On Thursday, 13th September, 130 people participated in a large meeting of circular economy stakeholders organised by the Municipality of Aalborg; North Denmark EU Office (EENA) and Networks for Sustainable Business Development North Denmark (NBE) – a private-public partnership where companies can strengthen their competitiveness by combining business development and environmental improvements.
At the meeting, the Circular PP project and Aalborg Municipality’s two future circular tenders on playgrounds and lifetime extension of ICT were presented. The upcoming tenders are a part of our 7-step plan, which operate with increasing market involvement and reaching a large proportion of relevant SMEs. This event was the first step in the plan.
The event was part of Aalborg Municipality’s Sustainability Festival, focused on sustainable initiatives taking place around the city in the field of environmental and social responsibility. The initiatives are drawing attention to the many sustainability initiatives that already exist, as well as inspiring more future sustainable behavior. This year, there was an extra focus on the UN’s 17 Worldwide Sustainable Development Objectives, and Goal 12 on Responsible Use and Production is particularly relevant to the ambitions of the Circular PP project. Participants included, several different companies, politicians and municipal staff, all of whom share a common interest in working with the Municipality of Aalborg on ideas about future procurement, experiences with the circular range of learning environments, gaining inspiration from other circular and sustainable companies, and getting new ideas for working towards a circular economy.
There was an exchange of experience and evaluation of the municipality’s tender of learning environments in an interview with owner Jens Højer from Højer Furniture and Project Manager Birgitte Krebs Schleemann from Aalborg Municipality, about the tender which won the award for Best Offer 2017. In Michael Aastrup’s presentation, Global Account Director from Tarkett, there was focus on the circular economy as a business model, and he reported, among other things, about Tarkett’s goal of no waste by 2020. Kurt Nedergaard, Director of CSR & Quality QEP Master from Gabriel A/S gave practical advice in relation to the transformation of circular economics, the use of environmental labels and their experiences with professional standards in their strategies. Rikke Fischer-Bogason senior consultant from PlanMiljø gave a boost with questions like: Who should drive the market? Who takes the lead in the circular transformation? And, where does the public have a large amount of purchasing power? There was also a lively panel debate on circular topics such as how can public and private cooperation create circular economics. There were lots of questions from and debate with the floor about the question of how to ensure that the municipality’s procurement practices effectively promote the circular economy. See the networking live stream here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kbTim8_7FQ&feature=share
Watch a 4 min movie about Aalborg’s Sustainability Festival: