Public procurement in a higher circular gear

CABRIO project by Blieberg A.C.E. establishes type descriptions for use in government contracts

Public procurement represents a significant share of Belgium's gross domestic product. Thus, making circular solutions prevalent in such procurements could have a strong impact on the further transition to a circular economy.

However, contracting authorities in Flanders (and beyond) are struggling to integrate circular requirements and practices into their specifications. They encounter the following difficulties, among others:
- the lack of circular example specifications and of experience with circular construction,
- The possible mixing of 'works tenders' with 'services tenders', especially when wanting to apply a product-service combination,
- the possible mixing of 'tenders' with 'calls for tender', such as the use of recycled materials.

The CABRIO project (Circular Administrative Provisions and Guidelines In Public Procurement) has the ambition to draw up "type descriptions" that governments can use in their "type specifications". The descriptions (in the form of paragraphs, chapters, etc.) would be available for 5 circular ambition levels: from low-threshold (XS) to very detailed (XL).

By drafting these type of descriptions, CABRIO hopes to contribute to more public authorities starting to include circular criteria in their procurement. This could be a huge lever for the circular construction sector, as it would oblige a large part of the construction market to think about it.

Blieberg A.C.E.

Partners UHasselt, DEMOCO en Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen