Measuring the effectiveness of circular procurement

Working in collaboration with TNO and CE Delft, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environ­ment (RIVM) has developed a method for establishing the potential and actual effectiveness of ‘circular procurement’. The method was trialled on two product groups: roads and office furniture, in 2017 and 2018. The trial showed that with these two product groups circular procurement is often already being done, but not yet as effectively as possible. The potential impact of circular procurement is far greater than achieved in 2017 and 2018. First, because not all the circular procurement methods employed were equally effective, and second because many such methods are still at the development stage. In the latter case the shortfall is thus due more to organisational issues than to actual technical potential.

Circular procurement of roads and office furniture in 2017 and 2018 led to savings of almost 300,000 tonnes of materials and avoided 27,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis method proved successful and will be applied to six other product groups in 2020, so the results of eight product groups in all can be included in the Environmental Assessment Agency’s National Circular Economy Report.



M.C. Zijp, E. Dekker, A. Hollander A.R. van Bruggen (RIVM)

M. Hauck (TNO)