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Procuring a More Circular Future – Event Highlights Economic Opportunity for Scotland

Procurement will be a key tool to help shape a more circular economy in Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland stressed today at Procurex, Scotland’s national procurement conference.

25 Oct 17

The expert body, which delivers Scotland’s circular economy strategy, Making Things Last, highlighted the purchasing power of the public sector in Scotland, which spends £11 billion per annum on goods and services, and is highly influential throughout the supply chain. According to Zero Waste Scotland, this spending power could be harnessed for economic and environmental benefit for the whole of Scotland.

Circular procurement promotes innovative performance or usage-based business models, that focus on access to services and products, rather than ownership. It’s all about making the right choices early in the procurement process, so that materials and components are suitable, at end-of-life, for repair or refurbishment and re-use, thereby helping to close the materials loop. It adds value in other ways too for example, by extending and intensifying long-term business relationships with suppliers and customers.

A more circular economy means one in which materials are kept in high value use for as long as possible via closed loop systems, and goods and services are designed to ensure longevity.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Creating the ‘pull factors’ via procurement will be vital in transforming Scotland’s economy to a more circular one, which will have a significant boost for Scotland’s economy and jobs, while making the most of precious raw materials. Given that the public sector in Scotland spends a hugely significant amount of money - £11billion every year – it is in a strong position to influence change and development of more circular, and thus sustainable, ways of doing business.

“We’re delighted to be speaking to procurement professionals at Scotland’s biggest national procurement event, to talk to them about the range of support Zero Waste Scotland offers, to help them to use a circular approach to get the goods and services they need, in a way that will be sustainable and have benefits in the long term.”

Zero Waste Scotland will highlight the range of support it offers to help procurement professionals embed circular criteria within their approach, aiming to get the goods and services they need, in a way that will be sustainable and have benefits in the long term.  The organisation provides mentoring support to public sector procurement professionals, helping them to identify and capitalise on circular procurement opportunities. The expertise on offer has helped influence framework contracts for local authorities via Scotland Excel (for domestic furniture, playground equipment, tyres), the Scottish Government (for ICT equipment, office equipment and non-domestic energy efficiency) and NHS Scotland (including walking aids and catering disposables).

Recently representatives took part in the Circular Procurement Congress in Tallinn, hosting a round table discussion on the barriers for implementing circular procurement. The congress was attended by policy makers and practitioners from across the world and is the principle conference of its kind. The European Commission launched a new guide at the event, Public Procurement for a Circular Economy: Good Practice and Guidance, which references Zero Waste Scotland’s guide on Procuring for Reuse, Repair & Remanufacturing.

The country is recognised as a world-leader in the shift to a circular economy, having this year won the Circular Economy Nations and Regions Category at the high-profile Circulars Awards at the World Economic Forum.

Read more about our work on procurement on our website, which includes a range of online resources for procurement professionals.


Notes For Editors

Editor’s Notes

  • Zero Waste Scotland exists to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. Our goal is to help Scotland realise the economic, environmental and social benefits of making best use of the world’s limited natural resources. We are funded to support delivery of the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy and the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy.
  • Zero Waste Scotland launched the Resource Efficient Scotland programme in 2013 to help small to medium sized businesses and organisations save money and energy by using resources more efficiently. It is funded by the European Structural Funds Programme and the Scottish Government. Find out more at www.resourceefficientscotland.org.uk
  • The Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme Fund is administered by Zero Waste Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit the website or follow @scotgovESIF.
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at www.zerowastescotland.org.uk. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland though via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus | LinkedIn


    For media enquiries contact:

    Claire Munro, PR Manager                                                                                                         
    m: 07702976594
    e: Claire.munro@zerowastescotland.org.uk

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