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Circular Public Procurement in the Nordic Countries

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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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Future potential of different product groups

There are opportunities to promote the circular economy and new business openings in public procurement and investments. This study recognised this potential, especially in the procurement of buildings and infrastructure construction, waste water treatment and public services such as public transportation and waste management. These are also sectors with high annual procurement and investment volumes (Alhola et al., 2016; Alhola & Nissinen, 2015). In addition, the analysed cases imply that the potential for market creation and business for new products and materials exist in product groups such as textiles and furniture as well as in the utilisation of bio-based products. These views were supported by interviews with industry and business representatives in the fields of construction, waste and waste water management, textiles, furniture and food and catering, as well as with public procurers and persons who have a good insight into the strategy development in cities and municipalities.

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