blog hero - Sustainable Procurement
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Sustainable Procurement. What is it and how can it help you?

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blog hero - Sustainable ProcurementSustainability is becoming one of the core principles influencing customers’ purchasing decisions and organisations’ procurement decisions. Customers have become increasingly conscious of where the products they buy come from and what they are made of. Whilst companies are striving to be leaders of environment stewardship.

So, what is sustainable procurement? And how can you make a difference in the fight against climate change and environmental degradation? Below is a brief introduction to sustainable procurement and how it can help not only the future of the environment but also your business.  

What is Sustainable Procurement? 

Sustainable procurement refers to the act of adopting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles to a company’s procurement processes and procedures. It aims to lower carbon footprints, reduce waste to landfill and promote innovative design solutions to boost sustainable purchasing decisions.  

By integrating sustainability as a consideration in procurement processes, organisations consider environmental impacts while ensuring they still meet stakeholders’ requirements. 


Drivers for Sustainable Procurement 
Human rights 
Sustainable procurement promotes respect for human rights as all parties must follow the Universal Declaration of Human Rights principles when interacting with stakeholders. 

Laws applicable in the procurement process 
Local, national and international regulations, including all environmental, health and safety, and labour rules, must always be followed regardless of legislative practice 

 Diversity and fairness  
Suppliers must not discriminate during their employees’ hiring, training, compensation, or promotion. To promote a healthy work-life balance, flexible working conditions should always be considered. They should also foster and encourage additional learning and personal development for all team members.  

 Impact on the environment 
Implement processes and principles to help all staff understand environmental impacts and risks.  

Why should you consider Sustainable Procurement? 
Brand equity 
Sustainable procurement practices result in an estimated 15-30% increase in measurable brand value. This is reflected in customer preferences which respond positively to companies with a structured approach to sustainable procurement. Conversely, following negative environmental practices such as producing harmful production levels or negative social factors such as child labour can experience financial blowback on the organisation. 

Cost reduction 
Effective sustainability standards significantly lower the cost of capital for some companies through lower energy costs. The estimated number is around 90%. These cost savings facilitate re-investment into the organisation.  
Lower procurement costs  
According to the World Economic Forum: Beyond Sustainable Procurement, sustainable procurement practices can reduce procurement costs by 9-16%.  

Following a structured approach to sustainable procurement is a great way to future-proof the organisation against a potential shortage in supply. It will help protect against changes in social factors such as the availability of technology, economic factors like fluctuations in currency rates, and environmental effects such as climate change. 

What does sustainable procurement look like? 
Sustainability requirements that may help achieve the targets in the National Waste Policy Action plan apply to organisational culpability. It would help if you looked at the following:  
  • Considering the percentage of recycled content in plastic, paper and glass packaging. They should align with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisations’ National Packaging Targets 
  • Identifying whether buildings or refurbishments are constructed to meet the requirements of specific criteria as part of achieving sustainable building certification or ISO standards 
  • Considering the recycled content in supplies, furniture and fittings and determine whether they can be recycled at the end of their life 
  • Participating in an accredited product stewardship scheme 
  • Considering donating food waste generated from events and excess catering to food collection services such as OzHarvest or Foodbank. 

Sustainable procurement can also be demonstrated in many facets of our everyday lives. This can include:  
  • Switching to solar power  
  • Making environmentally conscious purchasing decisions at the supermarket  
  • Switching to LED light bulbs  

When planning your procurement process or considering which goods or services to employ, make sure to look out for accredited labels and certifications below. 


blog content - Australasian Recycling Label(ARL)1

Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) 

The ARL is an evidence-based system underpinned by the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal design tool to provide a nationally consistent approach to packaging transparency. 

blog content - Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA)

Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) 

GECA offers a range of services, including  ’Australia’s only not-for-profit multi-sector ecolabelling program.

blog content - Compostable


The Australian Standard 4736-2006 for compostable and biodegradable plastics. It is a certification system throughout Australia and New Zealand.

blog content - EPEAT



EPEAT is a global ecolabel in the IT sector managed by the Green Electronics Council, providing an independent verification on manufacturers’ claims around sustainability.

blog content - Fairtrade Australia New Zealand


Fairtrade Australia New Zealand 

The Fairtrade mark is a globally recognised label displayed on goods to ensure they meet the social, economic and environmental standards set by Fairtrade International. 
blog content - Forest Stewardship Council Certification (FSC) Forest Stewardship Council Certification (FSC) 

FSC is an internationally recognised certification system that provides a guarantee that processes and operations or the production and source of goods meet the FSC standards.
blog content - Fuel consumption label

Fuel consumption label 

The fuel consumption label is an Australian Government initiative to inform consumers of the fuel consumption of a car and the potential carbon emissions.

blog content - Green Tag ™ certification

Green Tag ™ certification 

Green Tag ™ certification is a third-party green building and goods certification and rating system that is underpinned by scientific and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) processes. 

blog content - Green Tick Certified Sustainable


Green Tick Certified Sustainable 

The Green Tick Certified Sustainable scheme is a certification authority which promotes products that have been independently certified as environmentally sustainable.

blog content - Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) 

PEFC works to protect forests through certification which promotes sustainable forest management.

blog content - Recycled content

Recycled content 

Recycled content is defined in Australian Standard 14021:2018.  This logo can be used to indicate the percent of recycled content. 

blog content - Responsible Wood

Responsible Wood 

Responsible Wood is an Australian scheme which promotes environmentally sound, socially just and economically viable management of forests.

blog content - Energy Rating Label

Energy Rating Label 

The Energy Rating Label is a rating system which promotes the energy efficiency of an appliance by demonstrating its annual energy consumption through a star rating system.

blog content - Water rating label

Water rating label 

The Water Rating Label is an Australian/NZ rating system which allows consumers to compare how water efficient an appliance is based on a star rating system.  

Are you a Buyer and interested in Sustainable Procurement on the other side of tendering? Don't worry, we havent forgotten about you! Read our blog on Sustainability for Buyers (Sustainable Procurement pt.II)!




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