The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) has published an online framework for municipal governments to follow as a step-by-step guide to developing a circular procurement approach for their organization. This framework was published in the May 2022 newsletter on greening procurement by the European Commission.

The EMF online guidance provides an overarching framework adaptable to the local context and the realities of each city. It maps a city’s journey from deciding to adopt a more circular approach to piloting circular procurement projects, scaling and mainstreaming.

Circular public procurement is a powerful tool that city governments can use to shape the transition towards a circular economy. With public procurement accounting for 15-20% of global GDP and sub-national governments being responsible for almost 50% of procurement decisions, city governments have an important role in shaping local circular economies. Circular economy principles and criteria can be applied to purchase various products and services such as buildings, furniture, food, and packaging among others. By focusing on the desired outcomes and benefits, rather than the products needed, city governments can leverage their purchasing power to build thriving, liveable, and resilient cities. For example, instead of procuring vehicle fleets, city governments can procure access to more sustainable mobility solutions that reduce congestion and air pollution. Through circular procurement, city governments can reconsider what they buy and how they buy to achieve the best desired outcomes.

The EMF framework is presented here.

"The mayor’s office, senior officials and their advisors, with the support of sectoral and circular economy experts can define your city’s circular economy objectives and how these can be achieved through public procurement. Developing a common understanding among city officials, practitioners and stakeholders of what your city’s circular public procurement strategy aims to achieve will create the right conditions to enable circular public procurement. Building internal capacity, conducting market research, and identifying low-risk pilots, can help your city government to identify ways of embedding circular economy considerations in upcoming tenders." - Ellen MacArthur Foundation
"Once your municipality has laid down the foundations, public procurement officers in collaboration with circular economy experts and other colleagues can work on setting circular criteria and requirements. The development of circular criteria is an ongoing process and the market dialogues you conducted ahead of the tender will help to define what criteria and requirements suppliers can presently realistically respond to. Your city government should, however, raise its level of ambition over time by gradually raising the minimum requirements, as more circular options become available on the market." - Ellen MacArthur Foundation
"Following the initial steps, public procurement officers in collaboration with circular economy experts and other colleagues can start to pilot or procure more circular goods and services. This section focuses on the procurement process for a single contract, but the approach can be applied to various contracts such as products, buildings, and the use of services." - Ellen MacArthur Foundation
"As your city government starts to procure more circular goods and services, project managers and public procurement officers will gain expertise in circular public procurement activities. By sharing lessons learned and best practices, the process can be replicated across city departments and spend categories. The lessons learned from the pilots and engagements with the relevant stakeholders can inform a city-wide circular public procurement strategy and a review of the regulatory framework. It can also inform future training for staff across the municipality and new business funding streams for innovators." - Ellen MacArthur Foundation