Circular and green public procurement are still under-spread practices for most of the companies and public administrations. GREENER a two-year Erasmus+ project will help to address this gap by increasing the skills in this field of administrative and middle management profiles. The benefits for the project’s participants will be multiple: from an analysis of needs in terms of capacity building to a toolbox that will help companies to successfully apply for tenders that incorporate green and circular requirements, and a modular training program for public authorities and SMEs adapted to their needs.

Brussels, Belgium – With an average of 14% of GDP, equal to EUR 1.9 trillion per year (or one euro out of seven invested in the European economy), public procurement in Europe represents a key lever in the transition towards a circular economy. The Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and the European Green Deal highlighted the importance of public authorities as customers of circular and eco-innovative solutions. Circular and green public procurement are instruments to increase the uptake of these solutions. It is therefore key to ensure participation of companies, and especially SMEs which represent 99% of European businesses, in the circular procurement process.

Launched in December 2020, the Erasmus+ GREENER project advances in this direction by offering to improve the skills (upskilling, reskilling) of administrative and middle managers profiles involved in circular and green public procurement processes in companies (with particular focus on SMEs) and public administrations.

For two years, the project partners will work on designing a skills framework for professionals in circular/strategic procurement, implementing training courses, and preparing a toolbox for the development of Initial and Continuous Vocational Education and Training (I/C-VET) Programs to help companies successfully apply for tenders that incorporate circular and green public procurement requirements.

As a first step towards the development of the skills framework, ACR+, the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management, and its GREENER partners are carrying out interviews with public authorities and SMEs in the four countries covered by the project: Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, and Spain. The goal of these interviews is to identify the public administration and companies’ skills gap and the barriers which hamper the diffusion of circular and green public procurement. In addition to the interviews, partners also launched an on-line survey to complement the feedback provided during the in-depth interviews.

ACR+ is responsible for the communication and dissemination activities of the project and the development of the toolbox. The coordinator of the project is Cleantech Bulgaria and the other project partners are: Institute of Management, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Sistemi Formativi Confindustria, BCO and CETEM.

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