Sustainability Victoria promotes positive outcomes through procurement to achieve value for money while minimising the impact on the environment.
SV supports state and local governments to consider environmental sustainability principles when making decisions about purchasing goods and services and for public construction and infrastructure.
SV does this by using the environmental objectives under the Social Procurement Framework (Buying for Victoria website) and work under the Recycling Industry Strategic Plan (PDF, 1MB).
Government procurement supports a circular economy
As a major buyer of goods, services and construction, the Victorian Government is well placed to help build a strong market for recycled materials.
Recycling is fantastic for reducing waste going to landfill, but it is only a viable option when we have a market for recycled materials. For us to create a circular economy in Victoria, we need strong markets for recycled materials.
The Victorian Government released the Recycling Industry Strategic Plan in 2018 as a blueprint for a safe, resilient and efficient recycling system in Victoria. Among other actions, the Government has committed to supporting the recycling market by increasing demand for recycled content and products across government.
Sustainability Victoria has received funding under this plan to help departments and agencies increase procurement of recycled content. We are currently investigating state government opportunities and will develop an implementation plan that:
- identifies where high-volumes of recycled content could be used
- removes existing barriers to targeting these materials.
We are working closely with the Department of Treasury and Finance to deliver this plan by mid-2019.
For more information on the circular economy, visit the Transitioning to a circular economy page on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.
Positive environmental outcomes through sustainable procurement
Victorian Government released the Social Procurement Framework in April 2018. Under the framework, all departments and agencies must consider environmental and social impacts alongside cost as part of the procurement process for goods, services and construction.
SV can help government buyers prioritise the environmentally sustainable objectives under the Social Procurement Framework, including:
- Environmentally sustainable outputs
- Product-specific requirements to use sustainable resources and to manage waste and pollution
- Use of recycled content in construction works
- Environmentally sustainable business practices
- Adoption of sustainable business practices
Sustainable Procurement Masterclasses
SV in partnership with Whittlesea and Wyndham City Councils, held a Sustainable Procurement Masterclass in 2018 targeted at local government. The theme of the class - When recycled rubber hits the road - focused on how to increase the amount of recycled content like glass, concrete, rubber and plastics in road construction procurement.
SV’s CEO Stan Krpan opened the Masterclass, followed by the Victorian Chief Engineer, Collette Bourke. Both Stan and Collette set the statewide perspective and challenges ahead including resource scarcity. Fin Robertson from Level Crossing Removal Authority spoke about using industry rating tools to drive sustainable outcomes through the procurement process, whilst VicRoads covered the specifications and standards that have been developed to enable the use of recycled materials.
Participants also heard from Downer about their innovative use of toner cartridges, glass fines and street sweepings. Wyndham City Council spoke about its recycled material trials and findings, and the Municipal Association of Victoria issued a call to action to all councils to reinvigorate the Zero Waste Roads initiative.