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Climate Change and Environmental Policies

The following climate change and environmental policies, which are covered in the Treasurer's Instruction 1121 (in relation to goods and services) and the Treasurer's Instruction 1227 (in relation to building and construction/roads and bridges), apply to procurement:

Climate Change

Energy Conservation and Greenhouse Emissions

Ozone Depleting Substances

Waste

Water Efficiency and Quality

Climate ChangeBack to Top

Climate change is one of a number of factors that may be considered by Government buyers when planning their procurement activity. Fitness for purpose, quality, risk management, the capacity of the supplier to provide the goods or services, price and whole of life costs are also important considerations in the development of specifications, evaluation of offers and achieving a good value for money outcome.

The extent and manner in which climate change impacts are addressed in specifications and whether they are included in weighted valuation criteria will vary according to the nature of the procurement. For example, climate change considerations could involve looking for opportunities to reduce energy and fuel consumption, and consideration of waste disposal implications and criteria could include the supplier's level of commitment and capacity to deliver positive climate change outcomes, or consideration of the carbon emissions in the production and/or utilisation of a product or in the delivery of a service. Where relevant, climate change impacts should be considered over the full life cycle of the product, from production, delivery, use and disposal.

For the purchase of goods, this may include consideration of the sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, transport, ongoing running costs and impacts, and disposal of the goods.

For the purchase of services, this may include consideration of the goods and energy utilised by the service provider in the delivery of the service.

For the design and construction of buildings, roads and bridges, this may include consideration of climate change impacts of site choice, waste, materials, energy efficiency, construction techniques, water conservation and waste, etc in order to minimise the carbon footprint of the asset.

Consideration may also be given to the climate change and environmental policies, credentials and commitment of the tenderer.

Agencies can find examples of environmentally sustainable specifications for a number of products they purchase on the Australian Procurement and Construction Council website. Agencies may find these product guides helpful when developing tender specifications.

Decision making based on scientific measurement tools where available

Where climate change considerations are relevant, the impact of the class of goods or services being purchased should be understood, and relevant, authoritative and credible measures that can be utilised in the specifications and evaluation criteria should be identified as part of the planning and market research stage of the procurement. 

Decision making should be based on appropriate evidence and independent science based measurement tools should be used wherever possible. Examples of credible sources include:

Where applicable, agencies may consider it necessary to seek details of appropriate certification of companies and products against relevant environmental standards.

Energy Conservation and Greenhouse EmissionsBack to Top

Government agencies must give consideration to goods with the following attributes and options, so long as they represent value for money, are of appropriate quality and functionality, and there are no technical reasons for not doing so:

  • energy efficient goods and mechanical services, including vehicles;
  • goods manufactured using energy efficient practices and processes which will contribute to minimal greenhouse gas emissions;
  • goods which will contribute to minimal greenhouse gas emissions during operation;
  • video or telephone conferencing as an alternative to vehicle and air travel; and
  • 'green power' (energy sourced from renewable sources).

Where the price of an energy efficient alternative is higher, but all other evaluation criteria are assessed as equal, the purchase decision must be based on the value for money principle.

Examples of energy efficient goods include:

  • low energy light bulbs;
  • battery recharging systems; and
  • low energy appliances.

Ozone Depleting SubstancesBack to Top

Government agencies must not purchase goods known to involve the use of ozone depleting substances (as defined in the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995), either as a refrigerant or in the production of insulating foams, unless no practical alternatives are available. Agencies must seek information from suppliers on whether the products offered involve the use of ozone depleting substances.

As there are strict legislative controls over ozone depleting substances, when decommissioning equipment that uses, or may have used, ozone depleting substances, agencies must ensure that every possible action is taken to ensure that residual amounts of these substances are recovered and disposed of in accordance with the law.

Further information may be sought from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

WasteBack to Top

Government agencies must give consideration to goods with the following attributes, so long as they represent value for money, are of appropriate quality and functionality, and there are no technical reasons for not doing so:

  • recycled/recyclable goods with recycled composition or components;
  • reclaimed materials, eg crushed concrete aggregate;
  • goods which have less packaging than alternatives;
  • goods with a take-back scheme at end-of-life;
  • goods which guarantee longevity or are reusable; and
  • equipment that can use consumables made from recycled/recyclable materials.

Where the price of a viable recycled/recyclable alternative is higher than a non-recycled/non-recyclable good, but all other evaluation criteria are equal, the purchase decision must be based on the value for money principle.

Examples of products which reduce waste include:

  • recycled paper;
  • refillable whiteboard markers;
  • remanufactured copier and printer cartridges;
  • copiers and printers capable of double-siding and printing two-to-a-page;
  • recycled tyre products;
  • recycled building materials;
  • recycled compost and mulch;
  • electronic goods designed to be recycled (eg no brominated flame retardants or lead); and
  • recycled plastic parks furniture, posts and signage.

Water Efficiency and QualityBack to Top

Agencies must give consideration to goods with the following attributes, so long as they represent value for money, are of appropriate quality and functionality, and there are no technical reasons for not doing so:

  • water efficient goods;
  • goods manufactured with water efficient practices and processes which do not contribute to water pollution; and
  • goods manufactured with water efficient practices and processes which do not contribute to decreased environmental flows.

Where the price of a water efficient alternative is higher, but all other evaluation criteria are assessed as equal, the purchase decision must be based on the value for money principle.

Examples of goods which are water efficient and do not contribute to water pollution include:

  • water efficient appliances, such as AAAA-rated dishwashers;
  • chlorine-free office paper;
  • cleaning products with no phosphates, low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), no hazardous chemicals and are biodegradable; and
  • dual-flush toilets.


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