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The path to green purchasing: Green Procurement Guide the newest tool to help organizations reduce costs, environmental impact

Nov 22, 2011

(Toronto, November 22) Greening Greater Toronto, an initiative of CivicAction, and Partners in Project Green announced the release of an exciting new tool to help organizations reduce costs, increase environmental performance and help create green jobs through their purchasing decisions. 

The Commitment to Buy Green, Green Procurement Guide provides practical tips for people who buy products and services for public, private and not-for-profit organizations at various stages of greening their purchasing practices. The Guide includes information on:

  • making the case for sustainable purchasing;
  • establishing, implementing and evaluating a formalized green procurement strategy;
  • selecting suppliers; and
  • environmental concerns for some key purchasing areas. 

The Guide was developed by a working group convened by Greening Greater Toronto and its Green Procurement Leadership Council. The Guide is the latest in the green procurement toolkit assembled by Greening Greater Toronto and Partners in Project Green to assist companies in driving sustainable purchasing practices. Other tools include:

  • The Commitment to Buy Green: a voluntary program in which organizations sign a pledge to continuously reduce their environmental impacts through their purchasing decisions, and contribute to the collective efforts of greening the Toronto region's buying practices. 
  • Case Studies: a collection of real life, tangible examples of how organizations are embedding sustainable purchasing practices into their processes, including lessons learned and insights on overcoming obstacles. Current contributors include: Ontario Power Generation, the International Centre and CIBC.
  • Document Hub: an online portal of green procurement-related documents on best practices, policies, contract clauses, and vendor evaluation criteria to help organizations green their buying practices.

"Making purchasing decisions with environmental impact in mind can lead to dramatic environmental improvements, while delivering considerable cost savings," said Linda Weichel, Vice President, Partnerships at CivicAction and responsible for Greening Greater Toronto. "The Green Purchasing Guide gives buyers practical information about best practices and the green factors to consider, and vendors get insights into what green attributes buyers are looking for. This Guide will help inform and inspire more green decision-making, and greater action and innovation in the green products and services sector." 

"We are pleased to be working with Greening Greater Toronto on building valuable tools to encourage sustainable purchasing practices throughout the Toronto region," said Brian Denney, Chief Administrative Officer of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the parent organization of Partners in Project Green. "The Green Purchasing Guide is the latest addition to our green procurement toolkit, and we hope it will contribute to breaking down barriers to the utilization of green products and services."

The Commitment to Buy Green is a project of Greening Greater Toronto's Green Procurement Initiative. The program has been supported by the Conservation Fund of the Ontario Power Authority, which provides support for new and innovative electricity conservation initiatives that build the ability of Ontario's residents, businesses, and institutions to reduce their demand for electricity. 


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Elizabeth Oakley
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