16 February 2021

Learning by doing: lessons from circular procurement pilots out now

Over the past three years, public authorities in Denmark, Sweden and Latvia have piloted innovative new approaches to buying circular goods and services as part of the Circular PP project. Their experiences have been collected in a Lessons Learnt report, which provides a highly useful guide for any other public buyers interested in trying out circular procurement (a summary version is also available here). 

Overall, the pilots in Aalborg (Denmark), Malmö (Sweden), and Smiltene and Pļaviņas (Latvia) found that circular procurement requires time and engagement. Organisations are on different levels, and people are different in how they tackle new challenges and implement new behaviours. Circular procurement therefore needs to be anchored in the municipality (with mayoral or high-level support), and must take time to understand organisational needs. When trying circular procurement for the first time, it helps to test it in a tender which is likely to be a success. Market dialogue is crucial, as is wider focus on behaviour change, especially in the post-procurement phase. 

Several videos on the above pilots have also been prepared:

Circular PP ran between 2017 and the end of 2020, and was funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme.