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Public procurement as a catalyst for circular economy

Public procurement generates almost a fifth of Swedish GDP and is thus a powerful tool for turning our society in a more sustainable direction. Researchers from KTH and IVL The Swedish Environmental Institute will in a three-year project investigate how a more circular public procurement can support and drive the development of circular economy.

Public procurement as a means of control can affect the sustainability work of organizations and tenderers, not only in Sweden but also abroad. It provides great opportunities to influence suppliers and bidders to include environmental aspects as well as social and economic sustainability.

There are different ways to influence public production. Green procurement, which is related to environmental issues, and sustainable procurement, which contains the three dimensions of sustainability; environmental, social and economic. Despite a lot of difficulties in setting requirements and follow-up, public procurement is a great opportunity to influence the development of society in general.

The overall purpose of the project is to describe what is meant by circular procurement, compile the current situation and propose and evaluate appropriate types of procurement criteria in order to stimulate and broaden the practical application of this type of procurement in the long term.

Project facts

  • Exploration of circular public procurement as a catalyst for circular economy
  • Budget: 4.2 MSEK
  • Financed by: Formas
  • Partners: KTH- Bygg- och fastighetsekonomi
  • Period: 2018 - 2022


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