EVENT: Circular Procurement Summit 2019
WHEN: 11 - 13 June 2019
WHERE: Toronto, Canada
In Canada, public sector procurement is valued at $200 billion annually with 80 per cent taking place at local government levels. Federal, provincial, and municipal interests are beginning to recognize purchasing influence and opportunity for collaboration to advance key public policy objective.
The primary objective of the Circular Procurement Summit is to create a launchpad for circular procurement that supports and advances the circular economy in Canada, which, as a practice, is still in its infancy stage when compared to other regions across Europe.
As part of Summit proceedings, Recycling Council of Ontario aimed to showcase leading edge examples and engage with global centres of expertise to verify the importance of procurement and its sustained use to advance the circular economy, and in particular, support key public policy objectives tied to economic, social, and environmental results. As organisation quantified the important role of the public sector to move from price taker to market shifter, it sourced and highlighted best practice from around the globe to emphasize and quantify the benefits of circular procurement for greater sustainable outcomes, and aspired to identify barriers — perceived or real — to shifting to circular procurement: legal agreements, sole source bids, RFPs, commercial agreements, and relationships; and introduce key performance indicators and measurement strategies to a new audience.
Summit in 2019
Over three days participants were able to identify and measure several barriers that prevent greater circularity in purchasing and procurement across Canada, and discover opportunity to facilitate collaboration within and across organizations and industries to overcome them. Specifically, they were able to identify that, despite several showcase examples of success, there is currently a lack of connectively between procurement measures that align with achieving broader public policy goals in Canada. There is a general misunderstanding that directly integrating broad policy objectives through procurement will come at added costs, whereas they were able to showcase that procurement and policy can be harmonious and beneficial to each other. Within most Canadian organization they discovered that procurement functions are not meaningfully connected nor supported to more effectively integrate circular procurement requirement between internal functions such as finance, procurement, legal, and sustainability units.