New Report on Circular Procurement in public construction projects shows how targeted action can drive system-level impact

Public procurement affects a substantial share of world trade, amounting to more than €1.3 trillion per year. In the EU, the public purchase of goods and services has been estimated to be worth 16% of GDP. This makes public procurement an ideal tool to create more opportunities for low-CO2, circular products, and cities have here a key role to play.

The new Circular Cities report was published today on the occasion of the World Circular Economy Forum taking place in Helsinki, a city that has pledged to integrate sustainability in 100% of its procurement processes by 2020. The White Paper recognises the important role that public authorities play in the transition to a circular economy and points that circular procurement specific focusing on construction project can be the instrument to address the increasing challenge that cities face regarding their resources.

“The public sector in general is uniquely positioned to take the required long-term perspective when setting ambitious goals and driving positive change for local economies, with city officials and policy makers positioned as key actors” explains Peter Vangsbo, Circular Cities Lead and Nordic Business Developer at the EIT Climate-KIC.

The European Commission acknowledges green and circular public procurement as a driver of the transition towards a circular economy and sustainable development. In particular, the EU Action Plan for a Circular Economy sets an agenda for action to integrate the principles of circularity within Member States and at local level, notably through circular procurement. As the report points out, this is an incentive for public buyers to take a more holistic approach to sustainability: enabling them to drive the decarbonation of entire economic sectors and large purchase areas rather than smaller, point-based greening efforts.

Finally, the report also analyses the potential for an economic domino effect: if cities increase their demand for circular solutions, it becomes more attractive for designers and producers to offer circular products and services. 

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Location
Finland
Related Goal
Goal 7: Build circular material flows
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