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Creating demand through circular procurement

Today, almost half of our climate impact is linked to the way we extract resources and produce goods and food. We really need to rethink – and that’s fast. In order not to exhaust our planet’s resources while fuelling the climate crisis, we need to, among other things create large-scale demand for recycled materials.

21 Apr 2022

Since 2018, Ragn-Sells Sweden has actively worked to inspire Swedish municipalities to change the way they conduct their procurement to create large-scale demand for recycled materials.

- When more and more municipalities demand recycled material, new loops are established. Prioritising recycled products in their procurement is the fastest way to make society circular, says Linnéa Sellberg, Project leader and owner representative at Ragn-Sells.

So how do Ragn-Sells work to nudge the Swedish municipalities in the right direction?

For four years in a row the company has sent out a survey to all 290 municipalities where 200+ have responded each year. And the result has gone from 8 municipalities in 2018 saying that they give priority to recycled materials, to 25 in 2021 that confirm that this is something they prioritise in their procurement.

- Every year, Sweden’s 290 municipalities procure goods and services worth 350 billion SEK. That’s a tremendous amount of taxpayer money. So, what if we could turn this into a powerful tool for change, says Linnéa Sellberg.

By conducting this survey, Ragn-Sells has been able to get the topic of driving the demand for recycled products on the table on both a municipal and national politic level. With the survey as a base, they have also been able to identify municipalities that are actively driving these issues. To encourage and showcase these initiatives and use them as good examples for others to learn from, Ragn-Sells acknowledge municipalities who prioritise circularity by awarding them a Circular forerunner diploma.  

x1000w-HERO-HBG-GBG.png Gothenburg and the city of Helsingborg was rewarded this year's Circular forerunner diploma.

- This year's Circular Frontrunner diploma was awarded to two municipalities; the city of Gothenburg and the city of Helsingborg, which contribute to a more circular economy by setting requirements for circularity and reusing materials in procurement, says Linnéa Sellberg.

In 2021 the Swedish government launched their new action plan for circular economy where public procurement is highlighted as one of the most important tools for driving the demand for recycled materials, thus supporting the much-needed transition to a society based on circular economy.