What is circular procurement?

Circular procurement is an important tool in the pursuit of a circular economy. Within it, you repurpose products, components and materials in the best way possible. As a result, they retain their value in closed cycles.

The circular economy is important as high-value raw materials are becoming increasingly scarce and will eventually become depleted. As such, it’s important to minimise use of raw materials, and make products and materials more reusable. 

In circular procurement, an organisation focuses on optimising the flow of raw materials. There are three ways of doing this:

  • Reducing: reducing the use of primary resources by using less material or by choosing secondary or bio-based materials
  • Extending: extending the service life of products and components, e.g. through maintenance or reusing products and/or components
  • Closing: closing material flows by repeatedly reusing materials to prevent them from being disposed of as waste

This all contributes to the lowest possible impact on the environment.

There are two types of circularity:

  • Accomplished circularity: using products or materials that are already used
  • Potential circularity: using new products that are easily reusable in the future

Buy now, with agreements for later

Solid agreements are very important in circular procurement. Being circular is not just about a one-off purchase now, but about commitments for the future as well. Consider agreements on maintenance, returns and return value. These are essential to creating a true circle – one that does not stop the moment you purchase.

Not only for purchasers

Circular procurement is a process that affects various people in the organisation. It is definitely not just a matter of purchasers! A better description might, therefore, be circular commissioning. Click one of the buttons below to discover what your role is in this process.

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