🏢 Circular public procurement for new buildings and infrastructure - Knowledge Hub | Circle Economy Foundation
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🏢 Circular public procurement for new buildings and infrastructure

Cities can directly support the transition towards a circular economy and emission reduction targets by leading by example through their public procurement activities. This is especially true regarding the built environment, as cities manage a sizable portfolio of buildings and infrastructure. Through procurement, local governments can help to develop the market for circular products and services, including circular materials as well as product-as-a-service or leasing models for building components (such as flooring, elevators and lighting). They can also manage the existing and future building stock in a way that contributes to closed energy and material loops within supply chains, whilst minimising—and ideally avoiding—GHG emissions across the entire life-cycle of procured construction materials and activities.

Local governments have several levers at their disposal: investing in renovation and maintenance work, retrofitting and repurposing (if necessary) existing building stock to avoid new construction, and specifying circular criteria in public tenders for the design, construction and management of buildings. These criteria could, for instance, include mandatory requirements for the use of secondary or bio-based materials in new development projects, or specify design for adaptability, deconstruction and reuse. Additionally, the uptake of ‘green contracts’—agreements that require the contractor to develop and implement a site management plan and favour certain types of resources—can also stimulate circular operations by integrating circularity in the legal relationship between building owners, operators and users. Furthermore, to increase the use of secondary materials, local governments can deploy staging areas, in which recovered construction waste can be temporarily stored for reuse.

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