmental, social and economic benefits – public buyers need to adopt new procurement processes which still follow procurement rules. This is where Circular Public Procurement comes in!

Implementing Circular Procurement

While traditionally procurement focuses on the ‘point of purchase’ - meaning it defines exactly what it wants to buy, and then selects a supplier based on price - circular procurement invites public buyers to take a more radical rethink of their options. Some questions can include:

  • Regenerate: can public procurement be used to restore, preserve and enhance ecosystems? Is there a natural solution to urban challenges such as flooding and overheating? Can the food we buy or the maintenance services we use protect and enhance biodiversity?
  • Rethink: the way we live and work is always evolving, and new opportunities - such as products-as-a-service or shared-ownership platforms – are increasingly available. Are there new solutions which meet our needs better while also reducing our research consumption?
  • Reuse: do we already own assets which can help meet our needs? How can we reuse, refresh and repair these in a way which extends their useful life?
  • Reduce: how can we prevent what we buy today from becoming tomorrow’s waste? What design choices need to be made in order to ensure long-lasting products with reduced material and energy consumption?
  • Recover: how can we better capture valuable nutrient and material resources from our municipal waste streams? How can we ensure that valuable resources are redirected into the production process?

If you want to get started with circular procurement, you can become a CityLoops Replicator, or get in touch with the partners ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability and The Dutch Ministry of Instrastructure and Water Management.

Find key resources about circular procurement on our Resources page.

Circular Procurement in CityLoops

Circular procurement experts Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) and ICLEI are helping each city identify how and which procurement activities could be used to strategically support CityLoops demonstration actions. Over the course of CityLoops, a series of activities will be undertaken to promote and support circular procurement implementation at the city level. Cities define how circular procurement can support their ambitions in becoming circular, this includes guidelines on including circular procurement in the CDW and and biowaste sectors.