The City of Cape Town is prioritising sustainability through green supply chain management, and as such has drafted a Green Procurement Action Plan to establish where the City can make use of more sustainable products and services. The plan will appear before Council for deliberation in 2018.
Green procurement, otherwise known as sustainable public procurement, is an approach to procuring goods and services that are better for our environment, businesses and residents. Our green procurement approach aims to ensure that we do our utmost to support and sustain green industries and solutions in Cape Town.
The City’s commitment to green procurement has been highlighted in the recently adopted Climate Change Policy, which states that the City will ‘consider the life-cycle cost of goods and services in City supply chain management processes, thereby promoting the use of climate-appropriate resources, technologies and approaches and stimulating the market for these products and services, with a focus on local supply where available’. The recently adopted Environmental Strategy also commits the City to green procurement through a directive to ‘actively increase the City’s own contribution to resource efficiency through directed green procurement’.
As such, a Green Procurement Action Plan for the City of Cape Town has been drafted, which will appear before Council for approval in 2018. The plan will initially focus on establishing the market’s readiness to supply green technologies in the various sectors, before setting targets for green procurement in each sector.
‘Government, including municipalities, has enormous purchasing power. By leveraging our spending power, we can do a lot to encourage suppliers and service providers to use environmentally responsible production solutions in their day-to-day business,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.
Although the City’s efforts to drive green procurement are being given new impetus by the planned implementation of the Green Procurement Action Plan, the City has already taken many notable strides to make its operations more environmentally sustainable. The City’s energy efficiency programme has resulted in savings of more than R110 million over the past five years. Between 2010 and 2016, the City has saved almost 80 000 MWh of electricity and 79 000 tons of carbon through its municipal operations energy efficiency programme. This is the equivalent of the power needed to operate all of Cape Town’s street lights for a whole year. Energy efficiency is central to the City’s Energy2040 goals, which aim for the overall reduction of 37% in carbon emissions. Some 21% can be achieved through energy efficiency alone.
Also, as part of the City of Cape Town’s response to the current drought, a draft set of stringent performance-based specifications for water-efficient plumbing fittings and fixtures has been developed for all buildings built by the City, including office buildings, public facilities, and subsidised housing. These specifications are focused on performance standards (e.g. flow rates, litres per flush) rather than specific technologies to ensure that the broadest range of innovative solutions can be applied.
‘By proactively adopting a green procurement approach, the City is avoiding having to play catch-up should more stringent laws or carbon taxes be introduced,’ said Councillor Van der Merwe.
Efforts to stimulate the supply of green products via our procurement policies are in line with the Organisational Transformation and Development Plan’s focus on leveraging technology for progress, positioning Cape Town as a forward-looking and globally competitive business city, ensuring resource efficiency and security, and ensuring long-term operational sustainability.