Eurobodalla Council has made a significant step toward reducing its waste by adopting a new Sustainable Purchasing Code of Practice.
The code sets out guidelines to minimise the environmental impacts of buying goods and services for Council operations.
Council staff will be required to follow the general principle of choosing goods and services that minimise health and environmental impacts, including giving preference to goods that have reused or recycled content. Council will also ask its suppliers to manage the environmental and social impacts of their business, such as minimising single-use plastic items and packaging.
Council’s Sustainability Coordinator Mark Shorter said many staff responsible for purchasing already considered environmental sustainability, however the time had come to make it official.
“As a local water utility and waste manager, Council has a direct interest in preventing waste going to landfill and supporting water conservation, recycling, and the use of recycled products,” he said.
“It not only provides good environmental outcomes, it’s a more efficient use of ratepayer funds.”
Mr Shorter said the policy would apply to things like purchasing energy-efficient appliances and recycled paper to larger initiatives, such using recycled products in road-construction projects.
“Every purchase made for Council has a potential flow-on impact on the environment, whether it’s the manufacturing, supply, operation and/or disposal stages,” he said.
“We won’t just be asking our suppliers to consider their environmental impacts, we’ll offer them help to implement change where we can. For example, we might work with caterers to reduce single-use plastic by offering our own reusable containers, or pay a deposit to use theirs.”
Mr Shorter said that adopting the code was part of a commitment to work toward reducing Council’s environmental footprint.
“It’s also an opportunity to effect consistent and long-lasting change in how Council contributes to waste reduction through sustainable purchases,” he said.
The Sustainable Purchasing Code of Practice includes specific minimum and desirable requirements for suppliers across a range of industries and product categories. It will be provided to Council’s existing, new and potential suppliers. It is also available on Council’s website www.esc.nsw.gov.au
Above: Council will give preference to goods with reused or recycled content for Council operations, under its new Sustainable Purchasing Code of Practice, including recycled paper. Pictured is Council’s Sustainability Coordinator Mark Shorter.