Everything you need to know about circular buying

Circular procurement in a nutshell

With circular procurement, you take an important step in sustainable business. You not only pay attention to the positive ecological, social and economic impact of the purchase, but also actively work to avoid a negative environmental impact. You do this by closing the energy and material loop throughout the supply chain.

The ambition map as a guide

Flanders Circular created an ambition map as a tool to get started towards circular procurement. The map includes five circular objectives that can serve as a basis for your circular procurement project.

  • Reduce the total quantity of materials
  • Reduce non-renewable virgin input
  • Extend useful life
  • Maximise potential reuse of products or components
  • Maximise potential reuse of material – recyclability

Each of the five objectives contains a number of strategies you can employ. Together, these choices determine your ambition level for circular procurement.

Stronger together

By purchasing circularly, you respond to the evolving functional needs of users within an organisation. In addition, a circular purchasing process also stimulates cooperation between all parties involved in the purchasing chain. The common mission: to preserve the maximum value of products and materials via an optimally closed loop. As a packaging partner, Marisan is of course happy to help with this!

Circular purchasing in seven steps (1 – 2 – 3)

A circular purchasing process shows quite a few similarities to classic purchasing. Nevertheless, the preparation – especially the first times – can take some extra time. But rest assured, this pays off in the long run. We would like to explain the seven steps of circular purchasing.

1. Circular need

Dare to critically examine the purchase need. Is the purchase really necessary? Make a good inventory of what is already present in the company so that you can (re)use those items to the maximum. Also distinguish between needs and requests. Perhaps someone asks for a new office chair, but actually needs more comfortable seating.

2. Circular ambitions

In this step, you determine what circular impact you want to make. The ambition map is a good tool to help you do this. Discussions within the organisation can also be enlightening.

3. Dialogue with the market

Suppliers become partners in the search for circular solutions. Do existing suppliers offer solutions that fit your circular ambition? Or do you need to look for new partners? At Marisan, we already have plenty of circular options.

Circular purchasing in seven steps (4 – 5)

4. Specify and award

Define circular wishes and needs in great detail in a scope. Also include selection criteria, technical specifications and the goals you want to achieve in circular terms. Not an obvious exercise, but one that can pay off handsomely.

5. Use and implementation

Agree on performance, maintenance and lifespan of the product and follow it closely. It is only when the full potential is exploited in (re)use that you can truly call a product circular.

Circular purchasing in seven steps (6 – 7)

6. End-of-use

This is not the same as end-of-life. Perhaps the product can still be repaired or used in another way? When use does stop, it is crucial to maximise the value of the materials for e.g. recycling. Ideally, this is also agreed upon.

7. Evaluate

You have undoubtedly learned a lot! What will you take with you to the next circular purchase? What could be different and what could be better? Discuss this together with all actors. That way, little by little, circularity becomes embedded in your organisation!

Circular packaging

At Marisan, we have been focusing on circularity for a long time. That makes us a suitable partner for your circular purchasing process. We think along with you and are happy to advise you based on our experience! Take a look at our ecological solutions or contact us via info@marisan.be or +32 9 232 06 16 to discuss circular procurement with your company.

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