Review assets

Making the most of what you already have

A circular economy aims to keep products and materials in use for as long as possible. Before considering the purchase of new products, virgin materials, or assets, your city or department should first consider how it can make the most of the assets it already has. By reusing and extending the lifespan of your existing assets, your city government can already adopt a more circular approach to asset management. This may involve changes in the way that office managers, procurement officers, and municipal staff manage assets and stocks of products across the municipality.

Keeping a comprehensive and up to date inventory with the relevant information on the state of the assets owned by your city government or department can help to increase the utility of these products and assets. Such inventories would provide an overview of what can be reused, repaired, refurbished, remanufactured, or retrofitted and inform the procurement of these services. These inventories can also be drawn up across different departments or a common online platform.

Questions to consider:

  • Does your city government or department have an inventory of the assets it owns? If not, could you create such an inventory?

  • What tools or apps could your city government or department use to track what it owns and the state of these assets?

  • Are all the assets owned by your city government or department being used? What can you do with the products and assets that are not being used?


1) When offices at various Flemish government authorities were redesigned and the workspaces shrank, it led to large amounts of unwanted furniture. To facilitate reuse of furniture, the Flemish Government’s Facility Services Agency drew up an inventory of all the surplus office furniture from the various departments of the Flemish government to be reused in other offices.

2) Rheaply makes underused resources more visible with its asset exchange manager software. The B2B software enables organisations, including federal and state governments, to make the most of tools and equipment that would otherwise remain idle. A partnership with the City of Chicago led to 2,100 new businesses and nonprofits signing into Rheaply’s platform within the first week of the platform going live to procure PPE (personal protective equipment) for the city’s phased reopening plan.


  • The “asset management” section of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Urban Policy Levers paper, provides an overview of how city governments can make more productive use of city-owned assets.

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