Govt. of Canada and Sustainability

As of 1 April 2006 (and I believe much after EU had a similar policy in existence), the Govt. of Canada (Federal) a significant purchaser of MMK, in an effort to promote environmental sustainability and to influence demand towards environmentally sound products and services, brought into existence the Green Procurement Policy.

The key message being:

“Green procurement is set within the context of achieving value for money. It requires the integration of environmental performance considerations into the procurement process including planning, acquisition, use and disposal. In this context, value for money includes the consideration of many factors such as cost, performance, availability, quality and environmental performance. Green procurement also requires an understanding of the environmental aspects and potential impacts and costs, associated with the life cycle assessment of goods and services being acquired. In addition, the supporting administrative processes and procurement methods can also offer opportunities to reduce the environmental impacts of government operations.”

As a result the onus of the policy was to promote the following Sustainability Principles:

1.Limit use of all resources to rates that ultimately result in levels of waste that can be absorbed by the ecosystem
2.Exploit renewable resources at rates that do not exceed the ability of the ecosystem to regenerate the resources
During my tenure with Public Work and Govt. Services, I saw first hand how the procurement of telecommunication equipment called  into question not only the manufacturing of PCBs and their disposal, but also the recycling of all the involved packaging and other materials. The key area that was new to me was  about the disposal of the systems at the end of their life cycle. In fact, the Green review as an integral part of the bid evaluation. This was one move that ensured industrial engineering know-how to go beyond delivering a cutting edge solution, it called for the industry to also think about  definitive plans for recycling the system materials after their life cycle usability.
A step in the right direction.
To ensure policy adherence Departmental Performance Reporting incorporates a review in the area of Green Procurement, as an example here is the 2009 report.
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Posted in government policy
One comment on “Govt. of Canada and Sustainability
  1. jeremy says:

    The ultimate policy would be one that encourages ‘cradle to cradle’!

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