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Public Services and Procurement Canada

2.2. Annex: Green Procurement: Environmental Factors and Evaluation Indicators

Client departments, with the assistance of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), are responsible for all four stages of the procurement process, from planning and acquisition through use and disposal. The following lists are an example of aspects to be considered:

  1. Environmental Factors and Related Cost Elements
    Examples of environmental factors that should be taken into consideration in assessing value for money are provided below. These are expressed in terms of cost elements that client departments may take into consideration in the evaluation of bids. These include but are not limited to:
    1. operation costs, such as energy or water consumed by the good over its life;
    2. indirect costs (e.g. less energy efficient information technology equipment will produce more heat causing the building's air conditioning system to work harder, and increase electricity costs);
    3. administrative costs, such as complying to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS);
    4. investing up front to save costs later, such as specifying higher levels of insulation where the extra expenditure can be recovered from lower energy costs;
    5. use of refurbished parts or products, where possible;
    6. Recyclability: This is thought to be the key since purchasers can create markets for their own waste, such as paper, toner cartridges, etc., through the transformation and sale of products containing recycled materials;
    7. cost of disposal arrangements;
    8. establishing minimum environmental performance standards for commodities where there is a sufficient supplier base to support competition;
    9. where the supplier base is limited, include incentives for meeting extra environmental performance criteria; and
    10. use of contractual terms, to define environmental obligations, such as packaging take-back, use of certified recyclers for e-waste.
  2. Environmental Evaluation Indicators
    Examples of indicators that should be examined to develop evaluation criteria are as follows:
    1. Environmental Certification
      1. Has the good/service been certified through an independent program, such as the Environmental Choice Program or Energy Star?
      2. Have studies of the environmental attributes of the good been completed?
    2. Energy and Resource Efficiency
      1. Do you purchase used, remanufactured, rebuilt or refurbished goods and/or materials?
      2. Does this good make efficient use of resources and energy throughout its life cycle?
      3. Does this good reduce waste?
      4. Suppliers should be instructed to indicate if the good has any energy, water or fuel saving features, such as Power Down Mode.
      5. Are there measures to extend the useful life of the good; for example, re-use, refill, recharge, recondition?
    3. Recycled Content
      1. Does the good include post-consumer recycled content?
      2. What type and what percentage are recycled materials?
    4. Hazardous Replacement
      1. Does the supplier offer a non-hazardous replacement or alternative for this good?
      2. Does the good require Safety Data Sheets (SDS)?
    5. Performance Testing
      1. Is it possible to test the good/service, prior to purchase?
      2. Does the good meet the performance specifications?
      3. Is there any documented past performance? (For example, annual reports, environmental performance reports).
    6. Packaging
      1. Is packaging reduced to the bare minimum required to ensure that the good is delivered in perfect working condition?
      2. Can the good be acquired in bulk or concentrated form?
      3. Will the supplier remove the packaging from the site following installation?
      4. Is the packaging reusable, contain reusable parts or is it recyclable?
      5. Does the packaging material contain post-consumer recycled materials?
    7. On Site Waste Management
      1. During the project, will all waste be source separated on site and recycled?
      2. Request information and reward environmentally sound stewardship and use of certified haulers/sites.
      3. Is the good or service designed to minimize waste (for example, catering service using dishes that are made of china rather than Styrofoam)?
    8. Return for Disassembly and Recycling
      1. Does the good include a return for recycling policy?
      2. Can the good be recycled in your area?
      3. Will consumables (such as toner cartridges) be accepted for recycling?
      4. Is the good easily disassembled?
    9. Warranties
      1. What is the expected useful life span of the good?
      2. How long is the warranty, and should you purchase an extended warranty?
    10. Maintenance
      1. Is the good designed for easy maintenance and repair?
      2. Are maintenance and replacement parts readily available and reasonably priced?
      3. Is the good easy and cost effective to upgrade?
    11. Environmental Attributes of the Supplier
      1. Does the supplier have a certification or registration (for example, ISO 14001 registration)?
      2. Has the supplier received any regulatory environmental violations within the past five years?