The Circular Benchmark Tool for Developing Circular Economy Action Plans
October 25, 2023

Authors: Sander Bos & Bart Volkers

The FRONTSH1P project focuses on developing circular systemic solutions in the Łódzkie region. About four other European regions are replicating the outcomes of Łódzkie and working on developing or improving regional Circular Economy Action Plans (CEAPs). An important tool for developing these CEAPs is the Circular Benchmark Tool (CBT) developed by partner region Friesland.

The Circular Benchmark Tool (CBT) is an effective assessment to understand, visualise, and compare the transition towards a circular economy for regions and provinces. One of the key aims of the CBT is to act as replicable tool for knowledge exchange to improve regional circular performance and facilitate cross-regional learning about circular economy.

CBT founded on extensive research and best practices

The methodology behind the Circular Benchmark Tool (CBT) is developed in a stepwise approach based on ‘learning, validating, and applying’.

The indicators assessed in the CBT are based on extensive field and desktop research in which over 90 global (policy) papers were analysed. After a first selection of indicators (197), they were carefully categorised in 6 overarching indicators to structure the content within the CBT.

As circular economy is a topic in constant development, so is and should be this monitoring framework for regions.

Areas of assessment

The CBT is applying 6 overarching indicators based on extensive research.

  1. Circular procurement: the extent to which the region engages public and private suppliers to increase procurement based on circular economy principles.
  2. Access to funding: the extent to which the region enables access to finance (regional) circular activities in order to transition to a circular economy.
  3. Circular society: the extent to which the region creates awareness, motivates people, develops, and deploys circular competencies (knowledge and skills) to contribute to the circular economy transition.
  4. Value chain activation: the extent to which the region stimulates circular value creation among stakeholders in and across supply chains.
  5. Good governance: the extent to which the region is orchestrating, facilitating, promoting, and enabling the transition to a circular economy.
  6. Integrated policy framework: the extent to which the region establishes and integrates a coherent circular policy framework over the regional policy domains to align policy and legislation with circular principles and best practices.

Want to know more about the CBT? Please visit

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