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Circular Public Procurement in the Nordic Countries

image of Circular Public Procurement in the Nordic Countries

This report provides a framework for circular procurement and discusses its possibilities to promote circular economy. Several best practice examples in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway illustrate how and in which sectors and product groups circular procurement could be applicable. Different approaches to circular procurement and tendering criteria supporting circular aspects are also illustrated.The study was carried out in Nordic cooperation by Finnish Environment Institute, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and Copenhagen Resource Institute. The project was financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM), administrated by the NCM Sustainable Consumption and Production Working Group and guided by a steering group consisting representatives from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

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Conclusions and the way forward

Circular public procurement is an element of green and/or sustainable public procurement with the objective of environmental improvements, value creation and social well-being. However, as a distinction from the concepts of green and sustainable public procurement, circular procurement focuses on closed material loops and value retention, i.e. remanufacturing and reusing products and materials several times in a circular manner without causing additional harmful impacts. Elements of circular procurement should not, however, compromise the overall goal of sustainable procurement. As an example, recyclability aims should not be regarded as more important than other sustainability aspects such as greenhouse gas emission targets, or make the life cycle-based price of the procurement non-competitive.

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