Circular Procurement: the next steps

The first ever international congress on Circular Procurement concluded on 20-22 April 2016 in Amsterdam. Attended by 120 experts from The Netherlands and around the world, the purpose of the Congress was to profile examples of Circular Procurement, to share experiences and to discuss how Circular Procurement could become a standard practice globally.

Circular Procurement is a practice that encourages/requires purchasers of products or services to prefer those which are designed and made taking into account their full lifecycle impacts and also process arrangements to make sure that potential of reuse and recycling is realised. Most purchasing practices traditionally focus only on price, but ignore increasingly important information, such as how much greenhouse gas emissions a product creates, or whether it is made in ways that create unnecessary pollution or environmental damage. 

' By choosing products and materials that are energy and material efficient, and maximizing lifetime through repair, reuse before finally recycling, purchasers can both reduce costs and increase their contribution to sustainable development in a direct and practical way ', said Mervyn Jones of Sustainable Global Resources.

The Congress, convened by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment, concluded with a number of recommendations on why Circular Procurement was now the right purchasing approach for all government and private sector organizations.

'Only last year, all governments of the world agreed the Sustainable Development Goals. Achievement of these goals over the next 15 years will be critical to the maintenance of a safe and healthy planet and shared development', said Farid Yaker from UNEP. 'By creating larger markets for products designed and built to reduce their adverse environmental and social impacts, Circular Procurement can make a major contribution.'

'The case for Circular Procurement is even stronger in the EU', said François Wakenut.'The EU Commission's Action Plan to achieve a Circular Economy, published in 2015, aims at unlocking the potential of government purchasing power - estimated to represent at least 20% of GDP in industrialized countries - to promote innovation in technologies and systems that are more material-efficient and responsible. Circular Procurement can play a major role in achieving these goals.

Participants at the Congress welcomed the Dutch government initiative, noting that The Netherlands was among the world leaders in pioneering policies on green/sustainable business practices. 'Circular Procurement is probably one of the most cost effective ways of transitioning to a sustainable economy', said Mark Hidson of ICLEI. 'It offers not only the opportunity to reduce the cost of materials and energy used, and the often hidden cost of pollution, but also to stimulate new technologies and business models' he added.

The (video) report, presentations and photo’s are distributed trough this congress website, see the menu on the left.


Best Regards,

Circular Procurement Congress 

Media release CP Congress april 2016.pdf


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