Green Procurement

Green procurement means reviewing the items and services your offices buys regularly and selecting ones with lower environmental impact. Green principles can apply to all the major items of equipment, energy, water, paper, cleaning, and furniture. Environmental impact can include what went into making the products, like toxic compounds, to the resources they use in operation through to their disposal. Like any other greening project, there are policies and tracking methods available and a range of certificate marks to guide consumer choice. Going green with procurement can save costs, improve the health and wellbeing of your office, strengthen your brand and sends a strong signal to the market about your corporate values.  Purchasing carbon neutral products and services is also an excellent way of managing Scope 3 emissions.

Key elements

  • Green procurement overview

    Interrogating your procurement practices can save money, improve employee wellbeing, and improve environmental credentials.

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  • Green procurement policy

    Procurement policy and guideline documents set out the shared understanding of an organisation's approach to procurement.

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  • Choosing green products

    Deciding what criteria for selecting products or services will dictate the management systems and the level of sustainability required or desired by your organisation.

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  • Supply chain management

    Strategic procurement and green supply chains require understanding and prioritising the products that your company purchases by volume and value. 

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  • End of life

    Disposing of old and un-used equipment is an opportunity to continue sustainable management practices.

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Related resources

  • Slide Deck: Sustainable procurement fundamentals with ECO-Buy

    These slides from an interactive workshop held for CitySwitch signatories in Melbourne and presented by experienced trainers EcoBuy provides an introduction to sustainable procurement.

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  • Sustainable Procurement Quick Guide

    This guide provides a step-by-step approach to introducing a sustainable procurement model to your organisation.

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  • Best practice waste & recycling contracts for business

    Get a best practice waste and recycling contract underway with the help of this Sustainability Victoria guide. This resource has been created to help small to medium sized businesses navigate the waste contract procurement process and to get the most efficient and cost effective service.

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  • FluoroCycle

    Lamp recycling can help reduce the amount of mercury being sent to landfill. FluoroCycle is a voluntary product stewardship scheme that seeks to increase the national recycling rate of waste mercury-containing lamps.

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  • NSW Local Government Sustainable Choice Database

    The Local Government NSW Sustainable Choice Database is a a membership-based program available to councils in NSW. It provides indicators of sustainability factors that may be attached to a company and/or its products.

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  • Eco-Find by Eco-buy

    This comprehensive online directory of independently assessed products and suppliers. They encourage 'greener purchasing": buying products that are greener that those you currently buy, and to continually improve.

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  • USA Sustainable Procurement Policies

    A collection of ten real Sustainable Procurement Policies from USA state administrations, complied by California's Buy Recycled program. 

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  • Sydney Harbour Procurement Guidelines

    Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Procurement Guidelines form part of their Sustainable Future Policy. Their target is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their precincts by 80 per cent from 2001 levels by 2020.

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  • APCC Sustainable procurement guides

    The Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) provide guides to sustainable procurement of office paper, cleaning services, business machines, ICT products, print services, and office furniture, plus a guide to assessing the sustainability credentials of a contracted supplier, for example when writing tender documents.

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Case studies

  • Case Study: ACORPP

    Case Study: ACORPP
    ACORPP involved staff in selecting a new office and save over a thousand dollars a year in electricity by choosing a space with  natural light, providing laptops, and timers on boardroom air conditioning. ACORPP also chose furniture and fitout materials for certified low environmental impact, recycled content and recyclability.

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  • Case study: Victorian Dept. of Transport

    Case study: Victorian Dept. of Transport
    Long-time Signatory, the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning & Local Infrastructure, has achieved a number of operational gains including a 33 per cent reduction in energy use. With the help of the CitySwitch RMIT student program, resource audits have provided useful insights into staff 'switch-off' behaviour, waste avoidance tactics and office equipment procurement to achieve ongoing environmental and economic savings.

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  • Case Study: Cameron Chisholm Nicol

    Case Study: Cameron Chisholm Nicol

    The Perth tenancy of architecture and interior design practice Cameron Chisholm Nicol is testimony to the organisation's energy efficiency and carbon neutral commitment. They have achieved energy cost savings of 30 per cent and a 4.5 star NABERS Energy rating.

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  • Case Study: Synergy

    Case Study: Synergy

    Synergy, Western Australia's largest energy retailer, used an office refit to address energy efficiency and embrace sustainable principles. They undertook low-cost lighting modifications, consolidated office equipment and worked hard to engage staff in their quest to reduce energy.

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  • Case Study: WISE Employment

    Case Study: WISE Employment

    WISE Employment has taken a holistic approach to managing their impact as they strive for carbon neutrality across their Melbourne offices. Measures include a lighting hardware and control system upgrade, a Green Champions program for staff and office equipment upgrades.

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  • Case Study: Herbert Geer

    Case Study: Herbert Geer

    Herbert Geer Lawyers have maximised sustainability across their Melbourne and Brisbane operations by switching to server virtualisation. This has resulted in reduced hardware and other resource needs, cut power demand and translated to savings of over $10,000 per annum.

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CitySwitch Vicinity Centre Tour

CitySwitch Vicinity Centre Tour

Tour 1: 10am Friday 27 July
Tour 2: 2pm Friday 27 July

Join CitySwitch and Vicinity Centres for a special tour of its new National Office in the Chadstone Tower One building.

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CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.