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Knowledge category: Tools and methods

REBus – Guide for circular procurement

Updated on 18.11.2022

The REBus project’s tool provides different resource-efficient business models, including service systems, hire and leasing, incentivised returns and re-use, and long life. It also provides a five-stage methodology for implementing a circular procurement resource-efficient business model.

Author: REBus project (partners involved included WRAP, Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment), Aldersgate Group, the Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd (KTN), the University of Northampton)
Year of update: 2017

More information

The tool’s different resource-efficient business models are as follows:

  • Service systems: providing a service based on delivering performance outputs that are linked to products or services; products may also be designed for disassembly, re-manufacture and re-use.
  • Hire and leasing: long-term hire and leasing of products can deliver a longer-term approach to product durability, with longer service life, lower maintenance load, and lower use of materials and carbon dioxide.
  • Incentivised returns and re-use: this encourages customers to return used items for an agreed value; customers gain value for unwanted items and return products via a convenient system; collected products are refurbished and sold for re-use on appropriate markets.
  • Long life: products are designed to have a long lifespan and durability, reducing consumption.

The tool’s methodology for implementing a circular procurement resource-efficient business model consists of five stages: identify needs, engagement, specification, contract, and review.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

The online guide provides an overview of the methodology that can be used to design and implement circular procurement within an organisation, including step-by-step guidelines for suppliers, different resource-efficient business model types, with real-life examples, and case studies. Being aware of the existing resource-efficient business models can help cities and regions to inspire and facilitate businesses and organisations to take action and consider such models for their own use. The library can also be used as inspiration by cities or regions and all stakeholders involved in co-developing a procurement approach and business model for a Circular Systemic Solution and/or one of its specific elements.

How to use this tool or method

The tool guides the user through different resource-efficient business models and provides examples for each category. On the website, the user can click on various business models under each category (e.g. service systems) to obtain more information. The tool also offers a step-by-step methodology for designing a circular procurement approach within an organisation. The user can click on each step within the methodology to learn about the actions to be considered at each stage.

Type of tool or method

Circular economy procurement



Environmental pollution and land use

Social aspects

Training/reskilling/capacity building, including vocational education and training, continuous training

e.g. for public administrations, SMEs, start-up

Stakeholder participation

including citizens

Behavioural changes

Territories involved


large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000