Circular Procurement Training for public organizations

The background

In 2016/2017, we first set up the Circular Procurement Academy. In this one-year program that we will host in 2019/2020 for the fourth consecutive year, we train more than 60 participants from approximately 30 (semi-) public organizations. Participants learn how to apply the principles of the circular economy in their procurement processes. The client is the Expertisecentrum Aanbesteden (Expertise Centre of Procurement) of the Dutch government (PIANOo).


The Circular Procurement Academy was first set up in 2016/2017 with the aim of enabling a large group of organizations to apply the principles of the circular economy to their procurement processes. The combined annual procurement of different authorities totals €73 billion: a huge incentive to make sustainability and circularity attractive to market players.

The question

Help us by shaping and running a training program for government procurement. And, in addition to developing their knowledge, ensure that the participants develop personal skills with which they can put the knowledge into practice. Finally, we want a pilot project as part of the program so that lessons from the program are directly applied.

Current situation and future

The program had to do justice to all aspects of circular procurement:

  • technical aspects, such as the definition and measurement of circularity;
  • process-related aspects, such as selecting the right procurement procedure and establishing collaborations;
  • and financial aspects, such as applying new revenue models to ensure circularity.

The process

The program consisted of eight interactive sessions. Every meeting had to reflect our didactic vision: gaining knowledge and learning through experience. The sessions consisted of plenary knowledge transfer, as well as creative brainstorms and working methods: challenging one-on-one conversations, prisoner’s dilemmas, group assignments to further develop the pilot projects, associated elevator pitches and intervision. The participants also applied their new knowledge in their own procurement pilot.

The results

The Circular Procurement Academy was successful: the participants were trained and inspired. The personal development path also contributed to this success. The participants are now able to meet the challenges of circular procurement within their own organizations, with success – many of the participating organizations have already got started with circular procurement. The biggest compliment for us is that we have been invited to organize the next edition of this program.

The Circular Procurement Academy has provided a large group of authorities with knowledge and practical guidance to get started with circular procurement. The exchange of experiences from the pilot projects that participants started during the academy was equally important. That combination of theory, experience of circular procurement and discussions with peers makes the academy a success. Take Padding Senior advisor purchasing and procurement

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