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GREEN PURCHASING ACROSS AUSTRALIA
 
 

ACHIEVEMENT: A pilot scheme of 10 councils across Australia is in place to demonstrate the merits of green purchasing and to facilitate maturation of the green purchasing market in Australia.

TARGET DATE: June 2003. PROGRESS: Achieved.

DESCRIPTION: As a Melbourne City Councillor, a director of the municipal purchasing company MAPS Ltd. and as an executive and management committee member of ICLEI International [The International Council for Local Environment Initiatives], I have been able to initiate a Green purchasing Pilot Project.

The 10 pilot councils are set to sign a memorandum of understanding to commence the pilot program. While a great deal of preparatory work has been done by ICLEI, MAPS Group Ltd. has worked with ICLEI to develop a memorandum of understanding as a means of providing improved purchasing power and expertise for the participating councils.

In conjunction with ICLEI and MAPS, 10 Australian Councils are participating in the pilot including Brisbane City Council and Maroochy Shire Council in Queensland; Adelaide, Marion, Onkaparinga, Burnside and West Torrens City Councils in South Australia, Hornsby City Council in New South Wales and , Whittlesea and Melbourne City Councils in Victoria. More formal statements will be released once the Pilot is officially launched, but more information is available at the ICLEI Australia/New Zealand web page Green Purchasing Pilot Project.

Further information on Green purchasing and the Pilot Project as detailed below are taken from the ICLEI Australia-New Zealand website:

Green purchasing consists of buying products and services which have a lower environmental impact along their lifecycle. By systematically procuring such products, institutional buyers will:
· Reduce their environmental impacts,
· Contribute to improved environmental conditions at the local, regional, national and global levels,
· Influence the creation of sustainable markets and cleaner production processes,
· Save costs where green products have a cheaper lifecycle cost or by engaging smarter purchasing procedures.

Green purchasing practices have been successfully adopted by hundreds of local governments worldwide with striking examples in Japan, the USA and Europe. In Australia, some councils have adopted and currently work on the implementation of green purchasing policies. The Objective of the pilot project is to work with a small number of Australian councils to develop and apply a model system to operationalise their green purchasing policies and goals.

The green purchasing pilot project will:
· Develop prototype tools to assist green purchasing
· Foster joint purchasing in order to achieve best market prices for green products
· Quantify the environmental benefits that can be achieved through green public purchasing.

Outcomes
The pilot councils will systematically implement green purchasing for a limited number of products through the use of tools developed during the project and quantify the environmental and financial benefits achieved through the project

The project will develop and apply a model system to assist councils operationalise their purchasing goals. This will take place in six steps:
1. Establish a sound green purchasing policy
2. Audit purchasing processes
3. Determine high priority categories of products for green purchasing
4. Identify environmental criteria to be included in the decision-making process
5. Develop and apply a system for the implementation of green purchasing
6. Monitor and quantify benefits achieved via green purchasing Pilot Councils

Pilot Councils
ICLEI congratulates the following Councils for joining the Pilot Project:
· City of Adelaide, South Australia
· Brisbane City Council, Queensland
· City of Burnside, South Australia
· Hornsby Shire Council, New South Wales
· City of Marion, South Australia
· City of Melbourne, Victoria
· City of Onkaparinga, South Australia
· Maroochy Shire Council, Queensland
· City of West Torrens, South Australia
· Whittlesea City Council, Victoria

Pilot Development
Between August and November 2002, ten Australian Councils have joined the Green Purchasing Pilot Project. The pilot Councils have successfully formed local project teams with representatives in the environmental and purchasing units. A survey of the purchasing processes is underway in each council in order to identify existing experiences as well as key products and environmental aspects on which the pilot should concentrate.

Partners
The project will benefit from the expertise of Tim Grant, noted Life Cycle Assessment expert at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology who will assist in the development of the quantification tool.

For more information contact
Michael Oke, Green Purchasing Project Officer
Tel: +61-3 9660 2240
Fax: +61-3 9639 8677
E-mail: moke@iclei.org

FURTHER INFORMATION: I will provide more information once the Pilot Green Purchasing Program has been formally and publicly launched.

Information on green purchasing activities in Europe are available on the ICLEI European Eco-Procurement Initiative website on the page Eco-Efficient Economy.

 

Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

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