On 2-3 September, the Baltic Circular Procurement Congress took place during which the following was highlighted the leading role of public procurers in driving forward the movement towards circular economies.
Over the past three years, public authorities in Denmark, Sweden and Latvia have been piloting innovative new approaches to buying circular goods and services as part of the Circular PP project. These pilot activities have pushed boundaries, and formed the heart of the Baltic Circular Procurement Congress, which gathered together procurers, experts, and innovative businesses from across the world for two days of online exchange.
The two day event attracted 418 delegates from 14 nations to watch 12 speakers and attend 19 workshops, 7 country rooms, 14 Expo Booths and 4 study visits.
Renowned expert Walter Stahel, Founder and Director of the Product Life Institute and ‘founding father’ of the circular economy movement, opened the Congress with a clear call to action: “The importance of public procurement comes from the fact that in industrialised countries, approximately one third of GDP is directly influenced by public procurement and by public subsidies. Public procurement can thus pull the market into a desired direction… We the people – and that includes public procurement authorities – are the circular economy. We are in the driver seat to make it happen!”
As Congress organiser Emile Bruls, Circular from Dutch Government Agency Rijkswaterstaat, remarked: “Only by practicing, cooperation and sharing insights can we make steps forward in circular procurement.”
The lessons learned from the Circular PP project have made into a short Lessons Learnt leaflet.