Green procurement

From: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

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Actions on green procurement

We buy environmentally friendly goods and services by considering environmental performance over the entire life cycle of goods and services purchased, along with other criteria such as price, availability, quality, and performance. This is in line with the Directive on the Management of Procurement requirement that best value be considered in the procurement process.  

Canada’s Centre for Greening Government is collaborating with departments and agencies to green their procurement and meet the commitments of the Greening Government Strategy and the Policy on Green Procurement by:

  1. Implementing the procurement elements of existing greening government initiatives and commitments (ex: Low Carbon Fuel Procurement Program, the purchase of clean electricity, the purchase of zero-emission vehicles, and the retrofitting of buildings to zero or low-carbon).
  2. Estimating the embodied carbon footprint of the goods and services bought by Canada’s central procurement organizations.
  3. Developing new procurement requirements for the categories of goods and services with high embodied carbon footprint.
  4. Promoting other environmental considerations such as reduction of waste, and circular procurement.
    • Public Services and Procurement Canada has developed two programs promoting circular economy.
  5. Encouraging departments to green their procurement in various ways as reflected in their Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies.
  6. Forming coalitions with other major public buyers both nationally and international:
    • Buyers for Climate Action: a group of municipal and provincial governments, who, along with the federal government, are committed to lowering their carbon emissions and who purchase significant volumes of goods and services in high environmental impact categories such as real property, fleet, and information and communications technology.
    • Greening Government Initiative: a new international community of practice on greening procurement co‑chaired by Canada and U.S.
  7. Promoting green procurement and clean technologies through the Greening Government Fund and by making linkages to other federal initiatives (i.e. Innovative Solutions Canada, Clean Growth Hub, Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security).
    • Examples of projects from the Greening Government Fund:
      • a project to establish the data and guidelines needed to buy lower-carbon construction materials (lead by the National Research Council)
      • a pilot that measures greenhouse gas emissions associated with goods and services purchased. (Lead by Public Services and Procurement Canada)

Why it’s important

Green procurement benefits the environment in several ways. It helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from government operations and our supply chain. It cuts down on the use of hazardous and toxic substances, pollution, and plastic waste as well as supporting the Canadian economy by creating new markets for innovative products and services.

How decisions are made

Green procurement is integrated in:

For the commitments and targets related to procurement, please refer to the Greening Government Strategy.

Green Procurement is also part of the President of Treasury Board’s mandate letter, specifically in the commitment to strengthen federal procurement policies to integrate human rights, environment, social and corporate governance principles.

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