Putting circular public procurement into practice in Finland

Katarzyna Czop News

In September, around 20 representatives of procurers, suppliers and market actors as well as environmental experts gathered together in a seminar Circular Public Procurement in Practice in order to get better understanding of circular public procurement and circular business models, and how these concepts could be implemented into practice. In addition, 40 participants followed the seminar online.

The day was packed with full of information about circular public procurement and examples on how circular procurement could follow the principles of circular economy. Everything from “what is circular public procurement”, to concrete examples was in the agenda. Ms Emma Börjesson presented a practical example on how Malmö city succeeded to buy circular in their furniture procurement. Emma’s presentation was followed by Mr Alberto Huerta Morales from Aalborg University about circular business models. The seminar reached its low carbon target also as the international speakers gave their presentations remotely.

Foto: Katriina Alhola

In the afternoon session, a panel consisting of three procurers and three suppliers highlighted practical points on how to implement circular targets into public tendering process. In the panel, procurers had a chance to challenge their procurement needs from circular point of view. Several concrete examples were discussed in the panel, focusing on finding procurement opportunities for circularity of textiles, furniture and nutrients. Special focus was on implementing circular criteria in the tendering process, impacts of circular procurement and market readiness for circular solutions. Suppliers highlighted the importance of market dialogue and market readiness; circular solutions cannot necessarily be bought from the shelf but they must be created. They also encouraged procurers to demand circular elements and award circular criteria instead of just placing expectations in the tender documents. For example, circular textile procurement was realized in Finland due to the procurer giving 10 award points for tenders that could offer recyclability of textiles during their lifecycle.

Participants of the seminar left with ideas on circular procurement, circular solutions and new way of thinking. The seminar got positive feedback and the importance of the topic was expressed. The event was organized by CircularPP –project and marketed via Finnish KEINO Competence center for sustainable and innovative public procurement. The seminar was led by Senior Coordinator Hanna Salmenperä from Finnish Environment Institute, and the panel session by Senior Communications Specialist Pasi Nokelainen from Kaskas Media Ltd.

To see the seminar click hear