The Best Practice Tour Circular Purchasing project arose from a cooperation between the VIB, the professional federation for buyers and logistics professionals, and CSR CAMPUS, the training platform with a focus on sustainable business and the circular economy.
The Best Practice Tour is an entire programme consisting of several organised visits to companies that already apply sound circular principles and thus form an inspiring example or 'best practice'. These company visits are specifically aimed at buyers who are interested in circularity.
Learning how to make circular purchases through workshops on purchasing projects, tenders, market surveys and measuring circular impact is already an important basis. With this project, we want to supplement that knowledge with real examples in the field. We are convinced that this will only strengthen the motivation to make circular purchases and the belief in a circular market.
During this project, several companies and projects with exceptional circular example cases were visited. For example, we paid an inspiring visit to the internationally renowned circular city office VENLO, the participants were introduced to Signify's new circular lighting models or to the circular high-tech in the Flemish textile sector at Alsico and Concordia.
We created a diverse offer of company visits to organisations with inspiring circular practices, both for buyers within the Green Deal Circular Procurement (free of charge) and buyers with an interest in circular procurement in general (at cost price).
The various company visits provided a lot of interesting information (lessons, images) that can serve as content on the CSR CAMPUS online learning platform.
The Best Practice Tour is not only a great source of inspiration, but also the ideal networking opportunity for professional buyers in the field of circular procurement.
This route was an interesting test to see if we can structurally embed suchorganised company visits in our circular procurement programme in the future.
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
Among other things, the low number of registrations for some company visits suggests that in future we should tailor our programmes more to the wishes and needs of the buyers, rather than only to the available circular examples.
The interest in sustainable and circular purchasing is growing and is likely to continue to grow. However, today it is still a niche market and we only reach a small group of frontrunners with our trajectory. The market is still too small for really large-scale initiatives.
In order to boost the demand for more circularity in purchasing projects, we need to stimulate contact with suppliers even more. Our company visits are already a step in the right direction: the participants found the visit to examples on site very inspiring.
To achieve true co-creation, good cooperation between all partners is essential: experts in circular procurement and circular markets, partners with a strong network in the circular economy, training partners with the right programmes and communication partners who can attract a large target group.
2training centres in partnership
13best practices in programme
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Discussions are currently underway to determine whether we can structurally embed this initiative in our training offer to purchasers. Based on the knowledge gained and the lessons learned during this pilot project, we are considering launching another approach that is based more on the needs of the buyers, rather than on the supply of good examples. At the same time, we are still looking for the right earning model to make this process financially feasible. There is a good chance that we will link a follow-up to this.