Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 3 2011 Contents COVER StORy
for Defence procurement
By Susan Elekessy
DEFENCE AND thE ENViRONMENt
Defence is putting the
environment first when
it comes to the procurement
of goods and services, with
products getting the tick of
approval for the organisation’s
The Assistant Secretary of Estate Policy
and Environment, Mr Terry Weston, said
procurement is now geared towards the
selection of products and services that
minimise environmental impacts.
“This requires a company or
organisation to carry out an assessment
of the environmental consequences of a
product at all the various stages of its life
cycle,” Mr Weston says.
This means considering the costs of
securing raw materials, manufacturing,
transporting, storing, handling, using
and disposing of the product.
“Green procurement is rooted in the
principle of pollution prevention, which
strives to eliminate or to reduce risks to
human health and the environment.
“It means evaluating purchases based
on a variety of criteria, ranging from
the necessity of the purchase in the first
place to the options available for its
eventual disposal,” Mr Weston says.
Benefits of green procurement
Green products are generally produced
in a manner that consumes fewer natural
resources or uses them more sustainably,
as with sustainable forestry.
They may involve less energy in
their manufacture and may consume
less energy when being used, and they
generally contain fewer hazardous or
Green products are also generally
designed with the intention of reducing
the amount of waste created. For example,
they may contain recycled material or
use less packaging, and the supplier may
operate a take-back program.
Green procurement can also offer cost
savings. Buying green usually involves
products that are easily recycled, last longer
and/or produce less waste, also saving
money on waste disposal down the track.
Green products generally require fewer
resources to manufacture and operate, so
savings can be made on energy, water, fuel
and other natural resources.
Moreover, green products generally
involve fewer toxic or hazardous
materials, reducing associated expenses
such as permit fees, toxic materials
handling charges and staff training, and
most important of all, negative impacts
on health and safety, both in workplaces
and the wider community.
Organisations that practice green
procurement will also be recognised as
good corporate citizens.
As markets gradually change, the
availability of green products tend to
increase whilst costs of these products
tend to fall.
What is Defence doing about
Defence is going through a process
of identifying purchasing processes
and developing tools and resources for
For example, the Defence Purchasing
Policy Manual (DPPM) has been updated
to reflect current policy in this area
and provides overarching guidance for
Defence has developed a green
procurement web site with tools and
resources for purchasers that will form the
basis of a handbook. Visit the site at: http://
Office supplies and paper
Defence meets regularly with its
industry partners and suppliers to look
for opportunities to achieve green
procurement outcomes, and actively
looks to promote good examples of green
purchasing and share lessons learnt.
One of Defence’s key industry
partners in this area, Corporate Express,
has just launched a Go Green Guide
that has hundreds of products from its
EarthSaver range. In order for products
to be categorised under the EarthSaver
classification, suppliers need to have
signed Corporate Express’ ethical
sourcing policy and meet one or more
of the following criteria:
• products that contain at least 20 per
cent of recycled materials in the
• products that are manufactured to
IS014001 or equivalent environmental
• products that do not harm or
degenerate the environment while in
use (e.g. bio-degradable)
• products that have at least 70 per cent
recyclable or bio-degradable content
when they reach their end of life, and
• products that are classified/part of the
Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance.
These products have been selected
because they help minimise negative
impacts on the environment and include
a wide range of Corporate Express
products including toner cartridges,
folders, archive boxes, notepads, mailing
bags, pens and more in the office
products and consumables area.
Often these products are not
more expensive than their less
environmentally-friendly versions, or
have a minimal cost premium attached.
When you think that a non-
biodegradable plastic pen in landfill
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