In the framework of the Interreg Europe CircPro project, the Junta de Andalucía has implemented multiple actions to promote smart circular public procurement with the leadership of the Environment and Water Agency of Andalusia.
This project has provided the community with in-depth knowledge of other experiences and good practices in the European environment, thus enabling the implementation of actions to adapt and follow up the institutional purposes that seek to mitigate climate change. Following are the actions that are highlighted from this process:
- The CircPro Project workshop-course was implemented in three versions, which served as a tool for socializing experiences and best practices, which were fundamental elements of the project’s knowledge management. Civil servants from the Andalusian Regional Government, public sector suppliers and people active in the environmental sector were among the 300 students who participated in these courses. These sessions were aimed at training people on the fundamentals of circular economy in public procurement, as well recognizing experiences, and good practices in the European Union. As a final step of the course, a practical exercise was carried out on the subject, analyzing contractual processes within the community, and identifying environmental elements within these processes.
- A follow-up of the Andalusian public sector's contractual processes was carried out for knowledge management purposes. A database of contracting entities in the community was obtained, followed by a review of various contractual processes. From these results, the following results were obtained:
a. According to the filter of the tender search engine of the Junta de Andalucía, 28% of contracts awarded in 2019-2020 contained environmental clauses. This is an increase of more than fifteen.
b. Within the processes published on the tender platform of the Junta de Andalucía, 15% of the contracts for the years 2019-2020 contained environmental clauses, while by 2022 this figure rose to 73%.
c. As the number of contracts with environmental clauses co-financed by the ERDF increases, the number of total contracts with environmental clauses also increases, i.e., the financial impact prone to mitigate the effects of climate change has increased.
d. A more important aspect that gives a glimpse of the commitment of the public entities of the Andalusian community with the inclusion of the principles and values of the circular economy in public procurement, is the considerable increase in the number of these that include environmental clauses in their contracts. The increase between 2019 and 2022 was close to one hundred percent, in the processes awarded, compared to one hundred and ten percent in the contracts published between the same period.
The impact represented by the inclusion of ambitious environmental and sustainability criteria implemented by one of the project's main stakeholders, the Andalusian Health Service, is exemplary among the experiences encountered. One of the most important trends to highlight is:
- The introduction of new recycling composition and reciclability requirements into the acquisition of materials with plastic components.
- Consider extending the useful life of electrical and electronic equipment by considering extensions to warranty periods, improving repairability criteria and considering the complete life cycle of the equipment.
- All its facilities will adopt energy efficiency criteria incorporate renewable energy sources.
It is worth mentioning that the project has made significant advances in the community's public policies, including inclusion as one of the participation experiences that impacted the Andalusian Climate Action Plan. Likewise, the project's strategic lines include energy efficiency and ecological criteria, with an impact on public procurement. The goal is to reduce GHG emissions, reduce the carbon footprint and improve climate resilience.