Circular Procurement: First working group meeting

In May NewForesight presented a concise definition, possible criteria for implementing circular procurement and ways to measure its impact to the working group Circular Procurement Utrecht.

Procurement officers from the municipalities of Amersfoort, Utrecht and Woerden and the province of Utrecht were given orientations to realize circular procurement trajectories. The orientations were received with great enthusiasm, since they offer a first concrete framework for implementation. Earlier this year the municipalities and province committed themselves to applying circular procurement to at least 10% of the total procurement budget of one billion euros in 2020.

The essence of circular procurement is that the buyer only purchases products or services that follow the principles of the circular economy. In short that means that there are no negative side effects of production. Waste does not exist, a product or its elements are completely compostable or re-used, and toxic materials are eliminated. The energy for production comes from renewable sources. As opposed to the linear system, the circular economy is meant to maximize the recycling of products and raw materials, and to minimize value destruction.

Currently concrete pilots are being implemented by the municipalities and the province. These experiences will serve to further develop the practice of circular procurement. Also, a framework for measuring the impact of circular procurement is under development by the Utrecht Sustainability Institute (USI). The first findings will be presented to the market and science on the 24th of June.

This regional trajectory, initiated by the Economic Board Utrecht (EBU), serves as a practical implementation of the national Green Deal Circular Procurement. By facilitating this process NewForesight has given a boost to further development of circular procurement.  The next step is an alignment with national initiatives to enter a second phase of a market transformation towards a circular economy through circular procurement.