Whitehorse City Council

Green Purchasing

In today’s competitive environment, companies are taking more notice of consumers asking for more sustainable and energy and water efficient products.

Purchasing more energy efficient products has been made easier with the star rating system. Electrical appliances often have a star rating system attached to them. The more stars an appliance has the more efficient it is.

Water using appliances also have a star rating system that works in the same way. Next time you’re purchasing new appliances make sure you look at how water and energy efficient they are. This saves you money and is better for the environment.

When renovating there are variety of products on the market that offer a green alternative.

Eco-paints are no longer uncommon and offer a great green alternative. They can be made from natural, non-toxic ingredients and do not produce chemical fumes. Ask your local paint provider form information about eco-paints next time your looking to redecorate. 
Eco furniture produced using either ethically manufactured materials or recycled material had also grown in its popularity and availability. Look for green alternatives when buying furniture, such as:

  • Recycled timber
  • Secondhand or restored vintage furniture
  • Timber from sustainable sources and not old growth forest
  • Good quality furniture that will last a long time
  • Locally made furniture
  • Fabrics made from recycled products
  • Office furniture made from recycled plastics

One of the most powerful ways in which councils can demonstrate their commitment to the environment is to use their purchasing power to buy products that are less damaging to people and the environment.

Council initiatives to obtain greener products and clearer information about the impacts of specific products provide the incentive for manufacturers to provide the types of products they want.

When purchasing products, whether they are hand towels or a whole new building, you can find green alternatives that are far kinder to the environment than the products you have traditionally used. There are many readily available products that make green purchasing a relatively straightforward activity. Products made from recycled materials, energy efficient and greenhouse friendly products, water efficient products and non-toxic products can make a major difference.

Eco Buy  

Council is a member of ECO-Buy – a not-for-profit organisation that encourages organisations to purchase environmentally preferable products and services by providing expertise in implementing policy and strategic development; integrating practical tools in existing operational systems; and monitoring and reporting on green purchasing.Eco Buy Awards

As an EcoBuy member, Council is committed to increasing the amount of ‘green’ products purchased each year. This doesn't mean that Council is purchasing more products, rather that we are giving preference to those with better environmental credentials. Every year, we are required to submit an inventory of all the ‘green’ products purchased and their total value. 

In June 2011, Council was recognised for its green purchasing efforts at the 9th Annual ECO-Buy Awards, where Council was the recipient of the Award for Green Products Procurement – Metropolitan Council.

The award recognises the metropolitan council that makes the largest investment in green products as a percentage of available expenditure. Council spent $6 million on green products in 2009/10 which is just under 12 per cent of the total available expenditure and two-and-a-half times more than the average green spend of other councils. These purchases covered a wide variety of Council products, totalling 143 product types – one of the highest numbers of purchases reported by any Council. The 2009/10 green spend included the $900,000 purchase of Green Power which reduced carbon dioxide levels by more than 9900 tonnes.

Council was also a Finalist for the Award for Excellence in Green Purchasing – Policy, Strategy and Communications.

To download the Whitehorse – ECO-Buy case study for 2009/10, please click on the following link: pdf icon 2011 ECO-Buy Award Case Study Metropolitan Council Whitehorse (439.10kB) 

For more information on the ECO-Buy program visit www.ecobuy.org.au

To obtain further details on Council’s ‘green’ purchasing efforts, contact the Sustainability Unit on 9262 6333.