The power of public procurement in the transition to a circular economy

Ashleigh McLennan, Sustainable procurement and economy officer at ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives)

Birgitte Krebs Schleemann, Marketing manager for green transition at DGE and former project manager in the City of Aalborg

The City of Aalborg in Denmark is home to around 207,000 inhabitants, making it the fourth largest city in Denmark. Aalborg has been committed to improving the sustainability of their municipality for over two decades, and for the past three years, Aalborg has been developing its use of procurement as a tool for developing innovative circular solutions which meet the city’s needs.

This article presents an overview of two pilot public procurements conducted by the City of Aalborg which have each challenged current working practices, and led to new understandings of how to meet workers’ and citizens’ needs, in ways which are both cost effective and sustainable in the long-term.