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blueindicatorGreen Purchasing Practices

What is the indicator and why measure it?

The Region's Finance department established a Green Purchasing program in 2006. Environmentally responsible procurement has affected purchases such as:

    • office paper with 30 – 100% post-consumer recycled content
    • paper towels with 100% recycled content;
    • environmentally friendly cleaning products used by contracted janitorial services; and,
    • computers, copiers and other office equipment that meet Energy Star standards (e.g. superior energy efficient performance)

This indicator is under development and may include a number of different measurements as the data collection and analysis process matures.

 What is Green Procurement?

Green procurement is the purchase of products or services which have a lesser impact on the environment and in some cases human health, when compared with competing products and services which serve the same purpose.

Green Procurement Strategy

In 2009, the Region purchased about $230 million of goods and services to support its wide range of programs. These products and services have environmental impacts throughout their life cycle (design, extraction, manufacturing, delivery, use, and disposal).
Benefits include: 

  1. Reduced environmental impacts through
    1. Optimizing the efficient use of natural resources
    2. Reducing pollution of our air, water and land
    3. Protecting and enhancing the environment
  2. Reduced health risks;
  3. Greater financial efficiency; and
  4. Increasing the demand for green products. 


Highlights of the Region's Green Procurement Accomplishments

In 2012, a Green Procurement Guide was launched as a tool to help Regional staff:

    • Make purchase choices that have less impact on the environment; and
    • Become aware and empowered to make environmentally responsible decisions in their day to day life.

Click on the following link to see a copy of the guide: Green Procurement Guide

Recent Accomplishments

Initiative Highlights
Janitorial All janitorial supply must meet EcoLogo certication. By using 100% recycled paper towel and tissue products in 2011, we saved 700 trees, over 2,600,000 L of water, 38,000kg of waste and 85,000kg of CO2 emissions. 
Stationary Implementation of an online-only ordering process, with a restrict delivery and return policy. In 2012, switching from daily to weekly deliveries will reduce GHG emissions by approximately 50.6%.
Reliance on paper and costs of paperwork for delivery/returns will be reduced. 
Carpet       Installation of carbon neutral carpet, Interface® Cool Carpet™, on Regional buildings. From 2009 -2011, 76,053 ft2 were installed. 56 Tons of GHG credits were purchased by the vendor to offset the entire lifecycle of carpet installed in 2011.
Vehciles - Fleet   Purchase smaller and more fuel efficient vehicle models. Purchase decisions made based on complete life cycle analysis of vehicle costs. Saved approximately 40,000L of fuel and reduced 100 tonnes of GHG emissions in 2011.
 Use 10%-ethanol gasoline for fleet. Ethanol is now a mandated part of gasoline sold in Canada.
GRT buses Expand fleet with hybrid-electric transit buses. In 2011, six new hybrid buses were added to the fleet, making a total of twelve purchased to date.
The fleet of 12 hybrid buses has a $55,000 fuel savings per year compared to conventional GRT buses.
Retrofit GRT buses with Catalytic Exhaust Mufflers (CEM). 86 GRT buses retrofitted over two years in 2002-2004. Catalytic exhaust mufflers convert toxic combustion byproducts into less toxic substances.
GRT fleet to use Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) fuel. GRT fleet made switch to this fuel in 2004. Now all fleet use of ULSD is under government mandate.

Eco-Labels for Identifying Environmentally Friendly Products and Processes:

eco labels

Energy Star:
Green Seal:

greenprocurementposter lowres

For More Information
Contact Lisa Buitenhuis, Acting Director, Procurement & Supply Services
l This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


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greenindicator Strong progress achieved
yellowindicator Moderate progress achieved
redindicator Progress needed
blueindicator Information only
greyindicator Indirectly related