Local governments spend significant amounts on goods and services every year – NSW Local Government alone has an annual turnover of $10 billion to maintain local communities. This means there’s enormous potential for local government to have a massive impact on driving procurement that’s better for the environment and socially responsible.
Former Local Government New South Wales President, Keith Rhoades, said that sustainable procurement “could just as easily be called sensible purchasing because it formally considers the quadruple bottom line: environmental impact, social considerations, economic impacts and governance requirements.”
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools, guides, and resources available to allow local government procurement professionals to make economically, environmentally and socially responsible purchasing decisions. Here are four of the best.
ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement – Guidance standard
The new ISO 20400 ‘Sustainable Procurement – Guidance’ standard was published mid-2017. The standard provides a thorough understanding of the sustainability considerations that must be taken into account across all areas of procurement, from policy to organisation to processes, and provides guidance for how these can be implemented on a practical level.
Though it can be used for any industry, it’s particularly useful for the built environment sector, where supply chains can be enormous in their scope and complexity. Product quality and safety are of high importance and this is often where industry professionals need assistance in making sure risk is kept to a minimum.
The GECA Positive Procurement Pledge
The GECA Positive Procurement Pledge is based on ISO 20400 principles and is designed to support organisations, businesses, and government in improving the sustainability of their procurement activities. Signing the Pledge is a public sign of commitment to consider the environmental, health and social impacts of any goods and services purchased. Pledgers are required to measure and prove their progress to GECA and allow us to share your key achievements.
In return for signing and committing to the Pledge, GECA will provide support in the form of exclusive access to networking events, promotional activities, toolkit webinars and other support. We can also organise consulting advice to help you on your procurement path. Advice is tailored for each Pledger to ensure the best organisational fit.
Sustainable Choice assists local government to integrate sustainability into their procurement processes. Every procurement activity counts and Sustainable Choice can help make sustainable procurement easier. Any GECA Pledgers from local government will be advised to also join Sustainable Choice.
Sustainable Choice is a membership-based service provided by Local Government Procurement (LGP), which provides online resources, training, newsletters, forums, tradeshows, performance measurement and general advice and guidance around sustainable procurement, tailored for local government.
Sustainable Choice can undertake a health check of your council against the ISO 20400 standard and provide you with recommendations on how to progress sustainable procurement to achieve best practise at a global level. They participated in the development of the ISO 20400 standard and offer an interactive, “hands-on” one-day training programme based on the standard.
The Sustainable Procurement Guide (NSW)
The Sustainable Procurement Guide – designed by the sector’s peak body LGNSW through the Sustainable Choice Program and funded by the NSW Environmental Trust and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) – is another important resource for the local government sector.
The Guide was produced by Sustainable Choice following a year of research into the feasibility of electronically tracking the sustainable spend of local government to determine best practice and best value.
The Guide along with supporting videos has been rolled out to NSW Councils – read more about it here.