The University is a large consumer of goods and services. Each purchase has a consequence resulting from the combined impact of the manufacture, transport, use and disposal of that product. The information on this page has been developed as a guide to UTAS purchasers in considering environmental issues in procurement decision making.
Sustainable procurement is now included as a key consideration in the University's procurement policy (see the policy, procedures and guidelines page on the University website).
Congratulations to the University's procurement staff who have already demonstrated a significant change in making more environmentally sound purchasing decisions as shown in the graphs below. Just from one supplier alone (for office consumables), the University went from less than 10% of total spend on sustainable products in 2008 to over 31% in 2016 (with a high of 39% in 2013).
What is sustainable procurement?
Sustainable procurement is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation but also to society and the economy, while minimising damage to the environment (UK Sustainable Procurement Task Force 2006).
Benefits of sustainable procurement
The University has much to gain from making more sustainable choices in procurement decisions. Sustainable procurement sees a shift from purchasing goods services, utilities and works under conventional procurement criteria of price and quality, to incorporating triple bottom line outcomes.
Use existing before buying new
The Re-Use Program is an electronic catalogue of items available for re-purposing throughout the University. This scheme is being progressively expanded across campuses and helps to make sure that items no longer required in one area are internally redistributed rather than being disposed of.
The key benefits for organisations from sustainable procurement practices are: