The CircPro partnership has developed a guide “Preliminary market consultations as a way to involve businesses in circular public procurement” covering practical aspects of planning and implementing preliminary market consultations with businesses within circular procurement.

One of the obstacles towards circular procurement is insufficient knowledge of the market and circular economy solutions it can offer. A preliminary market consultation or a market dialogue can help to overcome this gap.

Moreover, a market dialogue with businesses is an efficient way for procurers to explain their needs and requirements to potential suppliers, ideate possible solutions with suppliers, identify a suitable procurement procedure and outline the content of procurement documents and contracts. A successful preliminary market consultation leads to high-quality bids to choose from, and fewer claims related to tender results.

Dialogues with businesses are crucial in the case of circular, sustainable and innovative procurement as they help procurers and suppliers understand each other better and find the best possible solutions jointly. In the case of circular procurement, preliminary market consultations provide a perfect opportunity to discuss the importance of the circular economy, think together on how to promote the circular economy in the procurement in question and consider circular economy criteria to be included in the procurement documents. Such topics require mutual learning, as they are new to procurers and companies. It is wise to introduce new requirements gradually and via discussion.

The guide is based on experiences from the CircPro project partner cities such as Kouvola in Finland and Elverum in Norway and is complemented with information from the Piemonte region in Italy, the Andalusia region in Spain and Bulgaria. The guide is intended for public procurers who need encouragement for dialogue with market actors and circular procurement in general.