09 July 2008 | Jake Kanter
Public sector buyers should consider environmental issues as "a core part of their remit", according to a new report.
The Buy Green and Make a Difference guide, launched by the OGC today, said every spending decision a buyer makes has an impact on the environment. It urged buyers to consider green issues - such as carbon emissions or waste - in each contract and to make early decisions on how they can be minimised.
This could involve approaching procurement needs in an innovative way, by reusing or recycling a product, instead of buying it again. Another approach would be to invest in facilities such as video conferencing rather than purchasing travel. And it is critical to ensure suppliers perform their environmental obligations once a contract is in place.
The guidance for buyers was launched by Angela Eagle, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, at an event in London. She said environmental considerations should already be best practice for public sector buyers.
The OGC already has a set of mandatory sustainable procurement targets in place. These include buying timber from legal and sustainable sources and purchasing low emission cars.
The guidance is the second in a series. The first, launched last month, urged purchasers to play a bigger role in tackling social problems (News, 19 June 2008).