Define criteria for circularity
Once the specifications are clear, the value chain has been made transparent and the procedure has been selected, you can formulate your criteria for circularity. In case there is a selection stage, these criteria are applied at supplier level. For the award stage these criteria are applied at proposal level. These criteria for circularity apply in addition to award criteria based on other relevant (sustainability) topics. However, you must make sure that your criteria have a clear focus: using too many different criteria makes it harder for parties to make a difference.
Determine what makes a particular party the best possible supplier for you (in case there is a selection stage) and what would be the best possible proposal for you. Use the outcomes to define your requirements and criteria for the selection stage (if there is one) and the award stage. Try to measure (quantitative) as well as evaluate (qualitative) circularity. There are several methodologies you can use to measure circularity.
Make sure you maintain the right price to quality ratio when you define your criteria. You should aim for a ratio of 10-30% price versus 70-90% quality. This allows market players to distinguish themselves in terms of quality, which includes circular ambitions. You could consider setting a ceiling price and maybe a floor price.
Desirable price to quality ratio. Source: PHI Factory (2017) Preliminary study circular procurement criteria
- Give sufficient weight to quality in the price to quality ratio.
- Use criteria relating to circularity in both the selection stage and the award stage.
- Make sure to define clearly targeted criteria to ensure market players can distinguish themselves.
- Use a measuring method that has been agreed with market players in that sector. Validate this with a market consultation.
The Municipality of Wageningen has applied the Rendemint PRP tool to a proportion of its procurement projects. This tool helps them evaluate the level of circularity.
The province of Zuid-Holland used circular procurement for their office furniture. One of the main principles in the new contract is to maximise the reuse of existing furniture.
In the action plan for Sustainable Procurement the municipality of Utrecht names the public space as a promising product group that warrants extra focus on the procurement objectives. For the Dichterswijk Bus Lane project this is reflected in a DuboCalc calculation and the award criterion ‘circular opportunities’.
The Dutch Rijn en IJssel Water Authority has built an installation for the production of Kaumera in Zutphen. Kaumera is a new biological raw material produced from sludge granules. The new building must support the circular aspect of the process: transforming waste into raw material.
The MVIcriteria.nl/en website offers standard criteria for sustainable procurement of various product groups, at different levels.
Step 6 from the eBook Circular Procurement in 8 Steps (p.94-111) provides background information on defining selection and award criteria related to circularity.