Provisions, Scott's Hut. Image – Harley Betts
Improving sustainability performance through the supply chain is an important consideration in our procurement policies for IT equipment through to fleet vehicle choices, building construction and refurbishment, office consumables and Fair–Trade tea and coffee. Sustainability criteria including the supplier company’s commitment to sustainability, and the sustainability of products and services provided, are included in the evaluation/selection of our suppliers and products. Where possible, we purchase products that are energy–efficient, have recycled content and which will be reused or recycled. Our procurement policy applies the principles of best value for money in regard to economic, environmental and social impacts over whole–of–life–cycle.
We continue to collaborate with other CRIs and AsureQuality through the CRI Procurement Forum, and to participate in All of Government (AoG) initiatives, including landline and mobile fees, insurance, lab consumables, waste services, travel, legal and recruitment services and electricity supply contracts.
Our influence of the wider CRI group has been gratifying, with sustainability credentials and practices now included evaluation criteria in supplier selection. This helps influence supplier commitment to environmentally sustainable practices as evidenced (for example) by the majority of our hotel providers now working to a recognised environmental programme.
Our procurement policy was updated in 2014 to reflect the new Government Rules of Sourcing, and applies the principles of best value for money over whole of life, and requires our procurement of sustainably produced goods and services wherever possible having regard to economic, environmental and social impacts over their life cycle.
The volume of copier paper purchased in 2013/14 was 8% less than in 2012/13; a reduction of approximately 400 reams. However, while our paper use is decreasing, we still use significant quantities of paper. We assess the post–consumer recycled content, bleaching process, source of timber, and environmental and social performance of manufacturers, production facilities and mills. As new ‘greener’ alternatives become available, we favour these over less sustainable products. We also re–use office products (files, folders) and have a good supply of used and reusable items on hand in our stationery stores.
A paper-saving IT initiative operating within our printer/copier machines called Follow-You printing saw us reduce our printed pages by approximately 153 reams, contributing almost 40% of our 400-ream reduction since the 12-13 year. For the 2013/14 year Landcare Research used office paper products that equated to 5.72 tCO2e for copy paper and 0.58 tCO2e for other paper stationary items, a total of 6.3 tonnes.
We use Tork FSC certified hygiene papers, manufactured in New Zealand at their FSC certified manufacturing plan at Kawarau in New Zealand. Tork products meet various environmental and energy–efficiency criteria.
Landcare Research is an officially registered Fair Trade organisation and our coffee and tea supplies are Fair Trade.
New office furniture must meet our criteria of being recyclable or incorporate recycled materials, and produced in a sustainable way. Where possible, we refurbish existing furniture to reduce our resource use. We continue to use products such as Entropy RE Interface carpet tiles, low VOC adhesives and timber from sustainably managed forests. Enviro–paints are always used for interiors and exteriors. Marmoleum flooring is our product of choice where hard flooring is required.
As a science organisation we are significant users of IT equipment. In our purchasing decisions we evaluate suppliers in terms of their environmental sustainability; for example, whether the company has a sustainability policy, use minimal and recyclable packaging, and whether they take back products at end–of–life. Power consumption of equipment, both when in use and when idle, is also part of our purchasing criteria for new IT equipment.
Wherever possible, we purchase recycled toners.
We have continued ongoing rationalisation of our vehicle fleet to reflect our changing road travel needs, including reducing the number of vehicles and more fuel-efficient vehicles (which in turn reduces our greenhouse gas emissions footprint). Hybrid vehicles are now being investigated to potentially further reduce our footprint.