Financial Services

Sustainable Procurement Policy

Further Information

  • Procurement Assist
  • The Green Office program

Contact us

We welcome suggestions from staff, students or suppliers of innovative working practices or products, which help support sustainable procurement. Please email with any suggestions.


The Sustainable Procurement Policy outlines the principles to ensure compliance with the UWA Sustainability Policy through sustainable procurement practices.


Sustainable Procurement is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for purchasing goods and services in a way that achieves value for money on a whole of life cycle cost basis, in terms of generating benefits not only for the organisation, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment.

Whole of life costs: The total cost of ownership or use of service over the life of that asset or service, commonly referred to as "cradle to grave".

Policy Statement

The University of Western Australia is committed to ensuring that all the goods and services it procures:

  • are manufactured, delivered, used and disposed of in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
  • deliver long term value for money for the University.

By addressing sustainability, reducing environmental impacts and making efficient use of resources, the University demonstrates that it is committed to achieving sustainable development.

All members of staff making purchasing decisions should be aware of the principles of sustainable procurement and are required to consider environmental impacts and opportunities during the procurement process, particularly during the early stages of the procurement process when defining business needs, market analysis, tender and quotation strategy before going out to the market.

A procurement specification and the evaluation of tenders or quotations is to proceed on a total cost of ownership basis where the sustainable values should be considered alongside other matters related to acquisition, operation, maintenance, disposal and retirement throughout the full product life cycle. Financial and budget implications of sustainable procurement options are to be carefully considered alongside value for money before making a decision from a sustainability perspective. Procurement decisions are subject to review and could subsequently be revised if found not to demonstrate value for money.

Values to consider include but not limited to; 'resource extraction and consumption; manufacturing and production; transport and logistics; product and asset design; use and maintenance; recycling and disposal options; employee rights and conditions corruption, unfair competition and ethical behaviour'.


Full consideration should be given to minimising environmental impact of the purchase across the whole life cycle and supply chain, which should be monitored and reviewed prior to any purchasing decision. The University's demand and consumption should be considered from the outset of any procurement and reduced whenever possible with a culture of cost and impact reduction - reduce, reuse & recycle.

Purchasers should give preference to goods containing recycled or recyclable materials and energy efficient goods if it can be demonstrated that they represent value for money.


Environmental and social issues and impacts must be considered when deciding if and how equipment should be disposed. The end of life decision involves examining whether disposal is really necessary or if it is possible to extend the useful life by repairing, refurbishing, modifying or upgrading. Disposal needs to be undertaken with probity, ensuring it is ethically honest, that there is no conflict of interest and in an open and accountable manner, with due consideration given to dangerous or environmentally-unfriendly goods.

The means and timing of when an asset will be disposed of is normally taken into consideration as part of the whole of-life cycle costing.

Buy Local

Staff should be aware that preference should be given to goods produced in Australia, and specifically Western Australia (where practical), in order to support the local economy. Duty may be applicable if the goods have been obtained from an overseas supplier when Australian supply is available. If large value items are being purchased from overseas then preferential treatment should be given to any supplier with a higher relative Australian content.

Ethical Procurement

Staff should also consider the following ethical principles within the supply chain when seekin to procure from a supplier:

Regulatory compliance

  • Suppliers shall comply with all national and other applicable law and regulations.


  • Suppliers shall ensure that they and all associated third parties:
  • Do not engage in forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour.
  • Do not engage in or support the use of child labour.
  • Provide specific consideration to the working hours, safety and working environment of young persons between the ages of 15 and 18.

Right to a living wage

  • Wages paid for a standard working week meet or exceed national (or, where applicable, local) legal standards.
  • All workers should be provided with written and comprehensible information about their employment conditions in respect to wages before they enter employment and the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned each time that they are paid.

Employment Relationships

  • Suppliers should establish recognised employment relationships with their employees that are in accordance with their national law and good practice.

Freedom of Association

  • Suppliers should not prevent or discourage employess from joining trade unions.

Avoidance of excessive working hours

  • Standard working hours must comly with national laws and national benchmark industry standards, whichever affords greater protection to the employee.

No discrimination

  • A policy of equality for all should be in place and there should be no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender history, marital status, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, union membership or political affiliation.
  • Consideration should be given to include under-represented groups, such as indigenous and other minority groups in the local community.


Safe and Healthy Working Conditions

  • To provide a safe and healthy working environment bearing in mind international standards, the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards.
  • To take adequate steps to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occuring in the course of work, by minimising, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working practice and environment.
  • Provide workers with suitable and sufficient health and safety training, in order that they fully understand the hazards associated with the work activity and environment and the correct practices required minimising the risks.


  • Purchasing staff should consider the support and aims of fair trade to assist producers in developing countries to rise out of poverty through increased trade at a fair price covering the cost of sustainable production and investment sustainable social, environmental and economic development within their communities. Selecting fair trade products builds a more sustainable future for future generations.

Related Policies or legislation 

  • Overarching Purchasing Policy
  • Asset Disposal Policy
  • UWA Sustainability Policy

Useful links:

Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply -

Sustainable Procurement Practice Guidelines -

Fair Trade Association -

APCC - Accessing a Suppliers Sustainability Credentials -

Good Environmental Choice Australia -

Towards Zero Waste -

OGC - Buy Green and make a Difference -


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