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What Is Circular Procurement?

A Circular Economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make the product, use the product, dispose). This is an approach that we will all have to adopt if we are to maintain our lifestyles as they are now.

Resources are running out.

Our life support system (Planet Earth) is struggling to cope with the demand of our current model of consumption.

What if we could carry on consuming but did it in a much more effective manner recirculating the resources we have already extracted and powering the whole system with Renewable Energy?

In a circular economy we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life- where there are

  • No negative effects of production on the environment or people
  • No waste
  • Powered by renewable energy

The procurement profession is the number one enabler of the Circular Economy

Circular procurement stimulates demand for services and goods which deliver a circular economy.

The procurement professional seeking circular procurement will procure goods which are either provided as a service or designed for long life with upgrades and maintenance integrated as part of the contract.

They will also consider reuse, repair, refurbish, remanufacture of products already procured and to be procured.

Our service here at Warp It, is a circular economy service – extending the lifespan of goods and products by creating a platform to reuse and repair existing assets.

The hook for procurement professionals is that this will reduce procurement demand. See here for 6 golden effects of reuse for procurement pros.

We provide a marketplace so that you can redistribute assets (supplies, furniture and equipment) that have come to the end of their first life onto a 2nd life to reduce primary procurement- in the same organisation or within partner organisations.

Take home message

  1. The procurement sector is the number one enabler of the Circular Economy
  2. As a procurement pro you should seek to extend the lifespan of procured assets (which will become known as Legacy Assets after the shift)  via
  3. You should seek to procure goods which are
    • Rented
    • On a lease model
    • Designed to be upgraded throughout their life
    • Designed for disassembly or reuse at the end of their first life

Case study

You can read some great interviews with innovative procurement pros just like you.

1) NHS Tayside – Interview

‘Is reuse procurement’s problem? In this session we talk to Andy Hay who has led the charge on bringing circular procurement to NHS Tayside.

2) NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – Interview

We interviewed Elaine Gray, Purchasing Lead at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. She is saving spend by extending the life of existing assets via refurbishment and reuse.

3) Heriot Watt – Interview

We talked procurement with Kirsty Hughes from Heriot Watt University, and we uncovered some really interesting ideas about the role of refurbishment in procurement.

What now? Fifteen easy actions

An easy win to start to circular procurement is to stimulate reuse in your organisation.

Download our guide. 15 things the procurement department can do to stimulate reuse.

This article was initially published on Warp It

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