Exploring the use of circular public procurement to promote a circular economy

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Published Nov 16, 2018

Public procurement accounts for about one fifth of Swedish GDP and is thus a very powerful tool for helping to transform our society in a more sustainable direction.
A new project is being started on circular procurement with researchers from KTH and IVL. The project is funded by Formas and will focus on circular public procurement for three years with the aim to support further development of circular economy.

-Public procurement is one of the instruments that can affect the sustainability of organisations and suppliers, not only in Sweden, but also beyond our own borders. It offers great opportunities to influence suppliers and bidders to include both environmental aspects and social and economic sustainability throughout the life cycle" says Sofia Lingegård, project manager.

Often green public procurement GPP is related more to the environmental impact throughout the life cycle, while sustainabile public procurement SPP is often related to addressing the 3 pillars of sustainability. Despite the discrepancy, addressing procurement practices may be an effective approach to motivate greener production methods by orienting production and consumption trends to encourage demand for more sustainable products.

Circular Economy is receiving increasing attention as a means to overcome unsustainable production and consumption patterns, while allowing economic growth and efficient use of resources. In recent years, interest towards circular procurement (CPP), i.e. promoting circular economy through procurement has increased and the possibilities of public procurement to promote the transition to circular economy has been considered significant.

The overall aim of the project is to further promote the use of circular and bio-based public procurement in order to guide development for criteria and implementation. The specific objectives of this project to reach the aim include:

  • Synthesize the current knowledge on CPP in Sweden and internationally
  • Provide input for development and improvement of criteria for stakeholders.
  • Provide and construct guidelines to facilitate stakeholders to set appropriate and relevant criteria for CPP

Purpose of the project
The overall objective of the project is to describe what is meant by circular procurement, to compile the present situation and to propose appropriate types of procurement criteria to eventually stimulate and broaden the practical application of this procurement type.


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Last changed: Nov 16, 2018