Since the start of the CircPro project implementation in 2018, circular public procurement (CPP) has been incorporated into a number of strategic documents in Kymenlaakso.
The region of Kymenlaakso in Finland aims to be carbon neutral by 2040. Kymenlaakso is also a member of the Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities (Hinku) network and commits to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2007 levels by 2030. Carbon Neutral Kymenlaakso 2040 Roadmap, approved by the Assembly of the Regional Council of Kymenlaakso in December 2019, is a strategy paper that outlines measures, instruments and practices to be developed and implemented for reaching the desired goals. Developing public procurement towards the circular economy is one the measures set by the roadmap. It foresees the necessity to update municipal public procurement guides and sets the percentage of sustainable procurements as one the performance indicators to be monitored.
Environment 2030 – the environmental programme of the City of Kouvola, approved by the Kouvola City Council in February 2020, guides activities of all municipal units towards carbon neutrality, preservation of natural diversity, and the circular economy. One of the targets is smart procurement driven by a life cycle approach and possibilities of the circular economy. Update and utilisation of city’s procurement criteria to promote circularity as well as trainings on environmental and life cycle perspective related issues for all city’s procurers are introduced among actions needed to reach the targets.
Kymenlaakso's Smart Specialisation Strategy 2021 - 2025 (KymRIS3 2.0), published in March 2021, outlines regional strengths and specific expertise that distinguish Kymenlaakso from other regions, and defines the priority growth areas. The circular economy is included in the new strategy as one of the three smart specialisation priorities whereas innovative and sustainable procurement is mentioned among the main tools to enhance circularity.
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, the annual value of public procurement performed by municipalities and joint municipal authorities in Finland counts approximately EUR 23 billion and represents almost 10% of Finland’s gross domestic product. Being an economically significant public sector activity, public procurement is an important tool for achieving sustainable goals. Inclusion of circular public procurement into regional and municipal strategic documents and setting concrete targets related to them paves the way for their more active uptake by public procurers and stimulates the transition to circular economy.