Assessing supplier sustainability credentials - 1

By Pedro Walker,2014-01-06 18:20
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Assessing supplier sustainability credentials - 1

    Assessing a supplier’s sustainability credentials

    This Australian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) sponsored project is part of the implementation of the Australian and New Zealand Government Framework

    for Sustainable Procurement (Framework). The Framework was released by the

    Australian Procurement and Construction Ministerial Council in September 2007.

    This document aims to provide a useful set of sustainability related supplier questions to procurement officers involved in developing tender or request documents or when assessing the sustainability credentials of a contracted supplier.

    Procurement Officers across all levels of government are increasingly required to include sustainability considerations in their decision making. The criteria or questions that follow are designed to provide guidance on how an officer might assess the level of commitment and performance of a contracted supplier (or respondent to a tender) to environmental and social sustainability.

    Particular criteria or questions may not be applicable to some goods or services, nor to some suppliers or contract types. The intention is that officers select those criteria or questions most appropriate for their procurement or contract management requirements. Alternatively some or all of these questions could be used as a supplier questionnaire as part of the tender process.

    Potential questions have been grouped into the following categories of sustainability commitment and performance:

    ; Systems for Environmental Management

    ; Employment Practices

    ; Corporate Social Responsibility

    ; Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    ; Commitment to sustainability and demonstrated sustainability improvements

    ; Packaging

    ; Transport and Logistics

    ; Green' Product Reporting

    Suggested Evaluation Criteria applicable to each category of questioning have also been included for guidance purposes only. These are typically arranged as a graduated level of performance or commitment in order to assist in making comparative assessments.

    Any supplier to government reading this document should note that these criteria may not be universally applied and that the suggested evaluation criteria and scoring may vary from one tender to the next. Also it is important to note that variations of this document will be progressively “rolled-out” by jurisdictions.


    No. Potential Supplier Questions

    1. Systems for Environmental Management

    Part A

    Describe the system, processes and practices that enable your organisation to reduce your environmental impacts, meet your legal environmental requirement and achieve continual improvement of your environmental performance?

    Criteria that are to be commented on in responding to this requirement include:

    ; The existence of an operational environmental management system (EMS). Please indicate whether this

    meets a recognised standard, such as ISO 14001, European EMAS, U.S. EPA Performance Track or

    equivalent. Please provide evidence of certification.

    ; The organisation‟s environmental policy, which commits the organisation to a programme of

    environmental improvement. Please provide a copy of the policy.

    ; The organisation‟s environmental strategy, objectives and targets, as well as key performance indicators

    for these targets. Please provide examples.

    ; How the environmental policy, strategy and targets are communicated to all staff, including any training

    provided on sustainability. Part B

    In the last two years has your organisation been subject to any court proceedings related to breaches of environmental legislation? If yes, what was the outcome?

Part C

    Does your organisation maintain records of potential environmental hazards and have mitigation strategies and systems in place to reduce environmental hazards, e.g. carcinogens, irritants? Please provide examples.

    2. Employment Practices

    Part A

    What does your organisation do to apply fair employment practices to your workforce employees and sub contractors?

    Criteria to be commented on in responding to this requirement include:

    ; The organisation‟s documented policy for workforce and labour practices aligned to international

    standards, e.g. UN Global Compact International Labour Organisation Certification of employment

    practices to SA 8000.

    ; Requirements for your organisation‟s suppliers to have workplace practices based on ILO core

    conventions, certified to SA8000 or similar.

    ; Other certifications relevant to employment practices, eg Fairtrade certified. Please provide evidence of

    certification and provide details of the products certified.

Part B

    Has your organisation had any employment related convictions in the past two years? If yes, what was the


    3. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

    Describe the formalised programs or initiatives that the organisation has in place that are directed towards meeting social and ethical responsibilities and objectives.

    Criteria that are to be commented on in responding to this requirement include:

    ; Corporate Reporting that describes the organisation‟s approach to CSR, preferably with such reporting

    meeting external reporting guidelines, e.g. the Global Reporting Initiative‟s (GRI) Sustainability Reporting

    Guidelines (2002) and is publicly available.

    ; Any other formal CSR commitments made or CSR initiatives in which the organisation is involved.

    ; Awards or nominations that the organisation has received for its CSR activities. Please provide evidence.

    4. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

    What steps does your organisation take to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions?

    Criteria to be commented on in responding to this requirement include:

    ; Initiatives that the organisation has undertaken to calculate its GHG emissions, indicating whether these

    calculations are based on recognised guidelines, e.g. DOCC.

    ; An endorsed policy with respect to reduction of GHGs indicating the management systems and processes

    in place to support the endorsed policy.

    ; GHG reduction targets and proposed actions to achieve GHG reductions.

    ; Demonstrated GHG emissions reductions achieved.

    ; Public reporting of GHG emissions, and/or targets and actions for reduction.


    No. Potential Supplier Questions

    5. Commitment to sustainability and demonstrated sustainability improvements

    Part A

    Describe the processes and practices that demonstrate your organisation‟s commitment to and delivery of sustainability principles, including improving the sustainability performance of your organisation?

Criteria that are to be commented on in responding to this requirement include:

    ; Initiatives that the organisation has undertaken to identify and analyse the sustainability impacts

    associated with its business, including any waste streams. This could include audits of energy and/or

    water usage and waste generation. Please provide sample audits.

    ; Initiatives that have been implemented to achieve improved environmental or sustainability outcomes

    within the organisation‟s operations. This could include, as examples; initiatives to reduce or recycle

    waste, eco-design initiatives, energy saving and energy efficiency initiatives, generation or use of

    renewable energy, water saving or water reuse/recycling initiatives, waste reducing initiatives, or use of

    eco-labelled products.

    ; Demonstrated achieved eco-efficiency improvements in your production/manufacturing process.

    ; Awards or recognition that the organisation has achieved or been nominated for, in relation to its

    sustainability or environmental performance. Please provide evidence of award or nomination.

    ; (Queensland only) whether the organisation is an ecoBiz Partner, and if so, describe the eco-efficiency

    actions/projects that the organisation has undertaken as part of participating in the ecoBiz program.

Part B

    Describe programs or initiatives that your organisation has implemented across the supply chain that are

    directed towards becoming aware of, and improving the sustainability performance of its products and/or services (including from a whole of life perspective and ethical sourcing).

    6. Packaging

    Describe any initiatives that your organisation has in place to minimise/reduce the amount of packaging used?

    Criteria that are to be commented on in responding to this requirement include:

    ; Whether the organisation is a signatory to the National Packaging Covenant (NPC).

    ; Demonstrated reductions in packaging volumes and targets for further packaging reduction and recycling.

    ; Any „takeback‟ of packaging supplied with products and evidence that the collected packaging is

    recycled and/or reused. Include a description of how packaging is managed after delivery of products and

    whether the packaging can be recycled locally.

    7. Transport and logistics

    Describe initiatives that the organisation has implemented to reduce the environmental impacts directly

    associated with the transportation of raw materials/component parts and/or finished products.

    Criteria that are to be commented on in responding to this requirement include:

    ; Initiatives in place to improve efficiencies in delivery, e.g. reduced travel distances and/or frequency of

    travel associated with distribution of products, or transport logistics software that incorporates

    sustainability considerations.

    ; Initiatives in place to reduce the environmental impacts of travel, e.g. fuel efficiency, reduced air and noise

    pollution, or reduced carbon emissions. This could be demonstrated, for example, by utilising vehicles that

    rate 4 stars or more in the Australian Government‟s Green Vehicle Guide. Please provide evidence.

    ; Compliance with or working towards an eco-label or other credible sustainability credential relevant to

    transport and logistics.

    8. ‘Green’ Product Reporting

    Does your organisation provide a „green‟ product range? If yes, please describe the criteria used to determine

    that a product be classified as „green‟.

What data or information can you provide for your „green‟ product range?


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