Meet the Buyer methodology facilitates transparent market dialogue

15 October 2020 - Published by Eric Boessenkool
On September 9, 2020, Kolding Municipality and CLEAN co-facilitated an online seminar at Aalborg Sustainability Festival concerning circular tenders and circular recycling stations. The seminar was held in context of the two Interreg projects NSR ProCirc and BSR Circular PP. The foundation was laid for testing the ‘Meet the Buyer’ methodology; a well-established method as to facilitate transparent market dialogue. 59 people participated with 44 representatives from municipalities and private companies.

The seminar was initiated by an experience-sharing showcasing of circular tenders and procurement, where best-practice circular tenders were presented on topics as circular procurement of demolition for new construction, use of Eco-label, life extension of ICT and creation of circular playgrounds. The panel debate and showcasing of circular tenders laid the inspirational foundation for setting the scene of testing the ‘Meet the Buyer’ methodology; a well-established method as to facilitate transparent market dialogue.

SME's presented business models

Kolding Municipality held the position of ‘problem owner’ and the invited SMEs acted as ‘solution providers’ (in Meet the Buyer terminology). The municipality was interested in getting further insights as to how the municipality can repurpose the municipal waste resources and get inspired by circular solutions provided by private companies. In collaboration with CLEAN, two SMEs were invited to present their circular business models. Each SME operating with two different types of waste-resources. The two SMEs were BurntWood, who burns the top layers of recycled and virgin wood and Convert, who collects, shreds and repurposes worn-out textiles.

Transparent and open dialogue

Prior to the event, the SMEs were informed of the setting and briefly introduced to the obstacles that Kolding Municipality faces. This was to establish a transparent and open dialogue. The SMEs were invited to elaborate further on their own circular business models and the obstacles they’ve previously faced or currently are facing. The were also asked to provide feedback to the municipality as how to include private companies and better accommodate their innovative, circular solutions in tendering processes.

Follow-up in 2021

The aim was to facilitate a knowledge- and experience-sharing market dialogue including how the municipality can change tendering practices of collected waste resources. The dialogue was only part of the main webinar and time was limited. The organizers (CLEAN and the municipality of Kolding) had therefore already agreed in advance that there would be a need for a follow-up to the market dialogue. The MTB will therefore be followed up in September 2021 to see how both the problem owner and the market have evolved in terms of incorporating circular economy into market dialogues, procurement materials and business models. A next step that ProCirc and its partners are prepared to take to further stimulate public and private circular procurment and tendering.

The event as a whole was facilitated by Aalborg Municipality, Aalborg University, Enterprise Europe Network, North Denmark EU Office, Network for Sustainable Business Development, Kolding Municipality and CLEAN.

You can watch the whole webinar here (in Danish). 

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Flemming Hynkemejer, Convert                                           Anders Mølgaard, BurntWood 

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash