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Business leadership for a climate neutral economy
 
CLG Europe

Consultant required to co-produce a report for CLG Europe’s Taskforce for climate neutral and circular materials and products

Deadline for proposals: 22 February 2024


Europe’s circular vision: How circular economy can drive the EU’s transition to a climate neutral, nature positive and just future (working title) 

We are inviting submissions for a competitive proposal for the supply and delivery to the University of Cambridge of the services set out in the below specification, in collaboration with CISL Europe. 

With the start of a new EU institutional cycle, CLG Europe’s Taskforce for climate neutral and circular materials and products is preparing a report that will set the policy agenda for the EU’s transition to circular economy, taking stock of the previous 5 years’ progress and offering policy recommendations for the next 5 years. 

We are looking for a consultant/partner to support us with the creation of this report, due to be launched in September 2024. 

About CLG Europe 

CLG Europe brings together European business leaders to accelerate progress towards a climate neutral, nature-positive, sustainable economy. Through exchange of ideas, experience, and a dialogue with policymakers, CLG Europe facilitates solutions that support a resilient and prosperous future. CLG Europe is convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Find out more: https://www.corporateleadersgroup.com/corporate-leaders-group-europe  

About the CLG Europe’s Taskforce for climate neutral and circular materials and products (Materials and Products Taskforce) 

The Taskforce for climate neutral and circular materials and products was created in September 2021, with the aim of driving forward policy action on sustainable materials by bringing together a group of progressive businesses across sectors and value chains.  

The group brings together companies that are actively committed to producing and using climate neutral and sustainable materials, and who want to work together to promote and support EU-wide measures to decarbonise material production and use. Find out more: https://www.corporateleadersgroup.com/corporate-leaders-group-europe/taskforce-climate-neutral-and-circular-materials-and-products  

Background  

The European Parliament and the current College of European Commissioners, led by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, are coming to the end of their terms in June and October 2024. These institutions established the European Green Deal (EGD) in 2019 as the flagship political initiative and “the new growth strategy” for the current political cycle.  

Circular economy was one of the cornerstones of the European Green Deal. With the new Circular Economy Action Plan launched in 2020, the EU updated and expanded its circular economy policies along the whole life cycle of products. Some of the key policy initiatives included new eco-design requirements, revised rights to repair, strengthened green claims and more specific regulation on critical raw materials and their circularity.   

The Circular Economy Action Plan and related policies were important steps in the right direction, and we expect a greater political focus on circular economy for the next institutional cycle. At the Green Growth Summit, Kurt Vandenberghe, Director General, DG CLIMA, highlighted that circular economy was going to be a key topic for the next 10 years. 

A circular economy is essential to address the multiple crises we face as well as to achieve a climate neutral, nature positive and just future in Europe and globally. It can help reduce emissions, manage our natural resources better and create quality employment. Looking at globally, the ‘race to the top’ is scaling up. In this context, many global players are gradually stepping up their circular economy ambition. The EU can be a global thought leader in the transition to circular economy. To achieve this, the EU needs an updated circular economy vision to lead our transformation towards more sustainable economies and societies.  

To support the incoming European institutions in this transition, CLG Europe’s Materials and Products Taskforce will publish a report on the EU’s circular economy vision. It will take stock of the EU’s achievements in the field of circular economy over the past 5 years and outline the core components of the EU’s circular economy agenda for the next 5 years, in order to enable businesses to scale up their circular economy action and to contribute towards a climate neutral, nature positive and just future. 

The research should be relevant for European policymakers and practically applicable, who the final report would be primarily aimed at. Please see the two research reports that the Taskforce published, respectively, in 2022: Digital Product Passport: the ticket to achieving a climate neutral and circular European economy? and in 2023: Embracing circularity: A pathway for strengthening the Critical Raw Materials Act

Purpose 

The main purpose of the report will be to provide recommendations on what the key policy priorities should be for the incoming European Commission and European Parliament to drive the transition to circular economy within the EU. 

The project’s primary objective is to provide a progressive business perspective on action and ambition that helps ensure that: 

  • The new institutions have a clear vision for the development of circular economy in the EU in the next five years,  

  • existing gaps in policy and implementation are addressed to put the EU firmly on the path towards greater circular economy,  

  • the EU’s circular economy ambition as outlined in the European Green Deal are maintained, implemented and strengthened during the next institutional cycle, 

  • the circular economy legacy of the current institutions is adapted to the new economic and geopolitical context, in line with EU’s national and international commitments,  

  • the EU develops its economy in the direction of greater circularity, to support the global transition towards a climate neutral, nature positive and just future. 

The output will be a well-structured and thoroughly referenced report of approximately 20 pages of text (excluding references).  

The report will be published under CLG Europe’s Materials and Products Taskforce and will present insights from the business group supporting ambition on the transition to a more circular economy. The content of the report will be consulted on with the Taskforce for input and review. 

Scope and description 

The scope of the work is to co-produce a report on the core components of the EU’s circular economy agenda for the next 5 years with the Taskforce Secretariat. The consultant will be expected to carry out the desk-based background research, analysis, consultation with Taskforce members and further stakeholders (including interviews, focus groups, and/or stakeholder workshops), and writing. 

The Taskforce Secretariat will: 

  • provide insight (particularly on the political elements), feedback, oversight, quality control and the project management of the collaboration and 

  • facilitate access to Taskforce member companies. 

The aim of the report is to showcase an ambitious business voice on how the EU can step up circular economy transition under the mandate of the next European institutions to enable business to scale up their circular economy action and to contribute towards a climate neutral, nature positive and just future.  

In the first 2 years of its operation, the Taskforce has published a number of reports and briefings on the topic of circular economy, and the consultant /group of consultants will be able to build on this work. Please see our Knowledge Hub here: https://www.corporateleadersgroup.com/corporate-leaders-group-europe/materials-and-products-taskforce-knowledge-hub.  

The publication will also be able to build on CLG Europe’s publication “CLG Europe’s business agenda for the next European institutions: A path towards a climate neutral, nature positive and just future (working title)” which is due to be published in June 2024. This CLG Europe publication will provide a broader view on the priorities of the upcoming institutional change, however, it will include key asks on industry and circular economy. 

Based on preliminary stakeholder consultation and research, the following initial priority topics have been identified. The consultant will be expected to further expand and develop these as well as to identify potential new priorities: 

  • A more comprehensive European Industrial Strategy that builds on circular economy;  

  • Demand side policies to scale up demand for circular products and materials, based on the recent ESABCC recommendation;  

  • Creating a socially just transition towards circular economy;  

  • Financing the transition to circular economy.  

The output for the proposed work will cover the topics mentioned above as well as: 

  • An analysis of the key successes/shortcomings of the current European institutions in terms of circular economy.   

  • Policy recommendations along key themes. 

This is a suggested list. The consultant is welcome to propose further topics and a suitable structure. 

We are looking for a consultant (or group of consultants) with the following attributes: 

Essential 

  • Can support the Taskforce Secretariat to establish a compelling overall framing and narrative for the report. 

  • Has a strong understanding of the politics and policymaking in the EU on circular economy issues. 

  • Has excellent policy analysis skills with a track record of contributing to discourse on related matters. 

  • Has demonstrable experience in writing technical information accessibly for a wide range of audiences. 

  • Has experience conducting interviews, focus groups, and/or stakeholder workshops. 

Desirable 

  • Has solid understanding of circular economy-related policies on the international level. 

  • Has a good network of subject matter experts and policy analysts which can be drawn upon for complementary expertise. 

  • Has a breadth of research expertise on different areas within the team relevant to this project, e.g. in different areas of industry, circular economy subjects such as EPR or other areas. 

The consultant will be working in close collaboration with the Taskforce project team. The Taskforce project team will be responsible for project management of the publication. The consultant will be expected to focus on content delivery and stakeholder engagement informing the research. 

Target audience 

The primary target audience will include relevant European policymakers (European Commission, MEPs, member state representatives, European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions), businesses and financial institutions. 

Timeline 

Deadline for proposals: 22 February 2024 

Shortlisting deadline: 4 March 2024 

Appointment deadline: 11 March 2024 

Contract start date: March 2024 

Deadline for delivery of final product: 8 July 2024 

The service provider(s) will be expected to be available to participate in structured online discussions with the CISL team over the period of the contract. Specific time and dates are to be confirmed.  

First draft to be completed by 6 May, second draft to be completed by 3 June, and final text to be submitted by 8 July.  

Criteria 

The University intends to award to the most economically advantageous offer or offers in accordance with the following criteria: 

• Suitability of proposed approach (25%)  

• Demonstrated understanding of report (25%)  

• Relevant experience (25%) 

• Value of quotation (25%) 

Expressions of interest 

If you are interested in applying, please submit the following information to taskforce.clg@cisl.cam.ac.uk by close of business on 22 February 2024: 

  • CV(s) (max 4 pages per person)  

  • Quotation (including staff cost breakdown, excluding VAT)  

  • Description of the approach you would take (max 2 pages)  

  • Examples of relevant publications and writing samples (max 5 pages)  

The University expects to decide award of contract by 11 March 2024.  

Please note 

The University of Cambridge is not a public body within the meaning of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (Directive 2014/24/EU) as amended. It is, therefore, not subject to UK procurement legislation. 

Do not supply any goods or services until you have received confirmation that your proposal has been successful. Acceptance of the proposal by the University will be in writing. A purchase order will normally be issued.  

The University will not be liable for any costs and expenses incurred by you in the preparation and submission of your proposal (whether or not the proposal is successful). The University will not reimburse any bidding costs. 

This Invitation is confidential. Do not discuss with any third parties the bid you intend to make (except professional advisers or joint bidders who need to be consulted) nor canvass your bid for acceptance. 

The University will regard submissions as confidential until award.  Information you believe would be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 after award must be individually identified in your submission together with the reason for the exemption and for the non-disclosure period claimed. 

Variant bids may be submitted but must clearly identify all variants from the University’s specification and state all cost implications. 

Proposals and supporting documents shall be in English.  Any contract subsequently entered into will be subject to English law and jurisdiction. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, proposals and orders are issued subject to the University’s standard terms and conditions, a copy of which is available on request. 

Proposals shall comprise a response to the specification and a pricing schedule.