Under the Local Government Act 1989, Victorian local Councils must use their resources efficiently and effectively and provide services in accordance with best-value principles to meet the needs of the local community, and improve the quality of life in the local community.
Councils must also carry out all procurement activities in accordance with their procurement policies, and the requirements in the Act.
The role of sustainable procurement practices has only growth in the last several decades, particularly as it becomes clear that an holistic view of sustainability in purchasing will provide economic, social and environmental benefits to the community in the long term.
Councils have generally sought to be proactive with social procurement, including by encouraging (and in many cases mandating) the consideration of local suppliers to encourage economic development. This is often done through appropriate weighting of local content in tenders.
Purchasing goods and services with less harmful impacts on the environment has become increasingly easier as environmental concerns and knowledge becomes more widespread in the community.
Lastly, a sustainable approach has also meant Councils are increasingly using their purchasing power to encourage local employment amongst disadvantaged residents and promoting social inclusion. The prevalence of social enterprises working with Councils across a number of areas has the potential to shift long-standing supply chains.
Notwithstanding the objective benefits, it is important when undertaking sustainable procurement that a Council articulates the benefits to the community, including financial benefits.
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