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ReAlising a Circular Economy in Society

In the project we focus on and facilitate concrete test cases of circular innovations through real-life scenarios that will be run in collaboration with the project partners, three Swedish municipalities. We analyse effects and societal consequences of circular innovations in comparative case studies, using green public procurement (as outlined in the National Public Procurement Strategy) as a best-case scenario versus circular procurement.

Sweden’s goal is to become a climate-neutral society by 2045. This requires a transformation of the whole society, and technological and socioeconomic challenges must be tackled urgently. The transition from a linear to a circular economy carries such a transformation potential, to set off a wave of innovation and change consumption patterns, but uncertainties of long-term effects run high. If we do not set the right course from the start, we risk not achieving the goal or spending funds on ill-considered efforts. The public sector, with its significant expenditure of 21% of Swedish GDP is a powerful actor to influence this transition timely and in the right direction for the benefit of the whole society. Its size and purchase power make it a pivotal trigger for transition to a circular society, therefore the procurement process is a logical focal point of this project. 

There are no clear guidelines regarding Circular Public Procurement (CPP). The EU Commission has set out Green Public Procurement guidelines that generically embody CPP and the EU CE Action Plan has not yet been translated into enforceable regulations. Moreover, there is no single agreed definition of a CE and the number of circularity monitoring tools and indicators found in scientific literature currently stands at over 200. 

In the RACES project we focus on and facilitate concrete test cases of circular innovations through real-life scenarios that will be run in collaboration with the project partners, three Swedish municipalities. We analyse effects and societal consequences of circular innovations in comparative case studies, using green public procurement (as outlined in the National Public Procurement Strategy) as a best-case scenario versus circular procurement. The analytical starting point of this project is twofold - a policy change perspective and a business model innovation perspective. These will be interlinked to provide a systemic perspective on project’s test cases and their impact on various stakeholder groups and local communities. We will systematically study the public sector, its suppliers in the procurement process and the effects on the (local) stakeholders, such as business model and labour market changes and incentives or access barriers for different societal actors.

By the project’s completion we will have achieved: an evidence-based understanding of effects of the circular procurement on businesses and local communities, increased learning and knowledge dissemination in municipalities and other public authorities throughout the country influencing the societal transformation to a CE, and theoretical advancements in the area of innovation and the innovative firm.

Summary

Project name

RACES

Status

Active

RISE role in project

Project coordinator

Project start

Duration

2 years

Total budget

2 000 000 SEK

Funders

Formas - A circular economy for the whole society

Coordinators

Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action

Contact person

Agnieszka Hunka

Senior Researcher

+46 10 228 40 65

Read more about Agnieszka

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