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Defence Estate Quality Management System (DEQMS) Davis Langdon Certification Services

Environment Compliance Element Environmental Management

Sustainable Procurement - Implementation & Operation - What can you do? Advice for purchasers

So where do you start when it comes to reducing your ecological impact? It’s important to remember that changes won’t happen overnight – but every step towards a greener procurement action counts.
Introduce positive strategies to combat the negative environmental effects of purchasing. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • First and foremost – decide whether the product or service is necessary. Always aim to reduce consumption and manage the demand placed on products /services within your organisation
  • Assess the options available for disposal of the product, does it contain hazardous materials?
  • Identify areas within the supply chain and work with suppliers to improve processes.
  • Research products and suppliers prior to purchasing or initiating an agreement. Keep an eye out for products with good environmental credentials including recycled content.
  • Procure environmentally preferable products - those which reduce waste, take fewer natural resources to produce, are reusable and/or recyclable.
  • Actively recycle consumables within the workplace where possible.

It is important to analyse your purchases – identify the impact your purchase will have on the environment (risks) and the power you have to avoid or minimise those impacts.


Defence is moving forward with the greening of its fleet, achieving considerable savings just from converting its V8 fleet to V6s, realising significant financial and environmental benefits. We are also looking to purchase more hybrid vehicles and making 4 cylinder cars the basic standard, down from 6 cylinders. Rationalisation of vehicles and keeping them for longer is being considered across the Department. For more information on the cars that produce less emissions and as a bonus, are more fuel efficient and cheaper to run, click here for the Green Vehicle Guide


CIOG is currently implementing the Whole Of Government ICT Sustainability Plan which has several goals:

  • By focusing on the responsible acquisition, installation, maintenance, use and disposal of ICT, the Government aims to utilise ICT resources more effectively, improve efficiency, increase productivity, and reduce the environmental impact of its ICT operations.
  • The Plan identifies standards to be applied in government purchasing of ICT products and services, and introduces measures to improve environmental performance of ICT, particularly in terms of energy efficiency.
  • Another focus of the ICT Sustainability Plan is the effective use of ICT by Government agencies to promote more sustainable practices in government, industry and the community for the economic and social benefit of all Australians.
  • Disposal activity is an integral part of ICT hardware accounting and management. CIOG works with various service providers and contracted disposal agents to environmentally manage and ethically dispose of or redistribute ICT hardware on behalf of Defence.
For further information these points contact Fleet Operations - Hardware group mailbox - (internal only)

Office Supplies & Paper

From July 1 2011, the Department implemented a new policy of sourcing office copy paper for general purpose use with a minimum of 50 per cent post-consumer recycled content by July 201, with progression to 100 per cent by July 2015. The remaining virgin fibre content of that paper is to originate from chain-of-custody sources, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified sources/forests, Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) schemes or from sustainably managed forests.

  • Defence is currently identifying purchasing processes and developing tools and resources for purchasing officers to assist them to procure ‘greener’ products;
  • The Defence Procurement Policy Manual (Chapter 3.16 - Environment in Procurement) has been updated to reflect current policy in this area and provides over-arching guidance for all purchasing officers;
  • Defence is looking to develop green procurement guidelines, and will promote good examples of green purchasing and sharing lessons learnt.
  • Defence also meets regularly with its industry partners and suppliers to look for opportunities to achieve green procurement outcomes.


"Defence has released a new purchasing policy for whitegoods in line with Government and best practice energy and environmental standards. The policy, which sets out required and recommended standards, is to be used by purchasing officers whenever purchasing fridges, freezers, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and other whitegoods.

Defence is committed to using energy and water resources more efficiently across its activities. As a large consumer of white goods there is an opportunity to reduce consumption of energy and water through the use of efficient appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators/freezers and clothes dryers.

Where applicable, white goods are to meet Australian government policy requirements stated in the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO) Policy, namely the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS). In the case of appliances and white goods the MEPS state that relevant appliances should be US EPA “Energy Star” compliant and that power management features are to be enabled at the time of supply.
In the case of refurbishments and replacement of plant and equipment the EEGO policy states that agencies should purchase energy efficient appliances and office equipment.

In addition to complying with the EEGO and MEPS requirements, Defence seeks to improve its environmental and energy efficiency performance by also introducing a preferred minimum star rating based on the energy product database, for all relevant appliances. Where possible the preferred minimum star rating should be met, provided appliances pass a whole of life, value for money test.