Sustainable Procurement Guide


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Introduction 

 The Australian Government is committed to transforming Australia’s waste into a resource, where most goods and services can be continually used, reused, recycled, and reprocessed as part of a circular economy (refer to Figure 1). This requires changes to be made to all stages of the supply chain, from product design to disposal. However, without stable demand, there is little incentive for the investment in innovation or infrastructure needed to effect these changes. Sustainable procurement helps build a circular economy, aiming to reduce adverse social, environmental, and economic impacts of purchased goods and services throughout their life. This includes considerations such as waste disposal and the cost of operations and maintenance over the life of the goods and services. Australian Government officials need to consider these impacts when making procurement decisions in line with our obligation to spend public money efficiently, effectively, economically, and ethically. As a key principle of the National Waste Policy, the Australian Government has committed to considering environmental sustainability when purchasing goods and services. Under Target 4 of the National Waste Policy Action Plan, all levels of government and industry have committed to significantly increasing their use of recycled content. The Australian Government has committed to using its purchasing power to help build demand and markets for products containing recycled content. This can be achieved through embedding sustainability in contracts where there is an opportunity for recycled content (particularly glass, paper, tires, and plastics) to be procured. 

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