Sustainable procurement

Find out how social procurement integrates sustainable procurement practices to achieve positive environmental outcomes.

Social procurement incorporates sustainable procurement practices

In addition to the social outcomes, the Government is committed to achieving positive environmental outcomes through sustainable procurement practices, which achieves value for money while minimising impact to the environment. 

Sustainable procurement practices may include: 

  • maximising recyclable/recovered content; 
  • minimising waste and greenhouse gas emissions;  
  • conserving energy and water; 
  • minimising habitat destruction and environmental degradation; and 
  • providing non-toxic solutions. 

Under this framework, the Victorian Government promotes sustainable practices that go beyond compliance requirements to both minimise adverse environmental impact and deliver positive environmental outcomes. 

Example of social procurement in action

Reduction of air travel CO2 emissions - Working with suppliers to achieve environmental sustainability 

The Department of Treasury and Finance and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning offset their travel CO2 emissions through the purchase of carbon credits. These carbon credits support the Lavers Hill reforestation project on the Great Ocean Road. 

This project was established in partnership with the Victorian Government’s travel provider, CTM, and specialist supplier, The South Pole Group. These providers supply an end-to-end solution to the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, including tracking of emissions, automatic addition of the offset cost to all travel itineraries and the purchase of carbon credits. 

The typical cost to the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for offsetting a return air trip to Sydney is approximately $4. The Department of Treasury and Finance is working with other departments and agencies to promote uptake of this seamless solution. 

The Department of Treasury and Finance is also working to reduce demand for air travel by promoting alternatives such as audio-video conference facilities. By making it easier for staff to book conference calls, and adding links to these facilities on the CTM travel portal, the Department of Treasury and Finance is actively seeking to change purchasing behaviour to reduce expenditure and emissions. 

Sustainability Victoria - Supporting supplier development for social and environmental outcomes 

Waste management has been a key area of growth in social enterprise, and an example of integrated triple-bottom-line outcomes through procurement. Social enterprises such as Outlook, which works for a range of municipalities across Melbourne, not only provide training, skills, and employment for Victorians with disability, but increase the diversion of waste from landfill. 

Sustainability Victoria has supported the development of social enterprises’ capacity, such as Outlook, through its Social Value from Waste Grants Program, which commenced in 2014. The program aims to build the capacity and capability of social enterprises, including in this case, targeted support to Outlook to build a new e-waste facility in Officer, providing training, skills, and employment for Victorians with disability. 

Tools and support 

This content on this page is taken from Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework. Access a PDF version in the social procurement document library

For more information about social procurement, please contact the Social Procurement team

Reviewed 07 October 2019

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