The Council recognises the influence of its spending power as a way of achieving its overall strategic goals, and with a strong focus on delivering efficiency the Council is being challenged to accomplish more with existing budgets.
The Council’s Community Strategy identifies sustainable development as a key aim by improving people’s quality of life, not only now but in the future. It is also our aim to protect the environment for future generations by ensuring a balanced approach to resource use and moving towards a culture of partnership working to achieve our targets.
The Council’s Guidelines on Environmental Purchasing support the Council’s sustainability statement by providing guidance to purchasers and specifying officers on taking environmental considerations into account when awarding contracts for goods, services and works.
The aim of Sustainable Procurement is to ensure that procurement takes into account economic, social and environmental considerations in the decision making process – this includes the following key factors:
- The need to achieve value for money (Best Value)
- The availability of financial resources
- Environmental and socio-economic implications
- Links to relevant Council Policies and Strategies
- Any legal requirement relating to procurement
The most appropriate way to effectively balance these different factors is to evaluate goods, services and works in terms of whole life matters. The Council must be able to demonstrate quality and economy throughout the life cycle of each acquisition. This incorporates source of raw materials, manufacture, logistics, use/maintenance, as well as disposal. Quality in this respect embraces not only fitness for the purpose and value for money, but also environmental and demonstrable socio-economic benefits.
The principle objectives are:-
Maximise the environmental and socio-economic benefits of goods and services purchased, particularly through the use, where practicable, of locally-sourced goods and services.
Conserve energy, water, wood, paper and other resources, particular those which are scarce or non-renewable, while still providing a safe and comfortable environment for the citizens we serve and staff employed.
Reduce waste by purchasing refurbished and recycled products and materials where such alternatives are available, affordable and fit for their purpose;
Encourage manufactures, suppliers and contractors through specifications to develop environmentally and socially preferable goods and services at competitive prices.
Work with contractors to improve their environmental and social performance where this is relevant to the contract, and to the achievement of value for money;
Ensure that all suppliers, contractors and fund managers support the welfare and rights of both their own employees and those of subsidiary companies supplying components and raw materials used in the manufacturing process;
Minimise pollution resulting from the manufacture, use and eventual disposal of goods purchased;
Phase out ozone-depleting substances and minimising releases of greenhouse gases, volatile organic compounds, vehicle emissions and other substances with the potential to do damage to health and the environment (e.g. through the purchase of energy-efficient work equipment and low emissions vehicles);
Ensure that any products derived from wildlife and other natural resources, such as timber, plants and leather goods, are from ecologically sustainable sources that comply with EC and other international trading rules such as CITES (the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species);