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New paper published on intermediation in circular procurement

22 March 2017

Vtrek Management Consultant Dr. Anne Rainville has just released a working paper examining the roles of dynamics of intermediation in public procurement for a more circular eocnomy. The full text of the paper can be found here. 

The abstract is as follows:

Public procurement can accelerate transitions to a more circular economy by creating new demand for resource efficiency. Interactions during pre-procurement consultations influence the impact of such purchasing by helping define tender specifications. Intermediation throughout these processes can facilitate interactions between participants, assisting in sourcing, generating, and translating knowledge. However, roles for intermediaries and dynamics of intermediation are not fully understood. This paper intends to address how intermediation can promote a more circular economy. It examines a pilot project led by the Dutch Ministry of Defence to incorporate post-consumer recycled content in textiles through extensive consultation activities. Eighteen in-depth interviews were conducted with those directly involved in the pilot, and analyzed using constant comparative analysis. Intermediaries were found to play a critical role in the process by 1) coordinating government and industry through aligning project goals, 2) facilitating cooperation of industry players to stimulate new business relationships, and 3) collaborating with the buyer to push for higher post-consumer recycled material in the final tender. With respect to public demand articulation, greater insight is needed to discover how to best combine buyers’ motivations for cost savings, sellers’ motivations of increased returns, and the sustainability requirements often imposed by third parties. These dynamics may mark transitions toward circularity as further projects arise, offering a more permanent role for intermediation.