Harnessing Procurement to Deliver Circular Economy Benefits
The importance of circular procurement in delivering circular economy benefits has been highlighted by a recommendations report from REBus, published today. Between 2000 and 2016, resource efficiency in the EU grew by 41%. Whilst this is encouraging, the growing economic and environmental case for improving resource efficiency means action must accelerate. Leading by example in harnessing the power of public procurement across Europe is vital in building momentum. This is particularly the case in increasing the competitiveness of the European economy, supporting the creation of good quality jobs and delivering on important global environmental commitments. (December 2017)
Recommendations to European Member states for stimulating circular procurement have been published today in a short report. This was presented in Brussels alongside the Aldersgate Group meeting Beyond The Circular Economy Package: Priorities for the EU.
The report highlights the main lessons and recommendations for initiating circular procurement:
- Initiatives, like the Green Deals on Circular Procurement in the Netherlands and Belgium, provide useful frameworks for scaling up from pilots, encourage the development of circular products, building momentum and creating lasting impacts.
- Collaboration with markets and suppliers is essential to delivering circular economy benefits through procurement. Strategic category planning helps facilitate this.
- Circular procurement is a demonstrable way of leading by example and encouraging the provision of more circular goods and services from suppliers.
Capacity building, knowledge sharing and training in more circular procurement principles are also important in ensuring circular polices are delivered successfully through procurement.
From left to right: Joan Prummel (Strategic Advisor Circular Procurement at the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat), Mr Jyrki Katainen (European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness) and Cuno van Geet (Senior advisor Resource Efficiency, Rijkswaterstaat).
No reason not to start
Joan Prummel, Strategic Advisor Circular Procurement at the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat says: "Public procurement is about stimulating networks and engaging markets to change. Responsibility also sits with public bodies, practice what you preach. There's no reason not to start circularity tomorrow in your organisation."
To date, REBus, an EU Life+ funded partnership project*, has published 10 case studies from organisations in the Netherlands showcasing pilots for circular procurement that have transformed their purchasing strategies to profitable, resilient and more resource efficient business models (REBMs). Along with pilots in UK delivered through WRAP, a REBus project partner, the data from the REBus pilot companies has been extrapolated to EU level and suggests an expansion in REBMs could offer the potential to create up to 3 million jobs in Europe, generate up to €324 billion in additional GVA, reduce raw material demand (excluding fossil fuels and energy carriers) by 70Mt to 184Mt, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80Mt CO2eq to 154Mt CO2eq.
The main recommendations from the Dutch pilots have also been brought together in four sector reports across textiles, ICT, furniture and construction. You can also read sector reports and the pilot case studies on the REBus website and on the PIANOo Netherlands procurement website.
More information: Sector reports en case studies